Business Rates - Who pays business rates and how are they calculated

Who pays Business rates?

Occupied Property

The occupier of any non-domestic assessment is responsible for paying the Business rates.

Empty Property

Business rates are generally payable in respect of unoccupied non-domestic property. However, they are generally not payable for the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain other properties (for example industrial premises or listed buildings). Full details on exemptions can be obtained from your local authority or from at

How are Business rates calculated?

Business rates payable on each property are based on the rateable value of that property. The rateable value is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs. 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 a valuation date of 1 April 2015.

This rateable value is multiplied by a multiplier (expressed as a poundage) which is set by the government each year to determine the amount of business rates you have to pay.

For 2020-2021 the multiplier is £0.512p. If the property qualifies as a small business the multiplier is reduced to £0.499p. We then calculate whether your assessment is subject to any transitional phasing, reliefs and exemptions that you may be entitled to.

If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can find and view your property details at

Did you know?

Where organisations apply for relief they will be granted (or not granted) relief or reductions in line with the following policy. Discretionary Non-Domestic Rate Relief information

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