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Business rates or non-domestic rates

Covid-19 impact on business rates and support schemes

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on businesses.

At South Gloucestershire Council we have worked hard to make sure that businesses affected by the pandemic have received the support they are eligible for.

For the latest information on coronavirus support visit our Covid-19 page.
Business rates (or non-domestic rates) are taxes paid on non domestic properties to help towards the cost of local council services.

Business rates

Business rates (or non-domestic rates) are taxes paid on non domestic properties to help towards the cost of local council services.
Rates are payable on non-residential properties, this will include

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • holiday rental homes or guest houses
  • storage containers

You will probably have to pay business rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes.

GOV.UK has further information about the business rates system.

Rateable value

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value.

This is set by the valuation officers the Valuation Office Agency (an agency of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).

You can find and check your business rates valuation on GOV.UK.

The front of your bill shows a rateable value for your property. This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. The current rateable values came into effect on 1 April 2017 which are calculated using property values on 1 April 2015.

The valuation officer may change the value of a property if circumstances change. You (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the value if you think it is wrong.

Your billing authority can only backdate any business rates rebate to the date from which any change to the list is made effective.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) will continue to fulfil its legal obligations to change rating assessments if they have new information that shows the valuation is wrong.

You can check and challenge your business rates valuation on GOV.UK or contact the VOA using the below details.

Telephone: 03000 501501

Non-domestic Rates South West
Valuation Office Agency
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
Temple Quay

National non-domestic rating multiplier

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:

  • standard non-domestic rating multiplier
  • small business non-domestic rating multiplier

The standard non-domestic rating multiplier is higher to pay for small business rate relief (except for London).
The government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England by using a formulae set by legislation.

2019/2020 2020/2021 2021/2022 2022/2023
Small: 49.1p Small: 49.9p Small: 49.9p Small: 49.9p
Standard: 50.4p Standard: 51.2p Standard: 51.2p Standard: 51.2p

Business rates instalments

Business rate bill payments are automatically set on a 10 month cycle from April to January.

You can change your instalment plan to be over 12 months by contacting the business rates team on 01454 867700 or email


Rate demand notices can now be sent by email.

If you would like to have your bill safely and securely emailed to you contact the Business Rates team on 01454 867700 or email

Unoccupied property rating

Business rates are not payable in the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 months for certain industrial properties.

After this time rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the government by order.

In most cases the unoccupied property rate is nil for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. There are also other exemptions from the unoccupied property rate.

The front of your bill will detail any periods that you were exempt from paying rates.

Full details on exemptions can found on our business rates page.

Small Business Rate Relief

You may be eligible to claim small business rates relief if:

  • your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000; and
  • you are only occupy one business premises (you are not registered for business rates elsewhere) – you may still be able to get relief if you use more than one.

to find out more information and how to apply, visit our small business rates relief page.

Change of circumstances

You must contact the business rates team if you are receiving small business rates relief and any of the following happens:

  • you start to occupy an additional property
  • an increase in the rateable value of a property you occupy that is not in our local authority

You must tell us of a change in circumstances within 4 weeks of it taking place.

Charity and community amateur sports club relief

Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80% relief if they occupy the property themselves and it is mainly used for their charitable or sporting purpose

The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Contact the business rates team or visit our business rates page for more information.

Retail relief 2022/23

At the Budget on 27 October the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth almost £1.7 billion in 2022/23. This will support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands.

The 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 50% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.

Eligible businesses include:

  • shops
  • restaurants, cafés, bars or pubs
  • cinemas or live music venues
  • assembly or leisure properties (for example, a sports club, a gym or a spa)
  • hospitality properties (for example, a hotel, a guest house or self-catering accommodation)

For more information visit here.

The relief should be awarded automatically. However, if you believe you are eligible and have not received a rate demand notice including this relief, please contact the business rates on 01454 867700 or by email

Local discounts (business rates)

Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts. Contact the business rates team or visit our business rates page.

Business support – Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund

The government have announced a new Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF).

The aim of this relief scheme is to support businesses which have been impacted by Covid-19 but are not eligible for existing support linked to business rates.

You can apply for the relief if your business:

  • was occupied at a rated premises for any period from 23 March 2020 to 31 March 2022
  • has been impacted by coronavirus restrictions at the premises either through social distancing, government recommendations to work from home, or reduced demand (where the business predominantly supplies others who were unable to trade or adapt)
  • will remain solvent for 12 months from the date of the application by providing the projected accounts (including any assumptions made as part of those projections)

Applications closed for this relief at midday on 31 May 2022.

Hardship Relief

The local authority has discretion to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Contact the business rates team or visit our business rates page.

Transitional relief

At a revaluation (1 April 2017), some ratepayers will see reductions or no change in their bill and others will see increases.

Transitional relief schemes are introduced at each revaluation to help those facing increases. This relief has been funded by limiting the reduction in bills for those whose revaluation has been favourable.

Transitional relief is applied automatically.

GOV.UK has more information about transitional arrangements and other reliefs.

Rating advisers

Appeals against rateable values can be made free of charge. Ratepayers do not have to be represented.

Ratepayers who would like to be represented can employ a rating adviser. Before you employ a rating adviser, check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise. They also need appropriate indemnity insurance

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation are qualified and regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct.

 Business rates team

Phone: 01454 867700
Payment phone line: 0345 245 0682

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