Business Rates

Business Rates are taxes applied to most non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, warehouses, and factories. They contribute to funding council-operated public services. These rates are calculated based on the property's 'rateable value,' determined by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), reflecting an estimate of the property's market rental value. Revaluations occur every three years, with the most recent one in April 2023. Similar to council tax, business rates are typically billed annually, payable in ten or twelve monthly instalments.

Local Authorities offer various Business Rates reliefs, including small Business Rate relief, rural rate relief, charitable rate relief, and hardship relief. However, it's important to note that relief rules differ in Scotland and Wales compared to England.

How can we help?

Navigating Business Rates Valuation
Due to Business Rates being based upon a subjective valuation, this means that they are open to interpretation and challenge. Determining an appropriate value requires expert training and thorough understanding of the case law to navigate and query this. Our experts at RCK are trained surveyors with many years of experience in this domain.
Expert Business Rates Auditing
At RCK we are trained in auditing valuations received to ensure that they are in line with local tax legislation and industry best practices. RCK can conduct a forensic evaluation of past payment records to determine if any rates have been overpaid and ensure that all overpayments are refunded.
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How are Business Rates calculated?

Business Rates are worked out based on a property’s ‘rateable value’. This is based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) of the property’s open market rental value taken at a particular date in time. Typically Business Rates equate to approximately 50% of your annual rent. Your rateable value is then multiplied by the UBR (Uniform Business Rate) which is set by Central Government and increases in line with CPI inflation.

The most recent revaluation came into effect on 1 April 2023.

Can I be overcharged?

It’s common for businesses to overpay on their Business Rates because the rateable value of their property has been incorrectly calculated. Typical reasons behind this include inaccurate floor plan layouts, compromised building services and disruption in vicinity of premises.

How can I reduce my Business Rates?

As your rateable value is set by an estimation from the Valuation Office, this means that it is open to interpretation and challenge. The RCK Business Rates team can assist with every step in the process from checking your original demand, to submitting representations to reduce your liability.

How long does it take to get the rates changed?

The Valuation Office Agency typically make a decision within 6-18 months.

Do companies receive rebates?

If a company has already paid some Business Rates on a rateable value that is subsequently reduced, they will receive a cash rebate. If the rateable value is reduced and the company has not yet paid the rates, there will simply be a lower rate to pay going forward.

Picture of Brandley Westlake head of business rates and surveyor

Bradley Westlake - Head of Business Rates

Bradley has over 10 years of experience in Business Rates and has worked for both Local Authorities and one of the largest global commercial real estate firms. Throughout his time within Rating, Bradley has gained extensive knowledge of various markets throughout the UK, including specialising in London, Bristol and Manchester.

During this time, Bradley has obtained an in depth knowledge in Rating legislation and been successful in saving clients significant sums through Rateable Value reductions, exemptions and reliefs. Bradley has worked for both public and private sector clients and has knowledge of all property types, including office, retail, industrial and even pharmaceutical plants.

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