1. Overview

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, like:

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • holiday rental homes or guest houses, eg a boarding house

You’ll probably have to pay business rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

Business rates are handled differently in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What to pay and when

Your local council will send you a business rates bill in February or March each year. This is for the following tax year. You can also estimate your business rates bill.

You might be able to pay your business rates bill in 12 instalments. Contact your local council to find out more.

Relief schemes

You may be able to get business rates relief. This is sometimes automatic, but you may need to apply through your local council.

The process depends on where you are. Find out about:

Who doesn’t need to pay

Exemptions include:

  • farm buildings and land (excluding buildings used as offices or for other business activities)
  • fish farms
  • places of public religious worship, eg registered buildings and church halls (except in Scotland - you apply for relief for these buildings instead of being exempt)
  • buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people (except in Scotland - you apply for relief for these buildings instead of being exempt)