Charges and how to pay

Pay your business rates

You can make a payment online [external link] or by phone on 0300 456 2671, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We accept most major debit and credit cards.

The easiest, quickest and safest way to make payment on a regular basis is by Direct Debit.  A variety of payment dates and payment periods are available to anyone choosing to pay business rates by direct debit.

To set up a Direct Debit please complete our online application form below:

Other ways to pay are available on our payments page.

Business rates multiplier

We work out a rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the multiplier or 'poundage' which the Government sets from 1 April each year for the whole of England.

The Government normally changes the multiplier every year to move in line with inflation. By law, the multiplier cannot go up by more than the rate of inflation, except in the year of a revaluation when it is set at a level which will keep the total amount raised after the revaluation the same as before, plus inflation for that year.

Multipliers for 2016/2017

  • The standard multiplier is 49.7p
  • The lower multiplier is 48.4p for businesses that qualify for Small Business Rate Relief

Multipliers for 2015/2016

  • The standard multiplier is 49.3p
  • The lower multiplier is 48.0p for businesses that qualify for Small Business Rate Relief 

Multipliers for 2014/2015

  • The standard multiplier is 48.2p
  • The lower multiplier is 47.1p for businesses that qualify for Small Business Rate Relief.

Rateable value

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is normally set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenues & Customs.

The rateable value broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2010, this date was set as 1 April 2008.

The valuation officer has to maintain the list and may alter the value if the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.

The effect of successful appeals against values shown in the rating list that came into force on 1 April 2010 will normally be backdated to that date, although there are exceptions to this. 

Check the rateable value of your property [external link]

Transitional arrangements

Property values normally change between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amount by which a bill may rise following a revaluation. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills after a revaluation, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transitional scheme, limits continue to apply to yearly increases and decreases until the full amount is due (rateable value times the multiplier).

Over the period of the 2005 valuation list, the maximum increases and decreases that can apply are as follows:

YearLarge Property (RV £15,000 or over) - IncreaseLarge Property - DecreaseSmall Property (RV under £15,000) - IncreaseSmall property - Decrease
2005/06 12.5% -12.5% 5.0% -30.0%
2006/07 17.5% -12.5% 7.5% -30.0%
2007/08 20.0% -14.0% 10.0% -35.0%
2008/09 25.0% -25.0% 15.0% -60.0%
2009/10 n/a n/a n/a n/a

In addition to these percentages, a provision for inflation will be added to the bill. In 2008/09 this is calculated at 1.038%.

Over the period of the 2010 Valuation List, the maximum increases and decreases that can apply are as follows:

YearLarge Property (RV £18,000 or over) - IncreaseLarge Property - DecreaseSmall Property (RV under £18,000) - IncreaseSmall property - Decrease
2010/11 12.5% -4.6% 5.0% -20.0%
2011/12 17.5% -6.7% 7.5% -30.0%
2012/13 20.0% -7.0% 10.0% -35.0%
2013/14 25.0% -13.0% 15.0% -55.5%
2014/15 25.0% -13.0% 15.0% -55.5%

If a property is subject to transition it means the rate bill is calculated by applying the appropriate percentage (increase or decrease) to the rates due the previous year, rather than by multiplying the rateable value by the current multiplier. However the supplement to pay for small business rate relief will also be payable unless, of course, the ratepayer is entitled to small business rate relief. 

The transition scheme applies only to a bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after the revaluation date, transitional arrangements will not normally apply to the part of a bill that applies to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.