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Business rates

moneyHow much are business rates?

The Government has fixed a national rate of 51.2p in the pound for 2020-2021, and 49.9p in the pound for Small Business Rate Relief.

We collect Business Rates - or Non-Domestic Rates on behalf of the government, which contribute towards the costs of local services. Under the business rates retention arrangements we keep a proportion of the local rates. The person or company who actually occupies a non-domestic property usually pays the rates. Often this will also be the owner or leaseholder of the property.

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What properties count as non-domestic?

Any property that is not solely intended for use as a residence will be liable including shops, offices, factories and warehouses. Holiday homes available for commercial letting for 140 days a year or more will be charged. If you offer bed and breakfast to six people or less within your own home, you will not pay Non-Domestic Rates.

How are Business Rates calculated?

Business Rates are calculated by multiplying the rateable value of your property by a figure that is set by the Government. This is called the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

The amount you pay may be adjusted depending on transitional arrangements or other reliefs that you may be eligible for.

What is a rateable value?

All non-domestic properties have a rateable value, which broadly represents the annual rent that the property could have been let for on the open market in 2015. The rateable value of non-domestic property is fixed in most cases by an independent Valuation Officer of the Valuation Office Agency.

All non-domestic properties have been re-valued in 2017.

Information on rateable values can also be found on the Valuation Office Agency's website at

The valuation officer may alter the rateable value of a property if its circumstances have changed. The ratepayer (and others who have an interest in the property) can also ask for a change in the rateable value, if they think the circumstances of the property have changed, or if you think the rateable value is wrong. If the ratepayer and the valuation officer do not agree about the rateable value, the ratepayer can appeal to a tribunal.

Information about the circumstances that may change the rateable value of your property is available from the valuation office on the VOA website at

Are any properties exempt from rates?

Some properties are exempt: farm land/buildings, churches, sewers and public parks. Empty properties may be exempt for three months or longer in certain circumstances. For further information please refer to exemptions, reliefs and reductions.

Do I have to pay if I have appealed against the rateable value?

Whilst an appeal is being dealt with by the valuation officer, you are legally obliged to pay Business Rates based on the current rateable value of your property.

You cannot withhold payment until the outcome of your appeal and we can take legal action to recover any unpaid rates if necessary.

Do you share my business rates records with other organisations?

The information you give us is used and held in accordance with the Local Government Finance Act 1988, and the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998. Requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 may ask for general information regarding limited companies and PLCs which we will supply as they are not covered by the Data Protection Act.  

We have a duty to protect public funds and we may use business rates data in cross system and cross comparison checks to ensure our records are correct. We may also disclose relevant information to other council departments where it is necessary and lawful to do so. We may also share information with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds.  

Rating Advisors

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS - website and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV - website are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance. Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.

Contact: Tel: 01827 709530. Email: