Do I need to pay business rates?

If you or your company use all or part of a property for business purposes, you will need to pay business rates.

If you are joint occupiers or owners, you are jointly and individually liable for the business rates for your property.

Non-domestic properties

Non-domestic properties – often referred to as ‘hereditaments’ – are business properties such as shops, offices, warehouses and factories and any other property that is not classed as domestic, such as that occupied by charities and voluntary organisations.

In some cases, properties may be used for both domestic and non-domestic use (for example, a shop with a flat above it), in which case both council tax and business rates will be charged on the relevant portion of the property.

If a property is used for business and living in i.e. a shop with a flat above it, the property will be charged both business rates and council tax.

Part occupation

Properties may be used for both domestic and non-domestic use (for example, a shop with a flat above it), in which case both council tax and business rates will be charged on the relevant portion of the property. You can find about more about this on our page about Operating in a partly occupied building.

Some types of property are exempt from business rates, including:

  • Agricultural land and buildings
  • Fish farms
  • Some churches and other places of public religious worship
  • Sewers
  • Public parks
  • Some properties used for people with disabilities
  • Swinging moorings for boats

Working from home

If you work from home, we may charge business rates for the part of the property used for work, and you will have to pay council tax for the rest of the property (although the valuation band of your domestic property may change). This will depend on the circumstances of your case.

Holiday homes

If you let your holiday home for less than 140 days a year, you will not have to pay business rates. Instead you must pay council tax on your property.

If you let your holiday home for more than 140 days a year, you must pay business rates for the whole or part of your property.

Bed and Breakfast

If you live in your own home and operate a bed and breakfast for up to six people, you do not need to pay business rates. You must pay council tax instead.

If you let your bed and breakfast to more than six people at any one time, you must pay business rates. You will still need to pay council tax on the part of the property you use as your home.

Empty business properties

The owner (or person entitled to possession) may be liable to pay rates on unoccupied property. Rates are charged at 100 per cent of the amount that would be payable if the property was occupied. Find out more information on unoccupied properties here.

If you need any further advice, please contact our business rates team.

Contact us - Business rates

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0845 300 2839
(Text phone users add 18001 before dialing)

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Vale of White Horse District Council
PO Box 161
Erith
DA8 9DR