How business rates are calculated

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What are business rates?

Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business property, in the same way that council tax is a tax on domestic property.

This money, together with revenue from council taxpayers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by your local council and other local authorities in your area.

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 which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable.  We will send you a business rates bill each year.

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

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

If you have a query about business rates please contact us.

More information on Business Rates

For an overview read our NNDR (Business Rates) Completion Notice Rules:

Business Rates Completion Notice Rules   [PDF, 30Kb] document


More information on each specific item is shown below.

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 were based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008.
  • From 1 April 2017, the rateable values are based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015.

If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can find and view your property details at the GOV.UK website

Their address is: Non-domestic Rates North East, Valuation Office Agency, Earle House, Colonial Street, Hull, HU2 8JN.   Tel: 0300 0501501

The local council works out the business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers:

  • the standard non-domestic rating multiplier
  • the small business non-domestic rating multiplier

The standard multiplier is higher, to pay for small business rate relief.

The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year, according to formulae set by legislation. Between revaluations, the multipliers change each year in line with inflation, and take account of the cost of small business rate relief.

In the year of revaluation the multipliers are rebated to account for overall changes to total rateable value and to ensure that the revaluation does not raise extra money for Government. The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill.

The VOA regularly reassesses and updates the rateable values of all business properties, usually every five years. This is called a revaluation. This is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.

For information on the 2017 revaluation, rateable values, and business rates you can find more details at the Business Rates Introduction on the GOV.UK website

The 2017 revaluation will not increase the amount of rates collected nationally.

The Government believes it is important to provide the greatest support to small and medium businesses seeing increases and to also allow those small and medium businesses seeing reductions to gain quickly from the revaluation.

The scheme must be revenue neutral and, in order to continue to support small and medium businesses, the Government has decided to provide less relief for large businesses than in 2010.

Under the transition scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the appropriate multiplier). If there were changes to the property after 1 April 2017, transitional arrangements did not normally apply to the part of a bill that related to any increase in rateable value due to those changes. Changes to the bill as a result of other reasons (such as because of changes to the amount of small business rate relief) are not covered by the transitional arrangements.

The transitional arrangements were applied automatically and shown on the front of the bill. Further information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs may be obtained from North Lincolnshire Council or the Government’s business link website.

More information on revaluation 2017 can be found at the Valuation Office Agency’s website

Full details on exemptions can be obtained from North Lincolnshire Council. If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill.

Business Rates are not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties. After this period rates are payable in full, unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government, by Order.

In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs.

In addition there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate.

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about the rateable value of their rates bill. Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge.

However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues and Rating (IRRV) are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct, designed to protect the public from misconduct.

Before you employ a rating advisor, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance.

Take great care and, if necessary, seek further advice before entering into any contract.

Contact us


0300 3030164

Or write to:

Hewson House
Station Road
DN20 8XB