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How Business Rates are Calculated

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA), part of HM Revenues and Customs, sets the rateable value of business premises by using property details such as rental information. The Council uses the rateable value and the business rates multiplier (set by central government) to calculate your business rates bill.

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 the valuation date of 1 April 2015.

The Multiplier

The rating multiplier is issued by the Government on a yearly basis and normally changes in line with inflation.

There are two multipliers: the standard national non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business rating multiplier. These multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

By law, the multiplier cannot go up more than the rate of inflation, except in the year of a revaluation when it is set at a level which will keep the total amount raised in rates after revaluation the same as before, plus inflation for that year.

Appeal your rateable value

The VOA's check and challenge service for Rateable Value appeals is now available. This service is designed to get necessary changes made sooner, without there being an automatic need for an appeal, saving this route for those complex cases that most need it.  

Check and challenge will give you more certainty about the basis of your rateable value by allowing you to do a check and to confirm or update the details of the property.  Following a check, if you have reason to believe that your valuation is wrong, you will be able to submit a challenge, and provide supporting evidence.

To initiate a check please go to

For more information on the 2017 revaluation, rateable values, and business rates go to

Rating Advisers

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.

Ratepayers who do wish to be represented by a Rating Adviser should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation - IRRV are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Transitional Arrangements

Property values normally change a good deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amount by which a bill may rise following a revaluation. Further information can be found here about transitional arrangements and other reliefs.

NNDR Avoidance

If regular periods of short term occupation at a property exist we may need further verification of occupation before we can re-award the void exemption. This may involve a visit to the premises by one of our officers and provision of documentation and photographs in support of your claim, because it is not always possible to grant relief retrospectively.

If you intend to occupy a property for a short period of time, then you should contact us immediately. If you are the landlord of a property and assign a short term lease, it is advisable to forward a copy of the tenancy agreement/ documentation and photographs to our office to verify your entitlement to any subsequent exemptions.