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.
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 VOA regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties, usually every five years. This is called a revaluation.
Revaluation maintains fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market; it does not raise extra revenue overall.