How business rates are calculated

Business rates bills are calculated by multiplying the rateable value (RV) of an individual property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers:

  • the standard non-domestic rating multiplier
  • the small business non-domestic rating multiplier

The RV and the multiplier are both shown on the front of the bill.

The rating list

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) maintains a rating list containing information on non-domestic properties within a billing authority area. It includes:

  • the address of the property;
  • a description code;
  • whether the property is partly domestic (a composite property);
  • the property's rateable value.

The rating list can be viewed online on the VOA website or in person at our Solihull Connect walk-in centres.

From 1 April 2023, customers will only be able to make a Check against the 2023 rating list. As the 2017 rating list will be closed there are only limited circumstances in which further amendments may be made to it.  More details can be found on the VOA website page Business rates list closes soon - GOV.UK 

What is the rateable value (RV)?

The VOA gives each non-domestic property a rateable value that reflects the annual rent the property would attract if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date (currently 1 April 2015).

In maintaining the rating list, the VOA may alter the value if they believe the circumstances of the property have changed (for example a building has been extended, or its use has changed) or remove it from the list if it has ceased to be rateable (for example it is converted for domestic use, or is demolished). Such changes must be reported to us and to the VOA immediately.

What is the National Non-Domestic Multiplier?

The multipliers (standard or small business) are 'rates in the pound' used to calculate your bill.

They are set by government for each financial year, and are unchanged for 2022/23:

  • standard multiplier - 51.2p
  • small business multiplier - 49.9p*

*The small business multiplier applies to all occupied properties not entitled to a mandatory relief that have a rateable value of less than £51,000.

The multiplier can only increase or decrease by more than inflation in a revaluation year.

Revaluation

The VOA regularly updates the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic properties (properties that are not just private homes) in England and Wales usually every five years. This is called a revaluation. 
 
Rateable values are the amount of rent a property could have been let for on a set valuation date.  For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021.  The VOA provide us with the rateable values so we can calculate business rates bills. Revaluations are carried out to reflect changes in the property market, which means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date information. The next revaluation will come into effect on 1 April 2023. 

Contacting the Valuation Office Agency 

We are responsible for anything to do with your business rates bill. The VOA is responsible for the valuation of your property. You will therefore need to contact the VOA for all queries about your rateable value. 

Finding your rateable value 

You are now able to see the future rateable value for your property and get an estimate of what your 2023/24 business rates bill may be. You can do this through the VOA’s Find a Business Rates Valuation Service on GOV.UK. 

Your property details need changing 

To tell the VOA about changes to your property details (such as floor area sizes and parking) you need a business rates valuation account. The VOA may accept your changes and update the current and future valuations. Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account.

You think your rateable value is too high 

From 1 April 2023, you will need to use a business rates valuation account to tell the VOA you think your rateable value is too high. You must continue to pay your business rates as normal until a decision has been made. Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account ready for 1 April 2023. 

How Coronavirus (COVID-19) affected future rateable values 

The VOA bases most rateable values on an estimate of what it would cost to rent a property for a year, starting on a certain date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021. This was during the pandemic and the rent information the VOA used reflected this. 

Revaluations can mean changes in your rateable value due to increasing and decreasing property values, so transitional arrangements are in place to limit changes to bills. These are applied automatically and are shown on your bill. Further information on transitional arrangements is available from the GOV.UK website.

Appealing against the rateable value

If you believe your rateable value is incorrect, or the circumstances of your property have changed, you may be able appeal against it.

You do not have to be represented in discussions about rateable values, but may wish to employ an independent rating advisor to handle proposals to amend the list.

It is important to ensure that such advisers have the right level of knowledge and expertise, and appropriate indemnity insurance. Ideally, they will be members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and/or the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation who are regulated by rules of professional conduct.

For further information on challenging your rateable value, visit GOV.UK.

Explanatory notes

For further information on any of the above issues, please see our explanatory notes.