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Rating

We work with occupiers and investors to deliver the lowest possible rates liability for your business.

We are able to provide a practical and reliable rating service across the main property types that will enable an occupier to determine if the rating valuation is correct and the opportunities for an appeal. If there are savings available then we will ensure that they are secured on your behalf.

Information from the VO website that you might find helpful

1. Overview

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, like:

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • holiday rental homes or guest houses

You’ll probably have to pay business rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

Business rates are handled differently in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

What to pay and when

Your local council will send you a business rates bill in February or March each year. This is for the following tax year. You can also estimate your business rates bill.

Contact your council if you have any questions about your bill, for example you want to pay in instalments.

Contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) instead if you think your property’s ‘rateable value’ is wrong.

Relief schemes

You may be able to get business rates relief from your local council. This is sometimes automatic, but you may need to apply.

The process depends on where you are. Find out about business rates relief in:

Who doesn’t need to pay

You may not have to pay business rates on:

  • farm buildings and land (excluding buildings used as offices or for other business activities)
  • fish farms
  • places of public religious worship, for example registered buildings and church halls (except in Scotland – you apply for relief for these buildings instead of being exempt)
  • buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people (except in Scotland – you apply for relief for these buildings instead of being exempt)

However, there are strict legal requirements for these exemptions.

If you think your business’s property should be exempt you need to appeal to the VOA.

2. How your rates are calculated

England and Wales

Business rates are worked out based on your property’s ‘rateable value’.

This is its open market rental value on 1 April 2008, based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

You can estimate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value by the correct ‘multiplier’ (an amount set by central government).

Your bill will be reduced if your property’s eligible for business rates relief.

If you’re asked to provide rental information

The VOA may ask you to provide rental information about your property so they can work out its rateable value.

Contact the VOA if you need more time to send in your rental information.

3. Business Rate Relief

Some properties are eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates. This is called ‘business rates relief’.

Rates relief is handled differently in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

You have to apply for some types of relief:

Exempted buildings and empty buildings relief is automatically applied by your local council.

Some local councils give extra discounts. For example, you may be able to get hardship relief or transitional rate relief if your business meets certain criteria.

Contact your local council if you’re not getting a relief you think you’re entitled to.

If your premises are affected by local disruption

You may get a temporary reduction in your business rates if your premises are affected by severe local disruption (eg flooding, building or road works).

Contact the Valuation Office Agency (or your local assessor in Scotland) to find out if you can claim.

4. Small business rate relief

You can get small business rate relief if:

  • your business only uses one property
  • your property’s rateable value is less than £12,000

Contact your local council to apply for small business rate relief.

What you get

You won’t pay business rates on properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less until 31 March 2017. This is double the usual rate of 50%.

The rate of relief goes down gradually from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.

Examples

If your rateable value is £10,500, you’ll get 25% off your bill. If your rateable value is £9,000, you’ll get 50% off.

If you use more than one property

You can get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,600.

The rateable values of the properties are added together and the relief applied to the main property.

You’ll keep getting any existing relief for one year when you get a second property.

You’re a small business but don’t qualify for relief

If your property has a rateable value below £18,000 (£25,500 in Greater London) you’re considered a small business.

Even if you don’t qualify for small business rate relief, your business rates will be calculated using the small business multiplier instead of the standard one. This is the case even if your business uses more than one property.

The multiplier shows the percentage (pence in the pound) of the rateable value that you pay in business rates. You can see a list of current multipliers on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website.