Non-Domestic Rates are commonly known as business rates. They are paid on properties not used for domestic or residential purposes. This can include offices, shops, warehouses, beach huts and factories, but not farms or churches.

Every property rated for business rates has a rateable value which is used to calculate the bill. The Valuation Office Agency   assess a rateable value for every business rates property.

Business rates - occupation form

From 1 April 2013 Chichester District Council and West Sussex County Council are allocated a share of the business rates collected to go directly towards local services. The remainder is paid to central Government to fund services and amenities nationally.

If a property has both business and residential usage (such as some pubs) each part will be assessed and billed separately - Council Tax on the residential accommodation and business rates on the commercial premises. Business Rates are usually paid by the person/company who is occupying the property. This could be through a licence, rental contract or verbal agreement. If the property is not occupied or let, responsibility for the rates then falls to the owner or leaseholder.

Business rates - details of vacation