What are Business Rates?

Business Rates (also known as Non-Domestic Rates) are a tax payable for all occupied and some unoccupied business premises. 

They are collected by local authorities and 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 including the Police and Fire Authorities.  

Further information about the business rates system, including transitional and other reliefs, can be viewed at www.gov.uk 

Who pays Business Rates? 


All properties liable for rates are given a rateable value (RV) by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), and the council issues bills based on these values. 

If a property is occupied, the person or company occupying it is liable for rates. This is the case even if a lease or licence agreement states otherwise, or there is no formal agreement to occupy. 

It is charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, a property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it is used for any purposes which are not domestic, it is likely to be rateable. 

If a property is unoccupied, empty rates will be charged to the person entitled to possession. Empty properties may be exempt for up to three months (non-industrial properties) or six months (industrial properties). 

For holiday lets and self catering further information can be found on the Valuation Office Agency website. 

Some non-domestic properties are exempt from rates. The most common types are farmland and buildings, churches, sewers and public parks, or those whose RV is below a certain threshold. 

What are Multipliers? 

From 1 April 2005 there are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.  

The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England. The Government normally changes both multipliers every year in line with inflation. 

  • The Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2022/2023 is 51.2p 
  • The Small Business Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2022/2023 is 49.9p 
  • The Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2021/2022 is 51.2p 
  • The Small Business Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2021/2022 is 49.9p 
  • The Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2020/2021 is 51.2p 
  • The Small Business Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2020/2021 is 49.9p 
  • The Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2019/2020 is 50.4p 
  • The Small Business Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2019/2020 is 49.1p 

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. 


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