What are Business Rates ?

Business rates are how users of non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of providing council services in the area, but rates are not a direct payment for services received.

Business Rates, often referred to as National Non-Domestic Rates or NNDR, are charged on properties with a wide range of purposes, but not those for domestic or residential use.

Every non-domestic property has a rateable value unless it is exempt from rating, for example, places of religious worship and agricultural buildings.

Properties which are subject to payment of business rates include:

  • restaurants
  • shops
  • factories
  • offices
  • workshops
  • beach huts
  • self catering holiday accommodation

A property that is used for both domestic and non-domestic purposes is classified as a composite property and is subject to payment of both Non-Domestic rates and Council Tax. Some examples of composite properties are public houses and hotels with self contained owners accommodation.
The money that is collected by a Rating Authority – usually a Council – is paid into a national pool, from which it is distributed to billing authorities and major precepting authorities throughout the country.

The money received by the council from the central pool, together with the income received from council tax payers and the rate support grant from central government, is used to pay for local services that are provided by the Councils throughout the country.

The occupier of a non-domestic property normally pays the Business Rates –  this is usually the owner-occupier or leaseholder.

The Domestic and Business Rate taxation system is the oldest form of continuous UK taxation and has its roots in the 11th Century and dates back to William the Conqueror.

A Local Independent Surveyor can advise you if you wish to consider making an appeal or put you in touch with a suitably experienced local professional who can assist in an appeal or valuation to make sure that you are not paying too much.