Who has to pay business rates?

Every non-domestic property has a rateable value unless it is exempt from rating. The organisation or person occupying or trading from a property is responsible for paying the business rates bill.

Business rates are a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/ business property, in the same way that council tax is is a tax on domestic property. 

Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it is used for purposes that are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a bill each year.

Certain types of property may be exempt from rates, for example; fish farms, places of religious worship and certain farm buildings and land (excluding buildings used as offices or for other business activities not related to agriculture).

If you move into, or become responsible for paying business rates on a property, please let us know as soon as possible. This will enable us to bill you promptly and to ensure that you claim any relief that you may be entitled to. Please print off and complete the pdf icon Moving in form [227kb]. Alternatively you can call us or email us with the details.

If the property is empty, the owner or leaseholder is still responsible for payment of business rates, although the amount of rates chargeable will vary according to circumstances and the nature of the business carried out at the premises. If you move out of business premises please let us know as soon as possible. You can download and complete the pdf icon moving out form [209kb], or call or email us with the details.

Sometimes the tenant of a business property has an agreement with the landlord that is inclusive of rates. However, by law, liability to pay business rates rests with the person entitled to beneficial occupation (the occupier) of a property, irrespective of any third party agreement.