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Business rates explained

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Business rates help​ to pay for the services we provide, such ​as education, refuse collection and street lighting.

​​​Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business properties, 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's used for purposes which are not domestic it's likely to be rateable.

​If you've been billed for business rates and don't think you're the person responsible for paying the bill please get in touch.​​​

Business rates leaflet

Download the business rates leaflet to find out about:

  • How we spend your money
  • Rates relief
Download the Business Rates leaflet 2020-2021 (1MB pdf)

​​How business rates​ are calculated​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Business rates are calculated​ by multiplying the rateable value (set by ​​HMRC), of your business property and​ the business rates multiplier (set by ​government)​.

From 1 April 2017, the rateable value of your property will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015. This means you could see a rise in your business rates bill.

If your business rates bill has gone up following revaluation, it’ll gradually increase year on year until the full amount is paid. If the bill has gone down, it’ll gradually reduce over time.

Rateable ​​value

The rateable value of a property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). It's usually ​an assessment of the annual rent of the property, if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.


The VOA regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties usually every 5 years. This is called a Revaluation and is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market.

Find and correct your property d​​​​etails if you think your rateable value is incorrect.

​​Business rates multi​plier

The business rates multiplier is set by central government. It​​ is the number of pence per pound of rateable value that you’ll have to pay in business rates, before any relief or discounts are deducted.​​

The business rates multipliers for 2020-2021 are:

  • 49.9p for small business
  • 51.2p for other businesses

The business rates multipliers for 2019-2020 were:

  • 49.1p for small business
  • 50.4p for other businesses

Multipliers are reviewed every year.​

Make a business rates appeal

Make a business rates appeal if you think you're paying the wrong amount.


01706 926170

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.45am-4.45pm.

Business Rates Team
Resources Directorate
Revenues and Benefits
PO Box 490
Rochdale OL16 9AJ