How Business Rates Are Worked Out

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values.

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of the bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. The latest valuation was effective from April 2017.

The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. 

For any information regarding valuation including grounds on which you can challenge your valuation can be found on the VOA website.

Please note that even if you have appealed against your rateable value, you must still pay your rates bill. You cannot withhold payment while you wait for the results of your appeal.

The local authority works out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by a "multiplier"; set every year by the government.

National Non-Domestic Rating Multiplier

There are in fact two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation. Generally, the multipliers increase in line with inflation according to the Retail Price Index in September of the preceding year.

Between revaluations the multipliers change each year in line with inflation and to take account of the cost of small business rate relief. In the year of revaluation the multipliers are rebased to account for overall changes to total rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

Transitional Arrangements

Property values normally change a good deal between each revaluation.

Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting increases in bills. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier).

For more details of the transitional arrangements from April 2017 please contact our Business Rates office.


The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has now updated the rateable values of all business properties.

This is known as a revaluation. Your business rates will be calculated using the new rateable values from April 2017.

New rateable values are now ready to view and check online.

For more information please see the attached Icon for pdf flyer [133.1KB] or visit's revaluation of business rates page.