Business rates

How business rates are calculated

We work out your business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the rating multiplier and then adjusting it for any discounts, reductions or transitional arrangements, which apply to you.

Although we calculate and collect your business rates, we cannot change your rateable value or your multiplier. These are set nationally. We do decide, however, whether you are entitled to any rate relief (find out more about rate relief).

What’s my property’s rateable value?

Your property’s rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would achieve, if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date. It’s decided by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) (visit the VOA's website (link opens in new window)), an agency of HM Revenue and Customs.

  • Until 31 March 2017, your rateable value will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008
  • From 1 April 2017, your rateable value will be based on a new valuation date of 1 April 2015

Find your property's rateable value on GOV.UK (link opens in new window).

You can also:

  • get an estimate of your bill for 2017
  • compare your rateable value to other businesses
  • request changes
  • appeal your valuation

About the Business Rates revaluation for 2017

The VOA regularly reassesses and updates the rateable values of all business properties, usually every five years. This is called a revaluation. They do this to maintain fairness in the business rates system, by redistributing the total amount payable in Business Rates to reflect changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.

To find out how your business rates will be affected, you can check your property's rateable value on GOV.UK (link opens in new window).

Appeal your rateable value

You can challenge your rateable value free of charge.

Find out more about the appeals process on GOV.UK (link opens in new window).

Until your appeal is settled, you need to pay the full amount shown on your rate demand notice. Any overpayment resulting from a subsequent reduction will be refunded and interest may be added to the refund, but only if payments have been made strictly in accordance with the regulations for the payments of non-domestic rates.

Please note that any reduction in your gross charge resulting from a successful appeal may lead to an equal loss of transitional relief. The amount you are required to pay may not change until you no longer qualify for transitional relief.

Getting advice

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill.

However if you do wish to be represented, you can get help from professional organisations whose members are qualified and regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect you. These are:

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) (link opens in new window) 

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) (link opens in new window)

Before you employ a rating advisor, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. If you are considering a challenge to your valuation, the VOA has provided some advice and information.

Download advice on using a professional agent (PDF 113.8KB) - explains how to avoid being caught out by agents who charge more than they save.

What’s my business rates multiplier?

The business rates multipliers for 2016-17 are:

  • standard rate multiplier – 49.7p per £1
  • small business rate multiplier – 48.4p per £1

The business rates multipliers are set by central government. They set the multipliers each year, and usually increase them in line with inflation. We use the reduced small business rate multiplier to calculate business rates for any businesses who qualify for small business rate relief.

Check our Small Business Rate Relief page to find out if you qualify for reduced rates.

The table below shows the business rates multipliers used for the last 5 years.

Business rates multipliers
Tax year
Standard rate multiplier
Small business rate multiplier
2016-17
49.7p
48.4p
2015-16
49.3p
48p
2014-15
48.2p
47.1p
2013-14
47.1p
46.2p
2012-13
45.8p
45p

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8011

Please quote your business rates account reference in all correspondence – your account reference is 7 or 8 digits long and starts with a 3, and you can find it on your business rates bill or any letter we’ve sent about your business rates.

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