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Your business rates bill

The business rates financial year runs from 1 April to 31 March. You will be sent a bill at the beginning of each financial year.

You will automatically be given 10 monthly instalments (April to January) in which to pay the annual charge. However, if you wish your payments to be spread over 12 months, please contact us.

If your circumstances change, please let us know immediately, so that an adjusted bill can be issued.

Your bill is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the business rates multiplier. For more information about your Business Rates bill please see the explanatory notes below:

There are two multipliers set by the Government each year. Normally each year the multiplier will only change by inflation. However where a revaluation occurs, the multiplier will also be adjusted to take into account the change in total rateable value between the old and the new Valuation List.

For 2019/20, the standard multiplier is 50.4p and the small business multiplier is 49.1p.

For 2020/21, the standard multiplier is 51.2p and the small business multiplier is 49.9p.

The Small Business Multiplier is used where a property:

  • is occupied, and
  • has a rateable value of less than £51,000, and
  • is not in receipt of a Mandatory Relief

If the above three criteria are not met, the standard multiplier will be used to calculate your bill.

Each business property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of HM Revenue & Customs.  The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date.

The rateable value of your property will be shown on the front of your bill. You can also check your rateable value online.

Appealing against your rateable value

You can appeal against the valuation, but only if your rateable value is incorrect. This would be due to a material change in the property's circumstances:

  • a change in its physical state of use
  • a physical change in the locality
  • a change in the use of a neighbouring property

To make an appeal, please contact the Valuation Office Advice Line on 03000 501 501.

Legally, rates are payable even if an appeal is underway. Any rates overpaid will be refunded and credited, with interest where appropriate.

Rating advisers

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.

At revalutation, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) adjusts the rateable value of business properties to reflect changes in the property market.

It usually happens every 5 years. The most recent revaluation came into effect in England and Wales on 1 April 2017, based on rateable values from 1 April 2015.

Property values normally change a good deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amount by which a bill may rise following a revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills after revaluation, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills.​

Under the transitional scheme, limits (value of x) ​continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times multiplier). The inflation element for 2020/21 is 1.02 (Value of Q).

The table below shows transitional arrangements following the 2017 revaluation. Upwards caps show the maximum percentage by which your bill can increase. Downwards caps show the maximum percentage by which your bill can decrease.


Small property - rateable value £1 to £20,000

Medium property - rateable value £20,001 to £100,000

Large property - rateable value £101,000 and above

The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after 1 April 2017, transitional arrangements will not normally apply. Changes to your bill as a result of other reasons (such as changes to your Small Business Rate Relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.

Transitional arrangements are applied automatically and are shown on the front of your bill.​

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