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How can I reduce my business rates?

Business rates are one of the largest overheads which typically equate to 50% of the annual rent on a commercial property. For the majority of companies this tax is too complex to understand, which inevitably results in missed opportunities to reduce business rates. To assist, Knight Frank have set out a simple guide to identify when you should consider contacting a specialist who can help with business rates reductions.


There are a number of important steps a business can take to ensure that it is paying the correct amount and is not overcharged. The majority of information needed will be found on the live rating assessment entry for the property which is held on the Valuation Office Agency’s website. In order to qualify for a potential business rates reduction:

  • Check the rateable value - remember it is the Valuation Officers opinion of the properties annual rent – does it match the actual rent paid?
  • (Tip- the estimated rent is always set at a fixed date two years before the list goes live so adjustments may be needed ( i.e. 2010 List – all properties valued to 1st April 2008 )
  • Check the summary valuation attached to your rating assessment entry in the rating list. Are the areas you are been valued on, correct?
  • Look at the valuation reference scheme number used and check if it matches the age / specification / location of your property.
  • Check the other properties on that scheme to see if any have had a successful appeal.
  • If you find your business is effected by a change in the locality such as a competitor stores opening / road closures / building works – then there maybe scope to secure a temporary business rates reduction. 
  • (Tip- remember you only have one right of appeal so contact the Valuation Office first with reasons why you think the assessment is too high.)
  • If still not satisfied then it may be worth getting a Professional Rating Specialist to take this forward.
  • (Tip - most rating advisers work on a success related fee so there is no upfront cost.)

Track Record

Knight Frank has an excellent track record in helping large and small businesses contest and successfuly appeal business rates as well as manage rate payments, mitigating costs as every stage. Contact us for help and advice when it comes to reducing business rates. Our experts will be happy to conduct a full audit and provide recommendations on where we can save you money. Our services include

  • Account Management
  • Audits on past and future payments
  • Full representation at hearings 

We advise clients on office space, industrial and retail premises as well as specialist properties such as hotels, leisure facilities and museums.