Business rates guidance

Last updated: 14 December 2018

Paying business rates

When you start a new business or move into new business premises, you should tell your local council and they'll send you a rates bill.

Your council will normally send you a business rates bill in February or March each year. This is for the period 1 April to 31 March the following year.

Your bill will generally rise each year in line with inflation.

Most councils ask you to pay in 10 equal monthly instalments - normally by direct debit.

Understanding your bill

Your bill shows:

  • how much you have to pay in total and how the amount was calculated
  • when you need to pay each instalment and how much to pay each time

If you think that your bill is wrong or that you are entitled to a relief, you should contact your local council.

Your business rates bill does not include charges such as rent, business leases, water charges or other costs.

Who doesn't need to pay?

Premises that are exempt from business rates include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • fish farms
  • public parks
  • rural premises with Automatic Telling Machines (ATMs)
  • oil and gas pipelines
  • overseas armed forces premises in the UK

This list is not exhaustive and your local assessor will be able to tell you if your property is exempt.

Business rates guidance
Paying business rates