Guide

Business rates: the basics

Introduction

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.

Rates are a property tax used to fund both local and regional services in Northern Ireland. They are collected by Land & Property Services on behalf of the Northern Ireland Executive and the district councils. There are two different rates, a domestic rate for residential properties and a business rate for non-domestic properties.

Business rates are a rate for all non-domestic properties capable of producing an income or commanding a rent, such as offices, factories and shops, with individual bills based on the rateable value of your property as at 1 April 2018. If you use a building or part of a building for business, you will probably have to pay business rates.

You have a legal and civic responsibility to pay your rate bill.

This guide explains who pays business rates, how business rates are calculated and what you should do if you occupy, leave or vacate a property. This guide also outlines rates for retail units and rates for licensed premises.

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 until Monday 27 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.