About business rates bills

The amount of business rates payable on a property is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate rating multiplier.

Rateable value of your property

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of HM Revenues and Customs. It draws up and maintains a full list of all rateable values, available on its website at www.voa.gov.uk.

The rateable value of your property broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. The valuation officer may alter the value if the circumstances of the property have changed.

The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.

Further information about making appeals can be found on www.voa.gov.uk or from your local valuation office (see contact details below). 

The Valuation Office
St Peters House
45 Victoria Street
St Albans
Herts
AL1 3UG
Telephone: 03000 501501

Rating adviser

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) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) 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.

National non-domestic rating multiplier

The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England. It normally changes both multipliers every year in line with inflation. By law, the multipliers cannot go up by more than the rate of inflation apart from some minor adjustments to counteract losses from appeals and, in relation to the standard multiplier, to pay for small business rate relief.

In the year of a revaluation it is set at a level which will keep the total amount raised in rates after the revaluation the same as before, plus inflation for that year.

The national non-domestic rating multiplier is the rate in the pound that is then multiplied by the rateable value of a property to produce the annual rates bill. It is set annually by the government and, except in a revaluation year, cannot, by law, rise by more than the amount of the increase in the retail prices index.

The multiplier for 2016-2017 is 49.7p.
For properties subject to small business rates relief, the multiplier is 48.4p.