Every business property has a rateable value, set by the Valuation Office Agency. The value reflects the annual rent the property would achieve on the open market at a set date.
Every year the Government sets the multiplier - or the percentage of the rateable value you have to pay in tax. For the current financial year, this is 0.471 for properties with a rateable value of up to £17,999 and 0.482 for properties valued at £18,000 or above.
So, if your property has a rateable value of £10,000, you will pay 0.471 (£4,710) in rates. For a £20,000 property you would pay 0.482 (£9,640).
You can find the rateable value of your business at the Valuation Office Agency (VAO) website.
The safest, simplest and easiest way to pay is by Direct Debit.
You can set up a Direct Debit online - you will need your Business account reference number (on your bill), your bank account number and sort code. You can choose to pay on either the 1st or 15th of each month.
You will also need to confirm that:
- You are the named account holder of the account to be debited.
- No other signature apart from yours is required to authorise the setting up of Direct Debits on this account
If you cannot confirm this you can still set up a Direct Debit instruction using our printable Direct Debit Mandate Form [35kb].
Your Direct Debit will continue to run until you cancel it - there is no need to renew each year.
Other ways to pay
You can also pay your Business Rates:
- By phone - call 0118 937 2877 to use our automated telephone payments system
- At any Post Office or PayPoint.
If a property is used for both domestic and non-domestic purposes, we charge Council Tax and Business Rates. If you work from home, we may charge Business Rates for the part of the property you use for work. You will still have to pay Council Tax on the rest of the property.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for reduced rates or exemption from rates.
The following are exempt from Business Rates:
- Agricultural land and buildings
- Fish farms
- Churches and places of worship
- Public parks
- Properties used for disabled people
- Moorings for boats.
Reduced rates could apply if:
- The property is empty or unused (exemption is granted for three months or six months if industrial)
- The property is occupied by a charity or non-profit organisation
- The property is partially occupied
- Hardship would occur if rates were not reduced.
If you think your rateable value is wrong or that your property should be exempt, download an appeal form from the Valuation Office Agency (VAO) website. You must keep up with payments while your appeal is ongoing.
If you miss a payment or pay late, we will send you a reminder giving you seven days to pay. If you do not pay the first reminder on time, you will be issued a Magistrate Court Summons.
If your account is brought up to date in time but you pay late again or miss a second payment, we will issue a final notice and you will lose your right to pay by instalments. If you do not pay the total sum due within seven days you will be issued a Magistrates Court Summons.
Once a Magistrates Court Summons is issued this will incur costs to your account. If the total amount due including these costs is not paid before the court date, a Liability Order will be obtained against you adding further costs. We may then send your account to our Enforcement Agents for collection or proceed with Bankruptcy or Liquidation Proceedings.
Yes - we publish Business Rates reports in the Freedom of Information section of our website.
Fill out our Business Rates enquiry form or ring the call centre on 0118 937 3727.