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About business rates

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Business rates collected by us is the way businesses, and others who occupy a non-domestic property, contribute towards the cost of local services.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties such as:

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories


Paying business rates

Generally, the occupier of the property will pay the business rate charge.

If the property is empty and not an exempt property, then the owner or leaseholder will usually need to pay the business rates charge.

Agreements between landlords and their tenants are a matter between themselves and are not binding on a local authority in the event of any dispute between those parties.

Some properties are classed as composite properties (partly domestic and partly non-domestic), for example a shop with living accommodation above. In these cases, business rates will need to be paid for the non-domestic part and Council Tax will need to be paid for the domestic accommodation.

View more information on how to pay business rates.


Calculating business rates

The amount of business rates you will pay is decided by the rateable value which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill, or you can view it using the business rates valuation check on the GOV.UK website.

A property's rateable value is based on the yearly rental value of the property. 

Business rates are calculated using a 'multiplier' which is set nationally each year.

There are 2 national multipliers, the first is the national non-domestic rate multiplier which is used to calculate the rates for all businesses. The second multiplier is for small businesses who qualify for small business rate relief.

The actual amount a business will pay is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the relevant multiplier. You can appeal against the value if you think it is wrong


Non domestic rating multiplier



Small business non domestic rating multiplier



Properties exempt from business rates

There are some non-domestic properties which do not have to pay business rates when occupied, such as:

  • agricultural land and buildings 
  • fish farms 
  • churches and other places of worship 
  • public parks 
  • certain property used for disabled people 
  • swinging moorings for boats

More information is available by viewing the business rates explanatory notes.

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