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Business rates: what they are and what they pay for

Business rates are the way businesses contribute towards the cost of local services.

What are business rates?

Business rates – or non-domestic rates, as they’re also known – are the way occupiers of non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, like:

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • holiday rental homes or guest houses 

You’ll probably have to pay business rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grants provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for services provided by the council.

The council collects business rates on behalf of the Government, who set the multiplier each year. Your rate is determined by the rateable value of your property and the business rate multiplier.

The rate you pay is based on the rateable value of your property provided to us by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

What do your business rates pay for?

The council keeps a proportion of the business rates collected locally to pay for the services we provide, such as:

  • street lighting
  • improving public spaces
  • keeping streets clean and safe

A proportion goes to central government and some is given to the Greater London Authority to pay for other services, such as police and fire services.

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