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What are business rates?

Business 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.

Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, 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. We will send you a business rates bill each year.

Roles and responsibilities

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) sets the rateable value of business premises by using property details such as rental information.

We use the rateable value and the business rates multiplier (set by central government) to calculate your business rates bill.

What is the rateable value?

The rateable value is assessed by the VOA, which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs.

A 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 2023, the rateable values will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015.
  • From 1 April 2023, the rateable values will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2021.

If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can find and view your property details here: find and check your business rates valuation

What is a revaluation?

The VOA regularly updates the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic properties (properties that are not just private homes) in England and Wales. This is called a revaluation. The latest revaluation comes into effect 1 April 2023.

Rateable values are the amount of rent a property could have been let for on a set valuation date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021.

We use these rateable values to calculate business rates bills.

Revaluations are carried out to reflect changes in the property market, which means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date information.

How can I find out more about revaluation?

For more information on the 2023 revaluation, rateable values, and business rates go to introduction to business rates.

Transitional relief

We put in place transitional arrangements (also known as transitional relief) which limit how much your bill can change each year as a result of revaluation. This means changes increases to your bill are phased in gradually, if you're eligible.

You get transitional relief if your:

  • property is in England
  • rates go up by more than a certain amount

We will adjust your bill automatically if you're eligible, and this will show on the front of your bill.

How much your bill can change by

How much your bill can change by from one year to the next depends on:

  • your property's rateable value

You stop getting transitional relief when your bill reaches the full amount set by a revaluation.

Non-domestic rating multiplier

The non-domestic rating multipliers are set by the government each year. For 2024/25 this has been set at 54.6p for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 and above and 49.9p for properties with a rateable value up to £50,999.

When the rateable value is multiplied by the relevant non-domestic rating multiplier, this gives the basic amount you must pay for the financial year.

This figure could be further adjusted as a result of any relief you may be entitled to.  See our rate relief page for more information.

What if I think my rateable value or rating list entry is incorrect?

If you think either your rateable value or rating list entry is incorrect, you can make an appeal to the VOA asking for it to be changed. See our business rates appeals page for more information.