Business rates advice

Find out if you have to pay whether you are using a building or part of a building, for non-domestic purposes.

Business Rates, also known as non-domestic rates, are collected by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. They are the way that those who occupy non-domestic hereditaments (any property that can be inherited) contribute towards the cost of local services.

Under the Business Rates Retention arrangements introduced in April 2013, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council now keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This money, along with revenue from Council Tax payers, government grants and certain other monies is used to pay for the services provided by the Council.

Business rates are payable on both occupied and empty premises. Everyone needs to make provision within their business finances for paying business rates, just as you would for other business expenses.

Occupied properties

The occupier of the premises is responsible for paying business rates. This will usually be the owner or the tenant. Sometimes the landlord of the property charges the occupier a rent that also includes an amount for the business rates.

It remains a private matter between the landlord and occupier to decide who is responsible to make payment, however the bill will remain in the name of the occupier, and if it is not paid, action will be taken against the occupier, not the landlord, to recover the amount due.

Unoccupied properties

Whoever has the right to occupy the property needs to pay any charge that is due (e.g. the leaseholder, tenant or the freeholder).

If a tenant moves out of a property but does not surrender the lease for a further six months, the tenant remains liable to pay any unoccupied rate charge that becomes due. However, if the tenant's lease ends, the landlord needs to pay the charge.