Business rates: the basics

Business rates and types of premises

Business or non-domestic premises include most commercial properties, such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories.

Properties excluded from the valuation list for business rates

However, there are some types of properties which are specifically excluded from the valuation list and therefore not subject to rates:

  • fish farms
  • most farmland and farm buildings
  • most cemeteries and crematorium
  • turbary and fishing rights
  • moveable moorings
  • public parks
  • sewers

Properties exempt or partially exempt from business rates

Some other non-domestic premises that are exempt or partially exempt from rates, including:

  • places of public religious worship and church halls
  • district council swimming pools and recreation facilities
  • charity shops selling only donated goods
  • ATMs in designated rural wards

Mixed use properties and business rates

If part of a building is used for business and part for residential purposes – such as a shop with a flat above or a solicitor's office in a domestic property – the part used for business counts as non-domestic premises. So, if you live and work in the same premises, you generally pay business rates on the part of the property used for business and domestic rates on the residential part.

Rental properties and business rates

Special rules apply to landlords, owners and tenants depending on the level of Capital Value for domestic properties or Net Annual Value for non-domestic properties. Rental properties and business rates.

Working from home and business rates

If you use your home as a workplace, the part of the property used for work may be liable for business rates. You will still have to pay domestic rates on the rest of the property. Whether you are charged business rates or not depends on the degree of business use. You are more likely to have to pay business rates if a room is used exclusively for business, or has been modified, eg as a workshop. Each case is considered individually.

If you have a query regarding your business rates you should contact Land & Property Services.

LPS is revaluing all business properties in Northern Ireland and the new values will be used to calculate rate bills for businesses and organisations from April 2020. View the Reval2020 draft schedule of values.