Business rates

1. Overview

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

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • holiday rental homes or guest houses

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 can get help with business rates from:

  • your council if you have questions about your bill
  • the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) if you think your ‘rateable value’ is wrong

Relief schemes

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

The process depends on whether you’re in England or Wales.

Who doesn’t need to pay

Certain properties are exempt from business rates, for example farm buildings or places used for the welfare of disabled people.