Business rates explanatory notes
Non-Domestic Rates, or business rates, collected by us 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 1 April 2013, we keep a proportion of the business rates paid locally. The money, together with revenue from council tax payers, locally generated income and grants from central government, is used to pay for the services provided by us. Further information about the business rates system, may be obtained at introduction to business rates.
Business rates instalments
Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10-monthly cycle. However, the Government has put in place regulations that allow ratepayers to make payments through 12 monthly instalments. If you wish to take up this offer, you should contact us as soon as possible.
National non-domestic rating multiplier
We work out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate non-domestic multiplier. There are two multipliers:
- the standard non-domestic rating multiplier
- the small business non-domestic rating multiplier
The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year, except in the City of London where special arrangements apply.
Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are neither entitled to certain other mandatory relief[s] nor liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the standard non-domestic rating multiplier.
Both multipliers for a financial year are based on the previous year’s multiplier adjusted to reflect the Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation figure for the September prior to the billing year, unless a lower multiplier is set by the Government.
The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.
Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of His Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They compile and maintain a full list of all rateable values. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date specified in legislation. For the current rating list, this date was set as 1 April 2021.
The VOA may alter the valuation if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also check and challenge the valuation shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.
Further information about the grounds on which challenges may be made and the process for doing so can be obtained by contacting the VOA, or by consulting the VOA website.
All non-domestic property rateable values are reassessed at revaluations. The most recent revaluation took effect from 1 April 2023. Revaluations ensure that business rates bills are up-to-date and more accurately reflect current rental values and relative changes in rents. Frequent revaluations ensure the system continues to be responsive to changing economic conditions.
Business rate reliefs
Depending on individual circumstances, a ratepayer may be eligible for a rate relief (that is a reduction in their business rates bill). There are a range of available reliefs. Further details are provided at business rate reliefs and exemptions.
Some of the permanent reliefs are set out below but other temporary reliefs may be introduced by the Government at a fiscal event. Further detail on current temporary reliefs is available business rate relief. You should contact us for details on the latest availability of business rate reliefs and advice on whether you may qualify.
The new UK subsidy control regime commenced from 4 January 2023. The new regime enables public authorities, including devolved administrations and local authorities, to deliver subsidies that are tailored for local needs. Public authorities giving subsidies must comply with the UK’s international subsidy control commitments.
The subsidy control legislation provides the framework for a new, UK-wide subsidy control regime. Further information on subsidy control can be found on the gov.uk website
Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. However, 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 or company you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.
Information supplied with demand notices
Information relating to the relevant and previous financial years in regard to the gross expenditure is available on request by writing to us or call 0300 126 7000.
Last updated 20 March 2023