Home based businesses and business rates

February 6th 2015

The local property tax you pay, in England and Wales, will be either Council Tax or Non-domestic (business) Rates depending on the type of property. Some properties are part business and part domestic, so you may pay both taxes. Good examples are public houses where the publican lives on the premises or shops where the shopkeeper lives in a flat over the shop.

Generally, you should not have to pay business rates for minor business use of the home. The Government does not normally expect home-based businesses to have to pay business rates if:

  • You use a small part of your home for your business (for example you use a bedroom part of the day as an office), and
  • You do not use it to sell goods or services to visiting clients or members of the public (as opposed to selling by post), and
  • You do not employ other people to work at the premises, and
  • You have not made alterations of a sort that would not usually be associated with a home (such as converting a garage to a hairdressers or installing a hydraulic car lift).

These are general guidelines currently set out on the GOV.UK website. Some situations might need the facts of each case to be considered.

Please contact DSC Chartered Accountants in Harrogate if you wish to discuss this article in more depth.