Business rates

All non-domestic properties, mostly businesses, have a rateable value which is based on an assessment of the annual rent of a property if it was available to let on the open market. The amount you pay will be calculated on the rateable value of your premises. That's not the same as the amount of rent you pay. Business Rates are a contribution made by businesses towards the cost of all services provided. The money we collect is shared between the Government, Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council. This income, along with council tax and other income raised through chargeable services, as well as both general and specific grants, is used to pay for local services.
  • Business rates annual bill

    Your bill will be issued by us in March each year. If you need to register for business rates or want a copy of your bill please contact us.

    You could sign up to our eCitizen scheme and view everything securely online. You can also make a payment online.

    If you are interested in appealing against your rateable value, you should contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). If you cannot agree, your case will be referred to a tribunal.

  • Business rates data

    Business rates data reports are available. The reports outline business rates information for companies and organisations that we can disclose under the Freedom of Information act 2000.

    To view this information please click on the more information link to our Information page. The reports can be found under the Freedom of Information section.

  • Business rates payment

    Direct debit
    Direct debit is the most efficient way to pay. You can pay by instalment​s over 10 or 12 months with a choice of payment dates, the 1st, 15th or 28th of each month.

    Why pay by direct debit?
    • You have a choice of payment date
    • You don't have to remember to pay on the due date
    • You only need to sign one instruction unlike standing order, which must be renewed each year
    • No more cheques to write or letters to post
    • No more queuing to pay
    • Your bank or building society will make an immediate refund if any payment breaks the terms of your instruction
    • You can cancel the instruction at any time just by contacting your bank/building society

    You can set up a direct debit online or telephone us.

    You will need to have your debit or credit card and your business rate account reference number to hand, you can find the number on your bill.

    We accept Switch, Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Delta, Solo, JCB and Visa Purchasing.

    By telephone

    You can pay 24/7 by credit or debit card through our automated telephone payments system. Call 01257 511000 and quote your account reference number from your bill and your card details.
    At any Post Office or PayPoint outlet
    You can make your payment at Post Office and PayPoint outlets. Please take your bill with a barcode on the front when making payment and allow three working days for payment to reach your account.
    Through your bank/online banking
    You can arrange payment through your bank by quoting:
    A/C Name: Chorley Borough Council Collections Account
    Sort Code: 20-69-93
    A/C No: 63417069
    Account Branch Details: 23 Market Street, Chorley, Lancashire, PR7 2SY
    Please remember to quote your business rate account reference number with all payments and ensure that payment reaches us by the due date on your bill.
    If you opt to pay by instalments, they must be paid in line with the schedule set out on your bill. You can view your account and any correspondence online through eCitizen. If you need any help or advice or are struggling to pay your bill please contact us.

    Notes on paying business rates
    • It is important to make payment on the date shown on the bill, paying your bill later in the month will not always   
      avoid recovery

    • If you miss an instalment you will get a reminder
    • If you pay and future instalments remain up to date, no further action will be taken
    • If you fail to pay a second instalment, you will be asked to settle the full outstanding balance within seven days
    • At this point, we will not accept a payment bringing instalments up to date 
    • If it is not paid a summons will be issued and costs incurred. We will also apply for a Liability Order, resulting in 
      further costs for you

    • A Liability Order provides us with the power to send an enforcement agent to seize your goods
    • The agent can then auction the goods to pay the bill and their fees, which could be significant
  • Business rates - rateable value

    The rateable value of a property is shown in the current rating list which came into effect on 1 April 2017 and is based on a valuation date of 1 April 2015 - all properties are valued from the same date to ensure that they are assessed on an equal basis. The VOA gathers as much evidence as possible about actual rents paid for properties in order to determine appropriate values.

    You can check the rateable value of a property on the Valuation Office Agency website. The rateable value of your property is not the amount you pay in business rates, but it is the basis for the calculation of your business rates bill.
    We calculate your bill by multiplying your rateable value by a factor set by central government each year. This is known as the multiplier or Uniform Business Rate (UBR). Any rate relief or other adjustment to which you are entitled will then be applied by the local authority.

  • Business rates reductions and exemptions

    You could be entitled to business rate relief, a reduction, discount or even exemption. There are different types of relief available, but you must apply for them if you think you're eligible.

    Exempt properties
    There are some properties that are classed as 'non-domestic' but do not have to pay business rates, which include:
    • Agricultural land and buildings
    • Fish farms
    • Churches and other places of worship
    • Public parks
    • Certain property used for disabled people
    • Swinging moorings for boats

    Empty property relief
    Once a property becomes empty, the first three months are exempt from rates (six months in the case of an empty industrial property). After this the full 100% rates are payable. There are certain types of empty property where no rates are payable even after the three (or six) month period expires - examples include:
    • Properties with a rateable value under £2,900 (£2,600 from April 1 2010 - April 1 2017).
    • Listed buildings
    • Those formerly occupied by companies in administration or a bankrupt person
    • Properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs
    • Those where the owner is the personal representative of a deceased person

    If you are only using part of your premises there is provision for temporary relief. Please contact us for more details. You should also let us know of any changes in circumstances.

    Small business rate relief
    You can get help through the Small Business Rate Relief scheme if:
    • You only use one property and
    • Your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000

    If you qualify, and the rateable value of your property is less than £12,000, you will get 100% relief. If the rateable value of your property is between £12,001 and £14,999, the amount of relief available declines on a sliding scale. Please see the chart below for approximate percentage relief levels. 

    ​​Rateable Value Approximate Percentage Reductions ​
    ​Rateable Value ​Percentage Reduction
    ​£12,000 and under ​100%
    ​£12,500 ​83%
    ​£13,000 ​67%
    ​£13,500 ​50%
    ​£14,000 ​33%
    ​£14,500 ​17%
    ​£15,000 and above ​​0%
    You can apply for small business rate relief by downloading our application form and returning it to us. Applications can be made retrospectively for financial years 2012/13 onwards. More details can be found on the application form and the FAQs on our website.

    Discretionary Rate Relief
    More details about the types of mandatory and discretionary reliefs available can be found in the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.

    Other Discretionary Reliefs include:
    • Charitable relief - Registered charities, registered community amateur sports clubs and some other non-profit organisations may qualify for mandatory or charitable relief

    • Local Discretionary Relief (Revaluation) - Chorley Council's Local Discretionary Relief (Revaluation) scheme has been designed to provide support to local businesses from 2017-18 to 2020-21 where the rateable value is less than £200,000, the 2017-18 bill has increased by more than 12.5% as a direct result of the 2017 revaluation and the property is both occupied and trading. The amount of relief to be awarded to eligible ratepayers in 2019-2020 has been set at 5.10% of the net charge. This relief is subject to State Aid limits.

    • Supporting Small Businesses Relief - businesses that lost some, or all, of their Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the change in their rateable value at the 2017 revaluation may be eligible for support. This relief limits the increase per year to the greater of a % increase per annum of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% from 2017/18 to 2021/22 or a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month).  This relief is subject to State Aid limits.

    • Retail Rate Relief - In the Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a one third discount to retail properties for two years from 1st April 2019. To be eligible for this reduction, the retail premises must be occupied, have a rateable value less than £51,000 and be wholly or mainly, used for retail purposes for visiting members of the public. This relief is subject to State Aid limits. 

    If you have not received any of these discounts, and believe you are eligible please contact us on 01257 515151. 

    Further information about these reliefs, including the full qualifying criteria, can be found in the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.

  • View your business rates details online using our e-Citizen service

    If you are an e-Citizen customer you can sign up to paperless billing, set up a direct debit and view your business rates details online.

    The following details are available:
    • The balance on your account
    • Payments you have made
    • Correspondence we have sent to you
    • Set up a Direct debit
    • Find the rateable value of your business premises

    You will need to create an e-Citizen user name and password to be able to access your details. To do this use the view business rates details online (e-citizen) link then click on the Register Now button.

  • FAQs

    Why do I have to pay Business Rates/ What services do I get?

    Business Rates are a contribution made by businesses towards the cost o​f all services provided. The money we collect is shared between the Government, Chorley Council and Lancashire County Council. This income, along with council tax and other income raised through chargeable services, as well as both general and specific grants, is used to pay for local services. While this doesn’t include all direct services i.e. refuse collection, business ratepayers benefit from services such as street lighting, road maintenance, the police, ambulance and fire services.

    How has my rates bill been calculated?

    We calculate your bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the appropriate non-domestic multiplier'. This gives the amount of rates payable for the year. There are two multipliers, the Standard Multiplier and the Small Business Rate Multiplier. Both are set annually by central government for the whole of England and change every year to move in line with inflation. The Standard Multiplier is higher as it includes a supplement to pay for the small business rate relief scheme.
    The multipliers for 2019/2020 are:
    • SBR Multiplier – 49.1 pence in the pound (48.0 pence in the pound for 2018/2019)
    • Standard Multiplier – 50.4 pence in the pound (49.3 pence in the pound for 2018/2019)

    If the rateable value of your property is less than £51,000 your bill will have been calculated using the lower Small Business Rate Multiplier, unless the property is empty or you are receiving charitable relief. If the rateable value of your property is £51,000 or over, if the property is empty, or if you are receiving charitable relief your bill will have been calculated using the Standard Multiplier.
    How can I tell which multiplier you have used?

    The multiplier is shown in the calculation on the front of your bill.

    Rateable Value

    Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1st April 2017, this date was set as 1st April 2015. 

    Where can I find the rateable value of my property?

    ​​The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill.

    I think my rateable value is too high, what can I do?

    If you think your rateable value is too high you can make an appeal through the Check, Challenge and Appeal process. Full details are available at 
    The description of my property includes ‘Premises’. What are the ‘Premises’ it refers to?

    Many business properties have ‘and Premises’ after the main description of the property, i.e. "Shop and Premises" or "Office and Premises". The ‘…. and Premises’ refers to areas such as a storage area or a cloakroom facility used in connection with the business property and does not refer to any part of the property used for domestic living accommodation.
    My bill says that I have Other Balances Due Not Covered By This Bill’ and shows an amount of £…..

    You may still owe money for the current financial year, or for a previous financial year. If you pay by direct debit on the 15th or the 28th of the month you will see this message as the March payment has still to be collected from your bank. If you have made a payment in the last couple of days it may not be reflected on this bill but if you think your bill should be paid in full we can look into the matter for you.
    My property is empty, why do I have to pay?

    There are no rates payable for the first three months that a property is empty, or six months in the case of industrial property. If a property is still empty at the end of the three or six month period business rates at 100% of the basic occupied charge are payable. If your property has been empty for longer than 3 months (6 months for an industrial) you will have a charge to pay. Some properties are exempt when empty. Please see our website for further details.

    How do I pay my Rates?

    Details of how to pay your bill should be shown on the reverse of your bill.
    I paid by direct debit last year – do I need to do anything?

    No. As direct debit continues year on year, unless you or the bank cancel it, it should still be in place.

    Do I pay by direct debit?

    if you currently pay by direct debit your bill will show the message ***YOUR PAYMENT CHOICE IS DIRECT DEBIT***. Bills not set up for direct debit display the message **YOUR PAYMENT CHOICE IS CASH OR CHEQUE**.
    What happens if I can’t pay?

    If you cannot meet the instalments on your bill we can check your account to see if you are receiving any reliefs that you may be entitled to. If you pay your bill over 10 months we can now offer payment over 12 months. Depending on your circumstances we may be able to agree a repayment plan that fits in with your income and expenditure, however we are unable to agree to any repayment plan that would extend beyond the end of the financial year. If you fail to make payment we may instigate recovery proceedings which could result in a summons to court for non-payment. If this happens the remaining balance for the year becomes due and the cost of issuing the summons will be added to your account. At the court hearing we will ask the magistrates for a liability order and further costs will be added to your account. If payment is not received and no payment arrangement is made, then the Council will pass the debt to an enforcement agent for collection. This will result in further costs, and the enforcement agent may take control of your goods to be sold.

    Is there any help available?

    Small Business Rate Relief - you can get help through the Small Business Rate Relief scheme if you use one property and your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000.

    If you qualify, and the rateable value of your property is less than £12,000, you will get 100% relief. If the rateable value of your property is between £12,001 and £14,999 the amount of relief available declines on a sliding scale.

    If you have more than one property, you can still get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,900 and the total value is less than £15,000. You would only get relief on the main property.
    You can still apply for this relief for earlier financial years until 01.10.2020. If you are eligible you will receive the relief from the start of your liability, or the 1st April 2012, whichever is the earliest. Full details and an application form are available on our website.
    Discretionary Relief

    There are a number of discretionary reliefs available. Full details are contained in the Councils NonDomestic rates Discretionary Rate Relief Policy which is available on our website. The reliefs include:

    Retail Rate Relief – A one-third discount for eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000. This scheme will run for two years from April 2019.

    Supporting Small Business Relief – this relief limits the increase in bills where the ratepayer lost small business rate relief following the 2017 Revaluation.

    Local Discretionary Relief (Revaluation) – this relief is available to those ratepayers hardest hit by the Revaluation. The reduction last for 4 years to 31st March 2021.

    There is no need to make an application for any of the above discretionary reliefs. If you qualify we will automatically award the relief and send you a revised bill. These reliefs are all subject to state aid compliance.

    If you believe you are eligible for any of the above reliefs, and are not currently in receipt of the reduction, please contact us