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Who has to pay business rates?

This page will give you information about how business rates are set on business properties.

What are business rates? 

Business rates are a local tax paid by occupiers of non-domestic properties.

Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. But, a property doesn't have to be used for a business, if it is used for any purposes which are not domestic, it is likely to be rateable.

All business properties are given a rateable value (RV) by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), and we issue bills based on these values.

If a property is occupied, the person or company occupying it is liable for rates. This is the case even if a lease or licence agreement states otherwise, or there is no formal agreement to occupy the premises. 

If a property is not occupied, empty rates will be charged to the person entitled to possession. Some properties that are empty might not have to pay rates for up to three months on non-industrial properties or six months on industrial properties.

Properties that meet other criteria, including those with a rateable value below a certain threshold, might not have to pay rates. Others such as charities can also apply for a reduction in their bill.

Appealing your liability

You can ask us to look at our decision again by contacting us in writing or by email

  • to hold you liable for rates
  • not to award a reduction
  • to issue a completion notice for a new or altered building.

You must clearly state what you are asking us to reconsider and send in any supporting evidence.

Once we have reviewed our decision, we aim is to respond in writing within 10 working days.

  • if we agree your liability is incorrect we will send you a revised bill
  • if we continue with our original decision, we will write to you and tell you why

If you don't agree with our decision you will need to attend a liability order hearing at the magistrates’ court.

We, Rutland County Council,  do not decide the rateable value of the property. If you are unhappy with your rateable value you need to contact the Valuation Office Agency and ask them to review it.

You can read more information by downloading our business rates explanatory notes.

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