Business rates explained

Find out who has to pay business rates and where the money goes.

What are business rates

Business rates, also known as National Non-Domestic Rates (NNDR), are the way in which businesses contribute to the cost of local services provided by us. Although collected by us the amount payable is set by central government.

The government department responsible for business rates is the Department of Communities and Local Government.

Each year, the government takes the total amount of money in the pool and pays it back to every local council, fire, and police authority redistributed to councils on the basis of their need. 

The income we get from the NNDR pool and other government grants, along with local directly paid fees, rents, licences, and council tax, makes up our budget.

Who pays business rates

You’ll probably have to pay business rates if you use a building for some other reason than a home, for example as a shop, office, café or warehouse. You’re responsible for paying business rates if you occupy the property, whether you’re the owner or the leaseholder.

Business rates go towards local services in Bristol like education, adult care, planning, and street lights.

Business rates are based on the value of the property. Find out more about how business rates are calculated.

Find out how business rates are calculated, and where your money goes in our business rates explained 2017 to 18 document (pdf, 151k) (opens new window) .