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Information about Business Rates

Information about your Business Rates


  • Who pays Business Rates
  • How Business Rates are worked out
  • Business Rates Explanatory Notes 
  • Related links

Who pays Business Rates

The person or company who actually occupies a non-domestic property usually pays the rates. Often this will also be the owner or leaseholder of the property. If a property is empty, the owner or leaseholder will have to pay.

What properties count as non-domestic?

Any property that is not intended for use as somebody’s residence will be liable for Non-Domestic Rates. Shops, offices, factories and warehouses are obvious examples.

How Busines Rates are worked out

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.

The local authority works out the Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier.

What are multipliers?

From 1 April 2005 there are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier. The Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England. The Government normally changes both multipliers every year in line with inflation.




Small Business Multiplier 



Standard  Multiplier 



Rateable value

A property's rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would cost to rent if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date. 

The rateable value of a property may change for several reasons. Your premises may alter in size because of an extension or other alteration, the use of your premises may change, or you may appeal against the assessment following a revaluation. In addition, you may combine your premises with next door, or you may split it into two or more units. 

For more information please visit the Valuation Office Agency.

Dispute your Rateable Value

If you disagree with your rateable value you will have to contact the Valuation Office Agency directly rather than us. The Valuation Office Agency have introduced a 'Check, Challenge, Appeal' process so that is easier to appeal the decision made by them when it comes to the rateable value for your business/premises. 

Through the Check, Challenge, Appeal process, if you think there is something incorrect with your assessment you can Check it, and if you disagree with the assessment then you can Challenge it. Colchester Borough Council are unable to initiate the Check, Challenge, Appeal process, and we will only be notified of the outcome once there is a resolution. 

Business Rates Explanatory Notes

Business Rates Explanatory Notes 2020/21

Business Rates Explanatory Notes 2019/20

Related links

Colchester Ultra Ready supports businesses in Colchester.
GOV.UK provide more information on Business Rates.

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