Business rates liability and appeals

You will have to pay business rates if you use a building for some other reason than a home, for example as a shop or office.

The ratepayer is the person entitled to possession of the property.

If you pay your business rates directly to the owner (or leaseholder) and the owner does not pass on your payments to the council, you are still liable for the rates. Any private agreement between you and the owner or leaseholder is not binding in rating law. This means you might need to go to the county court to reclaim the business rates from the owner.

If you work from home, we may charge business rates for the part of the property you use for work, and you will have to pay Council Tax for the rest of the property (although your property’s valuation band may change). It will depend on your circumstances, so you should contact the Valuation Office Agency for advice.

We work out your business rates each year by taking a property’s rateable value and multiplying it by the appropriate ‘multiplier’ set by the Secretary of State each year.

Rateable value

Every non-domestic property has a rateable value unless it is exempt. Your property’s rateable value is determined by the Valuation Office Agency 

The Valuation Office Agency revaluates properties periodically. Their most recent revaluation took effect from 1 April 2017.

You can look at GOV.UK to find out how the Valuation Office Agency calculates rateable values for business rates.

If you disagree with your rateable value, you can check and challenge it on GOV.UK


The rateable value is multiplied by the appropriate multiplier to work out the rates payable before any relief is applied.  The multipliers are set each financial year by the Secretary of State.  

In 2019 the multiplier for properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over is 50.4p. If a property's rateable value is £100,000, we'd multiply this by 50.4p and the gross rates payable for the year will be £50,400.

The multiplier for properties with a rateable value of £50,999 or less is 49.1p. If a property's rateable value is £40,000, we'd multiply this by 49.1p and the gross rates payable for the year will be £19,640.

Each year on 1 April the multiplier is changed by the Secretary of State.

  • 2018 to 2019: 49.3p (48p for small businesses)
  • 2017 to 2018: 47.9p (46.6p for small businesses)
  • 2016 of 2017: 49.7p (48.4p for small businesses)
  • 2015 to 2016: 49.3p (48.0p for small businesses)
  • 2014 to 2015: 48.2p (47.1p for small businesses)
  • 2013 to 2014: 47.1p (46.2p for small businesses)
  • 2012 to 2013: 45.8p (45p for small businesses)
  • 2011 to 2012: 42.6 (42.6p for small businesses)
  • 2010 to 2011: 41.4p (40.7p for small businesses)
  • 2009 to 2010: 48.5p (48.1p for small businesses)