Guide to Business Rates

This guide explains what Business Rates are and how we calculate the amount you pay.

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Revaluation 2017

From 1 April 2017 Business Rates will be calculated using a new rateable value.

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Annual bill - 2017/18

You will be aware that the Chancellor, in his Budget Statement, announced a number of measures designed to help businesses with the impact of the 2017 Revaluation.

As is often the case with such announcements, there is a considerable amount of detail which is released in the following days. This is the case with the Business Rates measures and, as a result, it was not possible to include their impact in your initial bills.  

As an example, the Government announced a discretionary fund to allow councils to support local businesses impacted by the Revaluation. This measure is subject to a Government consultation process which ends on 7 April. Only then will we be able to confirm our share of the funding and finalise our scheme.

We will implement the measures as soon as it is practicable. In the meantime you must make payments as normal based on the bill you have received.

Overview

Business Rates is a local tax paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic or business properties. Business Rates are charged on most business properties such as:

  • Shops
  • Offices
  • Pubs
  • Warehouses
  • Factories

If a building is used for non-domestic purposes it is likely to be rateable, even if it is not used for a business.

We send out an annual bill every March, which is payable the following tax year.

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How the money is used

Some of the money collected from Business Rates is paid to the Government, who then share a portion between each Council.

We also keep some of the money raised, to pay towards providing Council services. These include social services for adults and children, arts, leisure and sports services. From 2020 onwards we will keep all the money raised from Business Rates.

This Guide to Council Tax and Business Rates (pdf, 253 KB) explains how the Council spends its funds.

How much you pay

Business Rates are worked out based on the rateable value of your property. This is the price the property could have been rented out for on 1 April 2015, which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The rateable value is then multiplied by a 'multiplier' amount, which is set by the Government, to give your annual rate.

Find and check your rateable value

Multiplier amount

2017/18

  • Standard amount: 47.9p per pound
  • Small Business Rate Relief amount: 46.6p per pound

Part year occupation

If you occupy a property for part of the year, your rate will be calculated on a pro rata basis as follows:

  • Full annual rate, multiplied by number of days occupied, divided by the number of days in that year (365, or 366 if it is a leap year).

Reductions

You may be entitled to a reduction on your annual Business Rate. You will need to apply to be considered for any type of reduction:

Transitional relief

Transitional relief is designed to reduce the impact of any significant changes in the rateable value after a revaluation, whether the change is up or down. If your business is entitled to transitional relief, the reduction will be applied to your bill automatically.

How to pay

You can pay your Business Rates in 10 or 12 monthly instalments, or on an annual or quarterly basis. You can set up a direct debit or choose from a number of other payment options.

Find out more

Business Rates Supplements

A Business Rate Supplement (BRS) is an increased amount which is added on to your annual rate, to help pay toward projects to develop the economy in your area. The Greater London Authority (GLA) decides when a BRS should apply and the amount payable.

The maximum supplement which can be added is 2p per pound of the property's rateable value.

You will be charged a supplement if your property has a rateable value of £70,000 or more, within Greater London.

Current BRS payable

Change in circumstances

You must let us know if you change your business address by moving within or out of the borough.

If there are any changes to your premises or the type of business you run, you should contact the VOA. This to ensure you continue to pay the correct rate.

Appeal a decision

If you believe that your rateable value is too high you may have grounds to appeal.

For a detailed explanation of the appeals process, visit business rates appeals (GOV.UK)

You must continue to pay the current rateable value during any appeals process.

More information

Find out how we deal with Freedom of Information requests about Business Rates.

For other queries, please contact us.

Updated: 12 May 2017