Apart from properties that are exempt from Business Rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), an agency of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available on the VOA website.
The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on the 1st April 2010, this date was set as 1st April 2008.
The Valuation officer may alter the 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.
Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the VOA website or from its local office at:
Valuation Office Agency
305 Chase Road
Tel: 03000 508700
National non-domestic rating multiplier
The national non-domestic rating multiplier is the rate in the pound by which the rateable value is multiplied to produce the annual rate bill for a property. It is set annually by the Government and except in a revaluation year, cannot, by law, rise by more than the amount of the increase in the retail prices index.
Transitional arrangements will phase in the effect of significant changes in liability which arise from the 2010 revaluation of non-domestic property. Where appropriate, these arrangements will operate until March 2015 (when all non-domestic property will be revalued again). There are limits on the percentage by which bills may increase or decrease each year.
Special rules deal with changes in rateable values and the merger or splitting of existing properties. Further information about transitional arrangements may be obtained from the Business Rates Section or on http://www.businesslink.gov.uk