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Business rates explained

Information about business rates, including rateable values, how your bill is calculated, and appeals

Business rates

Most businesses pay business rates - it's how they contribute towards the cost of local authority services.

If you use a building or part of a building for business, you'll probably have to pay business rates. For example, if the property is used for a shop, hairdressers, warehouse or holiday let then you'll need to register for business rates.

Business rates are calculated based on the rateable value of a property. We don't set the rateable value, this is done by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) who are part of HM Revenues and Customs.

Rateable values

The rateable value is an estimate of how much yearly rent the property could have earned on a particular date on the open market. The current valuation came into effect on 1 April 2017, and the rateable values will be based on the market values of 1 April 2015. More information can be found on the VOA website.

The rateable value of the property may change if any physical changes take place, such as an extension is built or part of the building is demolished. The Valuation Office Agency will need to reassess the property if this happens, so contact us to let us know.

Appealing your rateable value

You have the right to appeal to the Valuation Office Agency about your rateable value if you think it's too high, even if there haven't been any changes to the property or your business.

You can check, find and review your rateable value on the VOA’s website. If you have reason to believe that your 2017 rateable value is not correct, follow the instructions provided on the site. You'll need to do the following:

An appeal on your 2017 rateable value is not possible, and may not be necessary, until you've completed 'check' and 'challenge'.

You can find out more about grounds for an appeal and how the process works on GOV.UK's pages about business rates

How your bill is calculated

We multiply your rateable value by the annual business rates multiplier. This figure is set by the Government on 1 April each year and increased depending on the level of inflation.

For 2020/2021 the multiplier is 51.2p. So if your rateable value is £60,000, your annual charge will be £30,740 before any reductions or transitional surcharges.

A lower multiplier is used for businesses qualifying for small business rate relief. Their rates are calculated using a multiplier of 49.9p for 2020/2021.

For more information about your 2020/21 business rates bill, please see our explanatory note.

The Nar Ouse Business Park Enterprise Zone

Following a £60-million public infrastructure project the 120-acre site in King’s Lynn has been transformed and now it offers a range of commercial development opportunities with significant business rates reductions. To find out more please visit the Nar Ouse website.