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.
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.
The VOA reassesses and updates the rateable values of all business properties periodically, usually every five years. This is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates (which does not change) to reflect changes in the property market.
Revaluations can mean significant 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.
For further information on any of the above issues, please see our explanatory notes.