Who Pays Business Rates

Business Rates are charged on most non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories.

If you use a building or part of a building for business, you will probably have to pay Business Rates. Any Business Rate inclusive rental agreements made are not binding, and the occupier is legally responsible for paying all Business Rates.

If a property is empty the person entitled to possession, for example the key holder, lease holder, owner, administrator or executor will have to pay the Empty Property Rate.

Please see the Reliefs and Exemptions page for more information on the Empty Property Rate and other exemptions that may be available.

Change in Circumstances

It is important that you tell us about changes that might affect your business rates, including if you:

  • Change your contact address - tell us where and when you moved
  • Change your business address - tell us where and when you moved
  • Have ceased trading and when

Any changes not reported may result in you paying more than you should. Please contact us if you need to advice of any changes.

Charges and Billing

Business Rates are automatically charged over 10 monthly instalments. The option to pay over 12 months is available following a written request.

Your premises will be given a 'rateable value' by the Valuation Office Agency. This is used to calculate how much you should pay. This value is multiplied by a figure set annually by Central Government (known as the multiplier) to calculate your rates payable.

There are two multipliers to calculate the rateable value for 2019/20:

  • The standard non-domestic rating multiplier is 50.4p in the pound (calculated on businesses with a rateable value over £51,000)
  • The small business non-domestic rating multiplier is 49.1p in the pound (calculated on businesses with a rateable value under £51,000)

Final bills may be subject to the government's Transitional Relief Scheme. More information on this can be found in the Explanatory Notes for 2019/20 document.

The Valuation Officer may change the rateable value if they believe the use of the property has been modified. Examples include an extension to a building, or if the property has been split or merged.

Other interested parties, including the rate payer or the billing authority, can also ask for a review of the property's rates. If an agreement on proposed rateable value changes cannot be reached, the matter will be referred to the Leicestershire Valuation Tribunal

If you appeal against your rateable value, you must still pay the rates shown on your rates bill until the result of your appeal is determined.

Rate Relief for Businesses in Rural Areas

Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to a discount. The property must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £12,500. The property has to be occupied. An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 50 percent of the full charge whilst the local authority also has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. The 2016 Autumn Statement confirmed the doubling of rural rate relief from 50 percent to 100 percent from 1st April 2017.  Local authorities are expected to use their local discount powers to grant 100 percent rural rate relief to eligible ratepayers from 1st April 2017.  Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

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Last updated 26 June 2019
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