Who pays Business rates?

Occupied Property

The occupier of any non-domestic assessment is responsible for paying the Business rates. 

Empty Property

Empty properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000 were exempt from Business rates from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011.  The rateable value threshold for empty property exemptions was decreased to £2,600 from 1 April 2011. Also property owned by a charity or Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) whose intention it is to use the property for those purposes.

Business rates will not be payable in the first three months that the property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties.*

*The Government introduced a temporary measure for unoccupied new builds from October 2013. Unoccupied newly built commercial properties will be exempt from unoccupied property rates for up to 18 months (up to state aid limits). This means where the property comes on to the rating list between 1 October 2013 and 30 September 2016. The 18-month period includes the initial three or six month exemption and so properties may, if unoccupied, be exempt from non-domestic rates for up to an extra 15 or 12 months.
The relief continues beyond 1 October 2016 for those that become eligible before that date.

How are Business rates calculated?

Business rates payable on each property are based on the rateable value of that property. The rateable value is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs. A property's rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would rent for if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.

  • Until 31 March 2017, the rateable values will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008.
  • From 1 April 2017, the rateable values will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2015.

This rateable value is multiplied by a multiplier (expressed as a poundage) which is set by the government each year to determine the amount of business rates you have to pay.

For 2016-2017 the multiplier is £0.484p, but if your assessment does not qualify as a small business there is an additional charge of £0.013p increasing the multiplier to £0.497p. 
We then calculate whether your assessment is subject to any transitional phasing, reliefs and exemptions that you may be entitled to.

If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can find and view your property details at www.gov.uk/correct-your-business-rates


Page last updated: 
28 September 2016
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