Skip to main content Skip to accessibility

Business rates explained

​​​​​​​​​​​​​Business rates help​ to pay for the services we provide, such ​as education, refuse collection and street lighting.

​​​Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business properties, in the same way that council tax is a tax on domestic property. Business rates are charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it's used for purposes which are not domestic it's likely to be rateable.

​If you've been billed for business rates and don't think you're the person responsible for paying the bill please get in touch.​​​

​​How we calculate business rates​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​We calculate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value of your business property and​ the business rates multiplier​.

Rateable ​​value

The rateable value of a property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). It's 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.

  • ​​U​ntil 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.


The VOA regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties usually every 5 years. This is called a Revaluation and is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market.

Find and correct your property d​​​​etails if you think your rateable value is incorrect.

​​Business rates multi​plier

The business rates multiplier is set by central government. It​​ is the number of pence per pound of rateable value that you’ll have to pay in business rates, before any relief or discounts are deducted.​​ The business rates multipliers are:

  • ​​​​48.4p for small business
  • 49.7p for other businesses

Multipliers are reviewed every year in line with inflation.​

Business rates worked example

This is an example of what your business rates bill might be, before any discounts. 

​​Small business

​​Rateable value Business rates multiplie​​r​​Total​​

Other businesses

​​Rateable value Business rates multiplie​​r​​Total​​

Business rates 2016-2017

More information on how we spend your money can be found in Business rates 2016 - 2017 (431kb pdf)​​​​.​​

Related pages


01706 926170

Business Rates Team
Resources Directorate
Revenues and Benefits
PO Box 490
Rochdale OL16 9AJ