What business rates are

Business rates (or non-domestic rates) are a tax on business properties, such as shops, offices, factories, pubs and warehouses.

Anyone using a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes has to pay business rates.

Part of the business rates we collect is used to pay for the services we provide. This is added to revenue from Council Tax payers, government grants and other monies.

Who does what

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) sets the rateable value of all non-domestic properties in the country. 

Find out about the VOA, what they do and how to contact them on the GOV.UK website.

The government sets the rate in the pound (also called the multiplier) for the whole of England. This is effective from 1 April each year. We use this to calculate the rates payable for the year, before the deduction of any reliefs. 

We bill and collect business rates on behalf of the central government.

How we calculate business rates

To calculate your business rates, we multiply the rateable value of your property by the annual multiplier set by government. 

In the 2022 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor announced that the multipliers would be frozen for 2023/2024. This will save ratepayers £9.3 billion over the next five years. It will also protect them from the effects of rising global inflation. 

Freezing the business rates multiplier will keep the small business multiplier and standard multiplier at 49.9p and 51.2p respectively – rather than rising to 52.9p and 54.2p.

This will support all ratepayers, large and small, meaning bills are 6% lower than they would have been without the freeze.

Read our business rates notes for more advice or view business rate information on GOV.UK.

2023 revaluation

The VOA updates the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic properties (properties that are not just private homes) in England and Wales. 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.

We use these rateable values to calculate business rates bills. 

Revaluations are carried out to reflect changes in the property market. This means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date details. 

The last revaluation came into effect on 1 April 2023. 

Finding your rateable value

You can now see the future rateable value for your property. This means you can get an estimate of what your 2023/24 business rates bill may be.

Find out your rateable value.

What to do if you think your rateable value is too high

From 1 April 2023, you'll need to use a business rates valuation account to tell the VOA you think your rateable value is too high. You must carry on paying your business rates as normal until a decision has been made.

To contact the VOA to discuss your rateable value, you'll need to sign in or register for a business rates valuation account.

What to do if your property details need updating

To tell the VOA about changes to your property details (such as floor area sizes and parking) you need a business rates valuation account. If the VOA accept your changes they'll update the current and future valuations.

To contact the VOA to discuss your rateable value, you'll need to sign in or register for a business rates valuation account.

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 details the VOA used reflected this. 

Contacting the VOA

We're responsible for anything to do with your business rates bill. For example, applying any reliefs you may be entitled to or managing your instalment plan.

The VOA is responsible for the valuation of your property. If you disagree with the valuation of your property, you'll need to contact the VOA. 

You can contact the VOA by:

Business rates online

Our new online forms make it easy for you to tell us when you: