What is Business Rates

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.

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.


Why do you pay Business Rates and what is the money used for?

Business Rates are payable to the Council who collect them on behalf of the Government. The Business rates collected by the Council are paid into a Central Government pool and redistributed to local authorities throughout the country. This Council's share of the redistributed business rate income, together with income from council taxpayers, the revenue support grant provided by the Government, and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by the Council within South Somerset District Council.

Please see Your Guide for services covered and where the money goes.

For further information please contact us.

If you need Your Guide, The Business Rate bill or any other document in large print, braille, audio or another language please contact (01935) 462462.

Who must pay Business Rates

In the case of occupied property, the person or company occupying it is liable for paying the rates. Sometimes, a landlord may charge an occupier a rent, which is inclusive of rates. In these cases, the occupier is still the person liable for payment and the bill is sent in his/her name. The Council will not become involved in private arrangements between the landlord and tenant regarding payment of business rates.

For unoccupied or empty properties the owner or the person entitled to possession, which can consequently include lessees are liable.

Information regarding Business Rates relief

For further information please contact us.


Roles and responsibilities

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.


How we calculate your business rates

The multiplier, also sometimes referred to as the Uniform Business Rate (UBR), is a key factor in the calculation of your rates bill. It is set annually by central government and determines the percentage (expressed as pence in the pound) of the rateable value of the property that you will pay in Business Rates.

There are two multipliers; the small business multiplier, applicable to those businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief and the standard multiplier, which includes the supplement to pay for Small Business Rate Relief.

If you are entitled to any transitional arrangements or reliefs, this sum is then adjusted to reflect them, making a final total for your rates bill. The multiplier usually changes each year in line with inflation.

2016/2017 the Rating Multiplier is 0.497 for Small Businesses it is 0.484

2015/2016 the Rating Multiplier is 0.493 for Small Businesses it is 0.480

2014/2015 the Rating Multiplier is 0.482 for Small Businesses it is 0.471

2013/2014 the Rating Multiplier is 0.471 for Small Businesses it is 0.462

2012/2013 the Rating Multiplier is 0.458 for Small Businesses it is 0.450

2011/2012 the Rating Multiplier is 0.433 for Small Businesses it is 0.426

2010/2011 the Rating Multiplier is 0.414 for Small Businesses it is 0.407

For further information please contact us.


What is the rateable value?

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 will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008.
  • From 1 April 2017, the rateable values will be 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 here:



How to appeal your rateable value

The Valuation Officer may alter the value of a property if he believes that the circumstances of the property have changed. you may also be able to make a 'Proposal to Alter the Rating List'. This 'proposal' asks the valuation officer to change the entry in the list - if the valuation officer cannot reach agreement with you as to any change that is needed then the matter will be treated as an appeal and referred to the Valuation Tribunal. The ratepayer may also propose a change in value.

If there are any circumstances where the ratepayer and Valuation Officer do not agree, the matter will be referred as an appeal to the Valuation Office Tribunal Service.

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 Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

You can find out more on the Gov.uk website


What is a revaluation 

The VOA regularly reassess and update 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.


What are transitional adjustments?

If there is a large increase or decrease in the amount payable following revaluation then there may be a period of transitional adjustments. Large increases in the amount payable may receive some relief, whereas large decreases in the amount payable may have a surcharge added. The amount of relief or surcharge is reduced each year by a set calculation until the normal payable charge is reached, at which point no further transition is applicable. Transitional adjustments do not raise extra revenue overall. Once the transitional scheme has been announced you will be able to estimate your business rates bill.

Access our Business Rates Relief page for more details of the 2010 transitional relief scheme.


How can i find out more

For more information on the 2017 Revaluation, rateable values, and business rates go to www.gov.uk/voa/revaluation