Business Rates Completion Notices

When a commercial premises is structurally complete, or that the works remaining should be completed within three months, a completion notice will be served on the ‘owner’ of the commercial premises.

The completion notice is a document that specifies the ‘completion date’. It is the date when a commercial premises becomes ‘rateable’ and enters the rating list for business rates purposes.

A ‘new commercial premises’ includes a building produced by the structural alteration of an existing building where the existing building is comprised in a hereditament which, by virtue of the alteration becomes (or becomes part of) a different hereditament of different hereditaments. It also includes part of a building.

If the premises are unoccupied and empty from this ‘completion date’, then the premises will be eligible for a three month exemption, whilst it remains empty. If it is an industrial premises, then up to six month exemption can apply.

Criteria used to decide a completion date

The criteria for deciding on completion for business rates purposes are substantially different to those for deciding on completion for building control so whether building control certificates have been issued or not is not necessarily relevant.

A completion notice may be served up to three months in advance of the property’s final completion. Therefore the building may be incomplete when receiving the letter so be sure to focus on the date of completion.

Timescales used to determine the date for completion

Shell and Core

Three months to completion notice date

Development includes finished to landlord areas only, with services distribution capped off at risers to each floor (three months to completion notice date)

Category A Fit Out

Developers finish – the level of fitting-out between shell and core and a point when internal components must be designed to a specification for the particular end user.

Typically all finishes:

  • suspended ceilings
  • raised floors
  • carpets
  • extension of mechanical and electrical services

Category B Fit Out

Bespoke fitting out to meet occupier’s specific requirements.


  • internal partitioning
  • enhanced finishes
  • security systems
  • upgraded furnishings
  • furniture and fittings
  • data cabling an IT installations


If you disagree with a completion notice you should appeal within 28 days to the Valuation Tribunal Service.

However, you can write to the us, outlining the reasons why you disagree with the date of completion.

Once we receive your letter, further information may be required but you will be advised of the decision as soon as possible, to allow you sufficient time to appeal further if you wish.

If you have any questions regarding a completion notice you’ve received, email