Business rates explained
All businesses benefit from the services that local authorities provide. Some services directly benefit business, for instance roads, the police and fire brigade. Others, such as education and housing, are indirectly beneficial. Non-domestic rates or business rates are the way non-domestic property users contribute towards the cost of providing those services. Please note that business rates do not include other services for which a separate charge is made, such as commercial waste collection.
Business rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the national poundage (known as the multiplier), which is set by the government each year. Rates are usually payable by the occupier of the non-domestic property. This will normally be either the owner/occupier or the leaseholder of the property.
What property is liable to pay business rates?
In general, business rates are payable on most commercial property, such as shops, offices, warehouses and factories. Self-catering accommodation, such as a holiday home, is also liable if it is available for commercial letting to short stay guests for 140 days or more. If you offer bed and breakfast accommodation in your own home to six people or less, you are exempt from business rates, provided that the bed and breakfast use is subsidiary to the residential use. Timeshare units are also liable to business rates.
Self-catering and holiday let accommodation - rules from 1 April 2023
If your property is in England, it will be rated as a self-catering property and valued for business rates if it’s both:
- available to let for short periods for at least 140 days in total over the current and previous tax years
- actually let for at least 70 days in the last 12 months.
Some businesses are not rateable, including:
Farm land and buildings, churches, sewers, public parks, certain property used for people with disabilities, property in an enterprise zone and moveable moorings.
More detailed information can be found on explanatory notes from the government.
Payment process of schools’ business rates
There are changes to the payment process of schools’ business rates 2022-2023 onwards. From 2022-23, the payment of schools’ business rates will be centralised, with the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) paying the rates directly to billing authorities on behalf of all maintained schools and academies.
The business rates liability will remain with maintained schools and academies and demand notices will still be issued but this will only be for school accountancy purposes.
Any balances outstanding to 31 March 2022 will need to be settled through prior payment arrangements. For more information, please contact us on email@example.com.
For further information online please see:
- Changes to the payment process of schools’ business rates
- Changes to the payment process of schools’ business rates: government consultation response
Change of address
The business rate is calculated on a daily basis. If you take over a commercial property you will be liable for business rates. If you cease to trade, vacate the property or move to another property within the Ealing area, the amount you pay or the amount you need to pay will alter. Please tell us you have moved using My Account so that they can adjust your bill and make sure you pay the right amount. If you have overpaid your business rates you may be entitled to a refund. Proof of your vacation will be requested.