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What are business rates?

Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic / business property, in the same way that council tax 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 does not have to be used for a business - if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a Business Rates bill each year.

Where the money goes

Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth since authorities will benefit from growth in business rates revenues.

The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by your local authority and other local authorities in your area.

Spending plans

The council is required by law to provide business ratepayers with information about its spending plans. Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure of the local authority is available in the council tax guide [264KB].

Who has to pay?

The occupier of a non-domestic property normally pays business rates. Usually this is the owner-occupier or leaseholder. This can be one person, a partnership, a limited company, a club or some other organisation.

If you lease a property from a landlord, but keep it empty, you are still liable for empty property rates. This is because the lease entitles you, rather than your landlord, to occupy the property.


For enquiries about the rate bill please contact the Business Rates team

The offices are open for enquiries from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Please be sure to quote your rate account number when making an enquiry.

For enquiries about rateable values please contact the Valuation Office Agency at:

Non-domestic Rates London
Valuation Office Agency
Chase House
305 Chase Road
London N14 6LZ

Email: ratinglondon@voa.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 03000 501 501
Fax: 03000 508 780
Website: www.voa.gov.uk (opens in a new window)

Further information

A range of guides and information on business rates is available on the Department for Communities and Local website.

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 06 Mar 2019 at 11:51