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UK Business Rates Help & Advice

Business rates in the UK are a tax on the right to occupy commercial property and typically equate to approximately 50% of annual rent. They represent one of the largest overheads for businesses and substantially impact on profitability.

 UK business rates revaluation

Update:

The next UK business rates revaluation will come into effect on 1 April, 2017 with rateable values based on rental levels at 1 April, 2015. The last business rates valuation took place on 1st April, 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, with rateable value in place since 1st April, 2010.

At revaluation, all properties are given a new rateable value and multipliers (poundages in Scotland) are revised. New values will not necessarily incur higher bills, with some areas of the UK predicted to see reductions, improving a building's viability and a company's bottom line. Economic recovery however, particularly in London and the South East, will fuel a business rates increases, which are likely to cut into businesses' profits. 

To make sure your valuations are accurate, contact Knight Frank's rating experts who can assess, review, challenge or appeal rateable values on your behalf, achieving significant savings in a large majority of cases. The deadline for rating appeals is on the 31st March, 2017. Read more on how you can reduce your business rates , the business rates appeals process and how we can help.

Will you pay more from April, 2017?

Given strong economic recovery, London and South East is expected to be hardest hit by the revaluation with hikes in London business rates expected in key submarkets including The City, Soho, Canary Wharf, Mayfair, Kensington, Knightsbridge, Shoreditch and the West End. Please refer to our London business rates map which forecasts rises in rates by area. Our business rates advisers will be able to help you at every stage, ensuring that you are not overcharged. 

What are business rates? 

Business Rates, or National Non-Domestic Rates, is a tax on business (commercial) properties, payable by both occupiers and owners at a rate set by central Government.

Business rates typically equate to approximately 50% of the annual rent. They represent one of the largest overheads for businesses and substantially impact on profitability.

How are business rates calculated?

Outside the City of London, a 'multiplier' is used by your local council when calculating your London business rates bill.

It indicates the percentage, or pence in the pound, of the rateable value that you will pay in business rates before any relief or discounts are deducted. The multiplier is set annually by the Government. 

UK and London Business Rates Multiplier

How do I find out the rateable value of my UK business premises? 

Calculate your rateable value. The Valuation Office Agency, a subsiduary of HM Revenue & Customs, prepares local rating lists containing rateable values for all commercial premises in England and Wales every five years. Rateable value is the value given on a premise by the Valuation Office Agency, which is based on projected annual market rent.

*Properties located in the City of London incur an additional supplement of 0.4p

Give me an example calculation

The standard London multiplier for 2016/2017 is 51.7p. If you move to a commercial premise that has a rateable value of, for example, £50,000, to calculate your business rates you would multiply the ‘multiplier’ by the rateable value (RV):

51.7p/100 x £50,000 = £25, 850. The estimated business rates for your property would be £25,850.

Are there any exemptions?

Announced in March 2016's budget, small business rate relief will double from £6,000 to £12,000 from April 2017. Small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will pay no business rates. There will be tiered relief on properties worth up to £15,000.

From 1st April 2011, the threshold at which empty properties become liable to pay rates dropped from £18,000 to £2,600.

How Knight Frank can help you

If you have yet to challenge your current rating assessment, contact our business rates experts prior to the deadline of April 2017.

As one of the leading specialist teams in this sector, we offer a full rates management service which will ensure that this costly overhead is mitigated at every stage.

Our services:

  • Account management
  • Valuations, challenges and appeals
  • Compliance & auditing
  • Vacant property business rates

Knight Frank's business rates experts are members of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV)