About Business Rates

What are business rates

We charge business rates on most non-domestic properties. They’re also known as national non-domestic rates, often shortened to NNDR. Business rates is how businesses contribute towards the cost of local services. The council keeps 48% of the amount payable, pays 25% to the central government and 27% to the Greater London Authority.

Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses, and factories. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it is used for purposes that are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a business rates bill each year.

If a property is occupied, the person or company occupying it is liable for paying business rates. Sometimes a landlord may charge an occupier rent which includes an element for rates. Even in these cases, the occupier is still the person liable for payment and the bill is sent in his/her name. In these circumstances, the occupier would usually pass the bill to the landlord who would make a payment on the occupier's behalf.

How we calculate your bill

We calculate your business rate bill by multiplying the rateable value by the annual multiplier (rate in the pound) set by the government each year. You can estimate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value by the correct ‘multiplier' (an amount set by the central government).

Rateable value

Each non-domestic property has a rateable value, which is its open market rental value on 1 April 2015, based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

The VOA is responsible for setting rateable values. The current list of rateable values came into effect on 1 April 2017 and they broadly represent the yearly rent the property could've been let for on the open market on 1 April 2015. The next revaluation will come into effect on 1 April 2023.

The VOA may change the rateable value if the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they think it's wrong.  The Council can only backdate any business rates rebate to the date from which any change to the list is to have an effect.


The government set the multiplier, which is the rate in the pound. It changes every year, usually in line with inflation. There are two multipliers; the standard multiplier and the small business multiplier (which we use to calculate bills for properties that aren't empty and have a rateable value of less than £51,000).  

For the periods 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022 & 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021:

  • the standard multiplier is 0.512 (or 51.2 pence in the pound)
  • the small business multiplier is 0.499 (or 49.9 pence in the pound)  

For the period 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020:

  • the standard multiplier is 0.504 (or 50.4 pence in the pound)
  • the small business multiplier is 0.491 (or 49.1 pence in the pound)

We calculate your business rates bill for the financial year by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier and then taking off any reliefs. If your rate liability starts or ends partway through the year, we calculate your charge for the number of days you're liable.

Crossrail business rate supplement

The Greater London Authority introduced a business rate supplement (BRS) to finance around £6.1 billion of the costs of the Crossrail project.

The supplement is 2 pence in the pound of rateable value charged on all properties with a rateable value of over £70,000.

Transitional Relief

Transitional relief is a Government scheme that limits the amount you have to pay each year when your gross rates have gone up over a certain amount. Sometimes it’s called phasing and can last for up to 5 years. Similarly, if you have had a reduction in your gross rates – much more common outside of London – then there is a limit to how much your rates go down each year. In this way, the scheme pays for itself nationally. The limit on your rates increase depends on the RV of your property. Transitional arrangements are applied automatically and shown on the front of your bill.

Under the 2017 transitional relief scheme, limits will apply to yearly increases and decreases until 31 March 2022.

The transitional arrangements apply only to the bill based on your property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the rateable value of the property (eg because an extension has been added) after the revaluation date, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of your bill that applies to any increase or decrease in rateable value due to those changes.

How to get rating advice

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. However, If you require advice about whether to appeal against rateable values, you are advised to consult a reputable independent rating adviser.  

Please take care as there are fraudsters operating in this area.

Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation (IRRV) are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Before employing a rating adviser, you should check that he or she has both the necessary knowledge and expertise and appropriate indemnity insurance.

Be cautious of false or misleading claims. Some agents do not explain, for example, that a reduction in rateable value may not necessarily lead to a reduction in the amount of rates you will have to pay. This is because there are overriding limits on how much rates bills can change from year to year under the transitional relief scheme.

Please be careful before entering into any contract and get extra advice if necessary before you do. Remember that, no matter what, an advisor cannot guarantee reductions in rateable value. Reductions can only happen as the result of a valuation officer’s agreement or the decision of a valuation tribunal or higher court.

How to appeal a rateable value

There is a business rates appeal process in England, known as a check, challenge, appeal.  The VOA deals with checks and challenges, while an independent Valuation Tribunal handles appeals. Information about how to appeal a rateable value can be obtained from the Valuation Office Agency. 

I’ve got an appeal outstanding on my rateable value; do I have to pay this bill?

Yes. The current bill remains payable until a decision has been reached.


Last Modified: 17/03/2021 09:59:57