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Business rates

Business Rates which are also known as National Non-Domestic Rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business property, in the same way that Council Tax is a tax on domestic property.

Properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories are subject to Business Rates, but 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.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) which is an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, sets the Rateable Value of business premises by using property details such as rental information.

The 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.

Until 31 March 2017, the Rateable Values will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008.

From 1 April 2017, the Rateable Values will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015.

We will calculate your bill by multiplying your Rateable Value by a factor set by central Government each year; this is known as the "multiplier". 

The two multipliers for 2017/2018 are 47.9p (0.479) for the standard multiplier and 46.6p (0.466) for the small business multiplier. We then apply any rate relief or adjustments that are due and send you a Business Rates bill annually and also whenever there is a change in liability or your payments.

Your Bill

Your bill details your Business Rate liability less any entitlement to reliefs or exemptions; it also explains when payment is due and how payments should be made.

The Explanatory Notes which normally accompany your bill are now available on-line although we are happy to provide a printed copy should you need one. The Explanatory Notes are worded by Central Governement. Explanatory Notes PDF (76 KB)

Revalulation 2017

There has been a revaluation of all Non-Domestic property effective from 1 April 2017 and your new Rateable Value is shown on your bill or alternatively you can locate it on the VOA website External Hyperlink

The VOA regularly reassess and update the Rateable Values of all business properties, this is called a Revaluation and usually occurs every five years, although the last revaluation took place in 2010. Revaluations are done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in Business Rates, reflecting changes in the property market. A revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.

For more information on the 2017 Revaluation, Rateable Values, and Business Rates go to External Hyperlink

Paying your business rates

You can pay your business rates in several ways and in the paying your business rates section you can see the options available and what you should do if you are having problems making payment.

Reliefs and exemptions

In some circumstances, you may not need to pay the full amount of business rates and some properties may be exempt. You can find out about these different discounts and exemptions on the reliefs and exemptions webpage.

Spring Budget 2017

The Chancellor announced some measures to bring additional relief to ratepayers in his spring budget on 8 March 2017:

  1. No business, losing small business rate relief as a result of the revaluation will see their bill increase next year by more than £50 a month.
  2. Local pubs (those with a Rateable Value of less than £100,000) will have a £1,000 discount on their business rates bill.
  3. The Government will provide a £300m fund for local councils to offer discretionary relief for business in hardship cases.

We don't know the detail of these reductions yet, but will publish more information when available.

How are your business rates calculated?

Find out how your business rates are calculated and how you may be affected by the transition scheme on the business rates calculation section.

Have your circumstances changed?

If you move into or out of business premises, you must provide us with specific information. In the change of circumstances section, you can see what information we need from you and when.

For more information, contact our business rates team on 01329 824651 or e-mail us at



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