Business Rates - Explained

Important: please familiarise yourself with the content on the following pages for all the latest on how Coronavirus is affecting Council Tax and Business Rates



Following the Government announcement on Business Rates, please note that all businesses which fall within retail, hospitality and leisure may cancel their direct debit instruction with their bank with immediate effect. The Council will re-bill all businesses which qualify from April 2020 once we have received further instruction from Central Government.

Business Rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business property, in the same way that council tax is a tax on domestic property.

Business rates are charges on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouse and factories. However, the property doesn’t have to be used for business – if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable.

The Valuation Office Agency, which is an agency of HM Revenue and Customs sets the rateable value of business premises by using property details such as rental information.  A property’s rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would rent for if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.

  • Until 31 March 2017, the rateable values will be based on a valuation date of 1 April 2008.
  • From 1 April 2017, the rateable values will be based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015.

You can find out the current rateable value of any business premises by visiting the VOA website.

The valuation officer may alter the rateable value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can appeal against the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong. Full details on your rights of appeal are available from the Valuation Office Agency. Arun District Council can only backdate any business rates rebate to the date from which any change to the list is to have effect.


How the rates are calculated

The local authority works out the Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The former is higher in order to pay for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme. The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England. The multipliers change each year in line with inflation and take account of the cost of Small Business Rate Relief.

From 1 April 2017 the small business multiplier applies to businesses with a rateable value of less than 51,000. As an example, the rates for a shop with a rateable value of 15,000 for 2017/18 would be 15,000 x 0.466 = £6,990.

A shop with a 52,000 rateable value would be calculated using the higher multiplier, e.g. 52,000 x 0.479 = £24,908.


Business Rates Multipliers
Small Business 
2021/2022 51.2 (0.512) 49.9 (0.499)
2020/2021 51.2 (0.512) 49.9 (0.499)
2019/2020 50.4 (0.504) 49.1 (0.491)
2018/2019 49.3 (0.493) 48.0 (0.480)
2017/2018 47.9 (0.479) 46.6 (0.466)
2016/2017 49.7 (0.497) 48.4 (0.484)


The rateable value which is shown on the front of your bill broadly represents the annual rent that the property could have been let for on the open market at a particular date. All rateable values are reassessed at a general revaluation. The 2017 revaluation takes effect from 1st April 2017. Revaluations make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution and no more, by ensuring that the share of the national rates bill paid by any one ratepayer reflects changes over time in the value of their property relative to others. Revaluation does not raise extra money for Government.



Property values can change a great deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting the amounts by which a bill may rise and fall following the revaluation. Under this scheme annual limits apply until such time as the full amount is due (i.e. the rateable value times by the multiplier). The limits show by how much a bill can rise or fall in the relevant year (see table below). 

Please note that it will only affect those properties who continue to qualify for relief. Transitional relief is awarded automatically and will be shown on your bill.


Transitional Relief - Rateable Value increases - the maximum % by which the bill can increase:

Property type 2017 RV 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22

Small (RV £20,000 or under)

5 7.5 10 15 15
Medium (RV between £20,001 and £100,000) 12.5 17.5 20 25 25
Large (RV over £100,000) 42 32 49 16 6
For example in 2017/18, as a result of the revaluation where a property has had its Rateable Value increased to £30,000 on 1 April 2017, the maximum % by which the bill can increase is 12.5% (plus inflation).

Transitional Limit (or surcharge) - Rateable Value decreases. The maximum % by which the bill can reduce:

Business type 2017 RV 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21 2021/22

Small (RV £20,000 or under)

20 30 35 55 55
Medium (RV between £20,001 and £100,000) 10 15 20 25 25
Large (RV over £100,000 4.1 4.6 5.9 5.8 4.8
For example in 2017/18, as a result of the revaluation where a property has had its Rateable Value reduced to £120,000, the maximum the bill will decrease is 4.1% (less inflation).

Explanatory Notes for Business Rates

Please see the following documents: 

Business Rates Information 2021 - 2022.pdf [pdf] 167KB
Business Rates Information 2020 - 2021.pdf [pdf] 136KB
Business Rates Information 2019 - 2020.pdf [pdf] 158KB
Business Rates Information 2018 - 2019.pdf [pdf] 159KB
Business Rates Information 2017 - 2018.pdf [pdf] 157KB