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Businesses exempt from paying


Some business properties do not have to pay business rates.

If you believe your business property should be exempt, contact us.

Empty properties

If a business property is unoccupied, full business rates are usually still charged. These are waived for the first three months after a property becomes empty.

For certain industrial properties, we can extend this to six months.

New build business properties listed between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016 are exempt for the first 18 months after becoming empty. Contact us for more information.

Empty properties where an exemption from business rates might apply

Classes of potentially exempt unoccupied properties are listed below however it may depend on a number of conditions being met before exemption is granted.

  • unoccupied properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900
  • listed buildings (subject to a preservation notice under section 58 of the Town and Country planning act 1971)
  • hereditaments where occupation is prohibited by law eg unsafe buildings
  • hereditaments where occupation is prohibited by action taken by the Crown or any local or public authority ancient monuments (as scheduled under S1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979)
  • unoccupied hereditaments where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy order or winding up order under the Insolvency Act 1986
  • unoccupied hereditaments where the owner is entitled to possession only in their capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • unoccupied hereditaments where the owner is entitled to possession only in their capacity as a trustee under a deed of arrangement or as a liquidator under the Insolvency Act 1986
  • unoccupied properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs or when next in use by a charity

Occupied properties exempt from business rates

Classes of potentially exempt occupied properties are listed below however it will also depend on a number of conditions being met before exemption is granted.

  • agricultural land and buildings (arable meadow or pasture ground, buildings used in connection with agricultural operations on the land, and with the keeping and breeding of livestock)
  • fish farms fishing rights (where these are exercisable in a fishery which is regulated by specific legislation)
  • places of religious worship where these belong to the Church of England or the Church in Wales. For other religions, the property concerned must be certified under the Places of Worship. Registration Act 1855. This exemption includes church halls and similar buildings (provided they are used in connection with a place of public religious worship).
  • trinity house property (lighthouses, buoys and beacons) sewers and accessories (drains, sewers, manholes, ventilation shafts and pumps. The exemption does not apply to sewage farms or sewage disposal works).
  • property of drainage authorities (structures used for controlling or regulating the flow of water into or out of a watercourse on a main river)
  • parks (provided they are under the management of a relevant authority and are available for free and unrestricted use by members of the public)
  • property used for disabled people (properties providing facilities for the welfare and training of disabled people)
  • air raid protection works
  • swinging moorings (a buoy attached to an anchor which rests underwater)
  • road crossings over watercourses (bridges, viaducts or tunnels constructed to allow river crossings)
  • property in enterprise zones.
Contact us
Business rates
03000 268 997
Our address is:
  • Revenues and Benefits
  • PO Box 238
  • Stanley
  • County Durham
  • United Kingdom
  • DH8 1FP
01207 218 876
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