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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 2018/2019 are 49.3p (0.493) for the standard multiplier and 48.0p (0.480) 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 online although we are happy to provide a printed copy should you need one. The Explanatory Notes are worded by Central Government. Explanatory Notes PDF (39 KB)

Revalulation 2017

There has been a revaluation of all Non-Domestic property effective from 1 April 2017, your 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:

Supporting Small Businesses

A new scheme of Small Business Relief for those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR), following the revaluation.

For 2016/17, eligible ratepayers with a Rateable Value less than or equal to £6,000 are entitled to 100% SBRR. Those with a Rateable Value of between £6,000 and £12,000 enjoy tapered relief from 100% to 0%. Following the measures in the 2016 Budget, these thresholds were increased from 1 April 2017 to £12,000 for the 100% relief and £15,000 for the tapered relief. This ensures that most ratepayers currently entitled to SBRR will pay less or nothing following the revaluation. However, some ratepayers that are facing large increases in their Rateable Value will lose some or all of this relief

To support these ratepayers, the Supporting Small Businesses Relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of these ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

A percentage increase per annum. of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% from 2017/18 to 2021/22 (plus inflation), or

A cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after SBRR are brought into paying something.

In the first year of the scheme, this means all ratepayers losing some or all of their SBRR will see the increase in their business rate bill capped at £600. The cash minimum increase is £600 per year thereafter. This means that ratepayers who were paying nothing previously, losing all of their entitlement to relief (i.e. moving from £6,000 rateable value or less to more than £15,000) would under this scheme be paying £3,000 by year 5.

Those on the Supporting Small Businesses Relief scheme, whose 2017 Rateable Values are £51,000 or more, will not be liable to pay the Business Rate supplement (1.3p) to fund SBRR while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme. A change of ratepayer will not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or Community Amateur Sports Club.

There is no need to apply for this relief as we will identify all eligible properties.  However please contact us if you have any questions

Pub Relief

The Government has funded a relief scheme for pubs that have a Rateable Value below £100,000, as it recognises the important role that pubs play in urban and rural communities across the country. Under the scheme, eligible pubs will receive up to a £1000 discount on their bill. The relief will have effect for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 years only.

Eligibility for the relief and the relief itself will be assessed and calculated on a daily basis

There is no definitive description of a traditional pub or public house in law which could be readily used to determine eligibility for relief.

The Government's policy intention is that eligible pubs should:

Guidance issued by Government suggests the following venues should be excluded from the scheme, but makes it clear that this list is not exhaustive and it will be for the Local Authority to determine cases.

We will require you to complete an application to claim this relief, please print and complete this form PDF (88 KB)and either send it or e-mail to us.

Revaluation Discretionary Relief

An additional £300m of funding has been made available nationally, over a 4 year period, for local Authorities to support businesses who have suffered the largest increases in their Business Rate Bills.

Fareham will be allocated £311,000 of the funding split over the 4 year period, distributed as:

The share of funding for each Authority has been calculated based on the total increase in 2017 bills excluding the impact of reliefs, for every rateable property:

Fareham has a duty to design and scheme and allocate the funding and our scheme uses the criteria above but only awards relief where the increase is above £600 (comparing your bills with your 2016/2017 Rate Bill).  The relief will be distributed proportionately in line with the % increase in rates bill (around 41% on the increase above the first £600) in addition the property must be occupied on 31 March 2017 & 1 April 2017.

We have written to all those businesses that are eligible to receive relief, if you are granted relief it will be applied on a pro rata basis from 1st April 2017  (or the date your account was closed). If your account balance is clear, a refund will be issued to you. If your account is in arrears, the relief will be used to reduce those arrears.

You will be required to confirm that the receipt of this relief will not be contrary to State Aid rules. This issue is most likely to affect businesses that are part of a national chain rather than independently owned, but you may need to seek your own advice on this subject.

We will also carefully consider applications from businesses who are suffering severe hardship due to the revaluation of their property, each case will be considered on its merits

In order to apply for this relief, please complete and return the attached form PDF (153 KB)   

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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