Rates assistance for businesses impacted by COVID-19
The Finance Minister has announced an emergency £100 million rates package to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19. Find out more about COVID-19: Emergency rates package for businesses.
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
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. Please note: Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 23 March 2020 about additional measures to limit the spread of COVID-19, Land & Property Services offices and phone lines will be closed from Tuesday 24 March until Wednesday 15 April. The closure will be kept under regular review and the dates will change in line with further Government announcements. Further information on service updates will be available on the LPS website.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- Health and safety basics for business
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services