What are business rates?
Collected by local authorities, they 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 1st 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 taxpayers, the revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by local authorities in your area. Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, can be viewed at gov.uk
How your business rates are spent
Please see the Downloads section to view the leaflets that would normally be included with your business rate bill, explaining where your money goes to. This includes details of the total cost of services including Police and Fire Authorities.
The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) assess the rateable value of non-domestic (business) properties. Local Authorities use the rateable value to calculate business rates charges.
The VOA reassesses and updates the rateable value of all non-domestic (business) properties. This process is called a Revaluation, and should now take place every 3 years, with the next one due to come into effect on 1 April 2026
The latest revaluation came into effect on 1 April 2023. All properties have their rateable value assessed on an estimate of the annual rent payable. This treats the property as if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date of 1 April 2021.
To work out the annual business rates, we multiply the rateable value of the property by a ‘multiplier’ figure. This is set by Central Government effective from 1 April every year. The appropriate ‘multiplier’ is shown on the front of your business rates bill.
If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can view, check and challenge the rateable value of your property on the VOA website.
If you are still not satisfied you can appeal with the VOA.
If you need anything else, you can contact the VOA directly
The government sets two multipliers each year - the Small Business Multiplier is for occupied premises with a rateable value of less than £51,000 that are not entitled to Mandatory relief. The Standard Multiplier is used for all other business premises.
Small Business Multiplier
As a result of the 2023 revaluation, you may find your bill has either increased or decreased.
Transitional arrangements are in place to help phase in the effects of these increases. This is by setting limits that restrict increase in bills after a revaluation. Limits continue to apply to yearly changes until the true charge is reached.
You can find any transitional adjustments on the front of the rates bill.
Calculating transitional arrangement
To calculate the transitional arrangement in any year, we first look at the business rates payable from 31 March of the previous financial year. We also take into account the increase in the retail prices index.
The limit by which the business rates for a property may change depends on the size of the property:
- Large Property - rateable value £100,001 plus
- Medium Property- rateable value £20,001 to £100,000
- Small Property - rateable value up to £20,000
The limits set for increases in business rates
More than £100,000
More than £20,000 &
Less than or = to £100,000
There are no limits for bills decreasing due to the 2023 revaluation. Any bills decreasing will pay the true charge straight away.