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Business rates account enquiries

Business rates are payable on most commercial properties like shops, offices and hotels.

Self-catering accommodation such as holiday homes are also liable for business rates where they are available for use by short stay guests for 140 days or more during the year.

Business rates are charged on a daily basis so it is important that you tell us as soon as you take over a business or cease to trade. 

You can email us your information at:

Business rates are not payable on the following properties:

  • Churches
  • Public parks
  • Farmland and buildings
  • Moorings
  • Sewers
Business rates are paid by the occupier of the property. Usually, this is the owner-occupier or the leaseholder.

Empty properties

If your property is empty and un-used, there will not be any business rates to pay for the first 3 months. After that time, you will have to pay an empty property rate which is 100% of the normal bill. 

To qualify for a 3 month exemption, your property must have been occupied continuously for 6 weeks before you vacate it. The exemption period for industrial properties is 6 months followed by an empty property rate which is 100% of the normal bill.

There is no charge for an empty property which has a rateable value of less than £2,900.

Seasonal use

If you only use your property during the season, this is taken into account when the rateable value of the property is calculated. There is no extra reduction given during the winter months if you don't open for business.

If you are not sure whether your rateable value has been calculated correctly, please contact the Valuation Office Agency or telephone 03000 501501. 

Duplicate bills

You can view your account and download copy bills by registering for Advantage Business Rates

Business rate calculation

We work out your bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the rate poundage, which the Government sets in April each year. The rate poundage figure applies to every property in England.

For example, the rate poundage figure for 2020/21 is 51.2p. If your rateable value was £20,000, we would multiply this by 51.2p and the amount you would have to pay for the year would be £10,240.00.  

This is not taking any transitional relief into account.

Non payment of business rates

If you miss an instalment payment, we will send you a reminder notice giving you 7 days to bring your payments up to date.

If you do not bring your payments up to date or you fall behind again later, you will have to pay the full outstanding balance on your account straightaway.

If you do not pay the outstanding balance, we will send you a summons which means that costs of £57.50 will be added to your account.

After sending a summons, we will ask the magistrates' court to issue a liability order which can be sent to an enforcement agent if you do not make a suitable payment arrangement with us, or you fail to make payments you have promised to make.

If your case is passed to an enforcement agent, more costs will be added to your account.

If you are having problems paying your business rates, please get in touch with us straightaway so that we can talk to you about payment options available to you.

Working from home

You may have to pay business rates if you have structurally altered your property to make room for your business. If you are only using a room in your home as an office, you may not be charged for business rates.