What are business rates?

Business rates are a tax on non-domestic/business use properties in England and Wales.  These taxes work in a similar way to that of council tax, in that the proceeds of business rates are used by local councils to provide a range of local services such as the police and fire and rescue.

A number of rate relief schemes are available to businesses which can yield huge savings:

  • Small business rate relief
  • Charitable and non-profit making organisation relief
  • Empty and partly occupied rate relief
  • Rural rate relief

A number of specific types of property are also entirely exempt from business rates:

  • Agricultural land and buildings
  • Fish farms
  • Places of public religious worship
  • Lighthouses, buoys and beacons occupied by or belonging to Trinity House
  • Sewers and accessories belonging to a sewer
  • Certain property of drainage authorities
  • Parks
  • Property used for the disabled
  • Air raid protection works, provided the hereditament is not used or occupied for any other purpose
  • Swinging moorings
  • Roads crossing over or under watercourses
  • Hereditaments in Enterprise Zones
  • Visiting forces premises