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All you need to know about Business Rates including explanatory notes

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?

 

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. 

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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.

2017/18
Standard rate 47.9p
Small business 46.4p

2016/17
Standard rate 49.7p
Small Business 48.4p

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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. 

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

You'll need to contact the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) directly. 
Visit www.gov.uk/voa/contact or phone 0300 050 1501

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

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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' 

More Business Rates Relief information or to apply for an Empty Property Exemption

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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

Application for Small Business Rate Relief

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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.

Read more about Mandatory Relief
 

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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.

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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 

Find out more about ways to pay.

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What happens if I don't pay?

If you fail to make payments as agreed with Colchester Borough Council, further action will be taken.

Read more about what happens if you do not pay

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