Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, pubs and factories.
Who has to pay?
Business rates are usually paid by the occupier of the non-domestic property. If the property is empty, the owner or leaseholder will be liable.
Further information can be found on pages 35-38 of the Council Tax Information Booklet 2017/18.
How much will I have to pay?
Every non-domestic property has a rateable value, which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HMRC, unless it is exempt from rating (for example, churches, farm buildings and buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people).
You can check the rateable value of a property on the VOA’s website.
You can also check if you qualify for any reductions, reliefs or exemptions from your business rates.
We calculate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value of your property against a multiplier, which is set each year by the government. The multiplier indicates the percentage, or pence in the pound, of the rateable value that you will pay in business rates.
There are two multipliers for the financial year 2017/18:
the standard multiplier is 47.9p
the small business multiplier is 46.6p.
A property has a rateable value of £20,000. The rates (not including any exemptions, reductions or relief) would be:
- £20,000 x 0.479 = £9,580
A small business has a rateable value of £12,000. The rates (not including any exemptions, reductions or relief) would be:
- £12,000 x 0.466 - £5,592
Factors such as rate relief, exemptions and reductions may reduce how much you pay.
See the Reductions, Reliefs and Exemptions page for further information.
Do I have to pay business rates if I work from home?
If you work at, or from, home you may have to pay business rates on the area used for business purposes and council tax for the rest of the property.
Check and challenge your rateable value
If you think your rateable value isn’t correct, you can ask the VOA to reassess it. There is no charge to make an appeal.
Further information can be found in GOV.UK's guidance on how to check, challenge and appeal your rateable value.
You can check and challenge your rateable value online via GOV.UK.
Alternatively you can telephone the VOA on 03000 501501 or write to the local office:
Non-Domestic Rating East
Valuation Office Agency
Roseberry Court, Central Avenue
St Andrews Business Park
If the VOA agrees with your appeal, or if you reach an agreement on another figure, the rateable value will be changed. If an agreement cannot be reached, the dispute can be passed to the Valuation Tribunal.
You must continue to pay your bill even if you have appealed against the rateable value.
View information about business rate appeal scams.
Change of circumstances
You must let us know of any changes in your circumstances that may affect your business rates liability. Please let us know if:
- you change address
- your property changes from empty to occupied (or vice versa)
- you believe that you are entitled to, or no longer entitled to, relief
- the VOA amends the rateable value of a property outside of our area.
We will re-calculate your liability and send you an amended bill.
You can let us know by using one of the links below or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I report a change of address?
You can report a change of address online:Report Moving Into a Property
Report Moving Out of a Property
or you can download the form and return it to us:Download Form to Report Moving In or Out of a Property