Business rates are a tax, similar to the council tax charged on domestic property, that is charged on most non-domestic properties like shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories.

A property doesn't have to be a business to be rateable. Any property used for non-domestic purposes is likely to be sent a business rates bill each year.

What to pay and when

Business rates are calculated using the rateable value set by the Valuation Office Agency and the business rates multiplier is set by the central government.

You'll get a business rates bill in March each year for the following tax year and it can be paid in several ways, the most efficient being Direct Debit.

How your Business Rates are calculated

The Valuation Office Agency sets the rateable value of business premises by using property details such as rental information.

They use the rateable value and the business rates multiplier (set by the central government) to calculate your business rates bill.

Rateable value

A property's rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent it would rent for if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.

  • from 1 April 2017 until 31 March 2023, the rateable values were based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015
  • from 1 April 2023, the rateable values are based on the valuation date of 1 April 2021 

The Valuation Office Agency may request rental information about your property so they can work out its rateable value.

Send your rent, lease or ownership details to the Valuation Office Agency

Relief schemes and exemptions

You may be able to get business rates relief. Sometimes this is automatic or you may need to apply. There are some exemptions for certain types of buildings or businesses.

Find out about business rates discounts, relief schemes and exemptions.

Check, challenge and appeal

If you think your rates are too high or you need to tell the Valuation Office Agency about a change to your property.

For more information about how to do this see Business rates revaluation.


Contact the Business Rates Team

Please include the topic of enquiry and your account number (if you have one) in the subject line of your email.

Address: Town Hall
St Aldate's

Telephone: 01865 249811

Rate this page