Business rates information and appeals
Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic or business property.
Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs and factories. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable.
We’ll send you your bill in March each year or you can access your business rates account securely online with Open Portal. To register for an Open Portal account please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject as Open Portal. You must provide your full name and the address where you are registered to pay business rates.
The amount you must pay depends upon:
- the rateable value of your business property, set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)
- the national non-domestic rating multiplier, set by central government
- any eligible rate reliefs
The rateable value is assessed by the VOA, which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs.
A property's rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would rent for if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.
You can find and check your property details on the gov.uk website.
National non-domestic rating multiplier
We work out your business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the multiplier the government sets.
There are currently two multipliers:
- small business multiplier: 49.9p payable by properties eligible to receive small business rate relief
- large business multiplier: 51.2p payable by all properties, except those that qualify for small business rate relief
The government normally changes the multiplier every year, in line with inflation. By law, the multiplier cannot go up by more than the rate of inflation, except in the year of a revaluation when it is set at a level which will keep the total amount raised in rates after the revaluation the same as before, plus inflation for that year.
The current multiplier is shown on the front of your bill.
Unoccupied property rating
There are no business rates to pay for the first three months that a property is empty. After that, an empty property rate of 100% is payable.
Industrial buildings can receive a six month void period and then will incur the 100% empty property charge. Please contact us for more details.
All properties with a rateable values of less than £2,900 are not liable for unoccupied rates.
Disruptions to trade
If you have had disruptions that have impacted on trade, you must inform the Valuation Office directly. We cannot do this on your behalf and you will be expected to continue to pay your existing rates bill in the meantime.
2017 valuation list appeals
The rateable value of a business property is not decided by us. It is set by the VOA.
To find out a rateable value or dispute your rateable value, contact their offices by email on email@example.com or call 0300 0501 501.
There’s a step-by-step guide on how to challenge a business rates valuation on the gov.uk website.
Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.
Ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.
Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) regularly updates the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic properties (properties that are not just private homes) in England and Wales. This is called a revaluation.
Rateable values are the amount of rent a property could have been let for on a set valuation date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021.
We use these rateable values to calculate business rates bills.
Revaluations are carried out to reflect changes in the property market, which means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date information.
The next revaluation will come into effect on 1 April 2023.
Contacting the Valuation Office Agency
We are responsible for anything to do with your business rates bill. The VOA is responsible for the valuation of your property. You will therefore need to contact the VOA for all queries about your rateable value.
Finding your rateable value
You are now able to see the future rateable value for your property and get an estimate of what your 2023/24 business rates bill may be. You can do this through the VOA’s Find a Business Rates Valuation Service on GOV.UK.
Your property details need changing
To tell the VOA about changes to your property details (such as floor area sizes and parking) you need a business rates valuation account. The VOA may accept your changes and update the current and future valuations.
Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account
You think your rateable value is too high
From 1 April 2023, you will need to use a business rates valuation account to tell the VOA you think your rateable value is too high. You must continue to pay your business rates as normal until a decision has been made.
Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account ready for 1 April 2023.
How Coronavirus (COVID-19) affected future rateable values
The VOA bases most rateable values on an estimate of what it would cost to rent a property for a year, starting on a certain date.
For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021. This was during the pandemic and the rent information the VOA used reflected this.