Who is liable for business rates?

Who pays Business Rates?
The person or company who actually occupies a non-domestic property usually pays the rates. Often this will also be the owner or leaseholder of the property.

What properties count as non-domestic?
Any property that is not intended for use as somebody’s residence will be liable for Non Domestic Rates. Shops, offices, factories and warehouses are obvious examples. Holiday homes that are available for commercial letting for 140 days a year or more will be charged non-domestic rates. If you offer bed and breakfast to six people or less within your own home, you will not pay business rates.

Some non-domestic properties are exempt from rates. The most common types are farmland and buildings, churches, sewers and public parks.

How is it worked out?
Each non domestic property has a rateable value, which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.

The local authority works out the Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier.

What are multipliers?
From 1 April 2005 there are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England. The Government normally changes both multipliers every year in line with inflation.

  • Non- domestic Multiplier for 2018/2019 is 49.3p
  • Small Business Non-Domestic Multiplier 2018/2019 is 48.0p
  • The Non-domestic multiplier for 2017/2018 is 47.9p
  • The Small business non-domestic multiplier for 2017/2018 is 46.6p
  • The Non-domestic multiplier for 2016/2017 is 49.7p
  • The Small business non-domestic multiplier for 2016/2017 is 48.4p
  • The Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2015/2016 is 49.3p
  • The Small Business Non-Domestic Multiplier for 2015/2016 is 48.0p

Explanatory Notes
Explanatory Notes are issued as part of your Business Rates bill and can be viewed below.