Search site
»

All you need to know about Business Rates

What are Non-Domestic Rates and who has to pay them?

How are my Rates calculated?

What is a Rateable Value?

I think my Rateable Value is incorrect, what can I do?

My premises are empty, is there an exemption from charges?

How do I apply for Small Business Rates Relief?

Am I entitled to Mandatory Rate Relief?

Can I claim Discretionary Rate Relief?

How do I pay my Business Rates?

What happens if I don't pay?

How does the Government Budget affect my Business Rates?

 

What are Non-Domestic Rates and who has to pay them? 

National Non-Domestic Rates are charged by the Government on those responsible for commercial properties. National Non-Domestic Rates are also referred to as Business Rates. They are the equivalent of Council Tax for non-domestic/business/commercial properties. 

The occupier of a non-domestic property normally pays the Business Rates, which is usually the owner/occupier/leaseholder. 

Back to top


How are my Rates calculated?

The rateable value multiplied by the rate poundage (a proportion of your rateable value set by the Government each year) gives the annual gross rates. 

There are two multipliers, the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

2016/17
Standard rate 49.7p
Small Business 48.4p

Example

The rateable value of your commercial property is £11,000.

To calculate your rates use the small business multiplier (48.4) to estimate your annual Business Rates as follows:

£11,000 (rateable value) x 0.484 (multiplier) = £5.324 per annum

You may be entitled to Small Business Rate Relief as your rateable value is less than £12,000.

Back to top


What is a Rateable Value? 

All non-domestic properties have a rateable value set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The rateable value represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for, on the open market on a particular date. 

Back to top


I think my Rateable Value is incorrect, what can I do?

You'll need to contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) directly. 
Website: www.gov.uk/voa/contact
Phone: 0300 050 1501
Email: ratingeast@voa.gsi.gov.uk

Please continue paying Business rates until you have been notified of any change to your Business Rates from your appeal.

Back to top


Do I have to pay Business Rates if the property is empty? 

No, an exemption can be applied for the first three months (or six months for industrial premises). 

If the property is occupied during this period by a new owner, they will become liable to pay Business Rates. To qualify for a new exemption period the property must have been occupied continuously for six weeks prior to it being vacated again.
If the property is unoccupied after the given exemption period, full Business Rates will be charged. 

Business Rates are not charged if the property is empty and:

  • It is a small property with a rateable value of less than £2,600
  • A 'Listed Building' 

Report an Empty Property

Report Online - Report an Empty Property for Business Rates This link opens in a new browser window

Back to top
 

Am I entitled to Small Business Rates Relief?

A Small Business Rates Relief will be awarded, where the business:

  • Has one main property with a rateable value of up to £12,000
  • Have any additional properties that have rateable values under £2600 
  • Have a total value of all properties under £18,000

Small Business Rates Relief is not available if:

  • You are in receipt of mandatory relief
  • The property is unoccupied

Apply for Small Business Rate Relief

Apply Online - Small Business Rate Relief form This link opens in a new browser window

Back to top


Am I entitled to Mandatory Rate Relief?

The following organisations automatically qualify for 80% Mandatory Relief:

  • Community Amateur Sports Club
  • Registered Charities
  • Other organisations which are exempt from registration, but established and conducted for charitable purposes.   

You may also be able to claim relief for all or part of the remaining Business Rates.
 

Apply for Mandatory Rate Relief

Apply Online - Mandatory Charitable Relief This link opens in a new browser window

Back to top


Can I claim Discretionary Rate Relief?

Businesses In Colchester Borough can apply for Discretionary Rate Relief if they are:

  • A Registered Charity
  • A Community Amateur Sports Club
  • An organisation which supports the strategic aims of the Council
  • Experiencing financial hardship

Discretionary relief is awarded based on a business meeting the criteria set out within the pdf icon Discretionary Rate Relief Policy [324kb].

Please note that all discretionary relief is subject to the 'De minimis' rule under state aid. 'De minimis' aid can be given for most purposes, including operating aid and is not project related.
It is the business's responsibility to inform the Council if they are in receipt of Government aid through other sources.

Apply for Discretionary Rate Relief

Apply Online - Discretionary Rate Relief This link opens in a new browser window
 

Consultation

The Council undertook a formal consultation on the proposed Discretionary Rate Relief Policy

Back to top


How do I pay my Business Rates?

You can pay by:

Direct Debit: 
Do It Online - Set Up Direct Debit This link opens in a new browser window

Online:
Pay Online - Link to Payment System This link opens in a new browser window

Automated Payment line - 01206 282725 

Back to top


What happens if I don't pay?

If you fail to make payments in accordance with your payment schedule the local authority is obliged to take recovery action.

A reminder will normally be sent when a payment is not received by the due date. If you pay the instalment in full within seven days and make all the other payments on time, you won't hear anything further.

If you ignore the Reminder, we will send you a Final Notice. You will lose your right to pay by the instalment method and full payment will then be due within 7 days.  If no payment is received within seven days of the final notice being issued, a Summons for the full rates charges for the year can be issued through the Magistrates' Court.

The Summons removes the right of the ratepayer to pay by instalments and there is a charge levied. If you do not pay after receiving the Summons, the Council will apply for a Liability Order through the Court and the debt can be passed to the enforcement agents for collection.

It is important to contact the Business Rates Team if you receive a Summons or Liability Order as there may be the option of a repayment plan. The team will also be able to advise if there is any additional relief or discounts that you are able to claim. 

Pay your Business Rates

Back to top

 

How does the Government Budget affect my Business Rates?

Budget 2016 - Business Rates Changes (Summary):

  • From April 2017, small businesses that occupy a single property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will not have to pay Business Rates.
     
  • Currently, this 100% relief is available if you are a small business that occupies a property (e.g. a shop or office) with a rateable value of £6,000 or less.
     
  • There will be a tapered rate of relief on properties between £12,000 and £15,000.
     
  • The threshold for the small business rates multiplier will increase from £18,000 to include properties with a rateable value of up to £51,000.

Back to top