Business Rates

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Business rates is a local tax that is paid on all non-domestic/business property, in the same way that council tax is a tax on domestic property.

Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, the property does not have to be used for a business – if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a business rates bill each year.

Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements introduced from 1 April 2013, authorities keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth since authorities will benefit from growth in business rates revenues. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by your local authority and other local authorities in your area.

Visit for further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs.

Rates are payable on most occupied and some empty properties. However, there are certain classes of property that do not attract rates. Please see our exemptions and reliefs page for more information.

In this section you can find out how rates are calculated, how to pay, revaluation and much more.

Download the council tax and non-domestic (demand notices) explanatory notes 2021 [pdf] 96KB

Changes announced in the Autumn Statement 2018

The government announced at Autumn Budget 2018 that it will provide a business rates retail discount scheme for occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in each of the years 2019 to 2020 and 2020 to 2021. In a Written Ministerial Statement on 27 January 2020 the Government announced that it would extend the value of the Retail Discount from one third of the bill to 50% in 2020/21. This relief will apply to occupied retail properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 in the year 2020/21.

The government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme.

Look up your business rates account balance.

Your revenues service

The aim of our revenues service is to provide the borough's businesses with a reliable and efficient service. We issue business rates bills, process changes, provide advice and recover unpaid debts.

If any of your circumstances change you may need to let us know, please email the business rates team.

Business rates e-billing

You can sign up for future e-billing, so that your invoices are sent by email rather than in the post.

Sign up for business rates e-billing.

Contact business rates

The administration of business rates for the borough of Ashford is handled by Canterbury City Council as part of a programme for Kent councils to work together. If you need to contact us by phone, fax or email, contact the business rates team at Canterbury:

Telephone: 01227 862316
Fax: 01227 862020

Email the business rates team.

Please address any written correspondence or documents to:
Revenues Service
Ashford Borough Council
Civic Centre
Tannery Lane
Kent TN23 1PL