Business rates

Thursday, November 19, 2015 - 19:00
Business rates

When starting a business, it is important to create a business plan based on accurate figures.

Without this, you wont know if your business can survive in your locale and / or market. Once you have selected business premises, before you begin negotiating a lease, it is important to research the business rates payable to the local council. Business rates are often overlooked and can be a nasty surprise if calculated incorrectly as (depending on business type) they are often approximately 47% of rental value.

In England and Wales

Step 1

Search for your business premises and find the ‘rateable value’. Don’t panic, this is not the amount you will have to pay.

Step 2

Find your multiplier

Step 3

Contact your local council to see if you qualify for the small business rates multiplier

Step 4

Multiply your rateable value by the multiplier to find out how much you need to pay.    


Small business rates relief – you may be entitled to relief if your rateable value is £12,000 or less. Small business rates relief is administered by your local council. You can contest your business rates or request a re-valuation if you have changed the layout of your business or you feel that it has been incorrectly calculated. For example, you may be able to reduce your business rates bill by making a sales area smaller and a storage area larger. Sales and front-of-house areas generally have a higher cost per square metre than storage areas. Contact your local authority for guidance.

In Scotland

Step 1

Use the Scottish government business rates calculator to show the rates payable. Or visit the Scottish assessors association website to find out your business rates. In Scotland the ‘multiplier’ is referred to as ‘poundage’; if you didn’t use the business rates calculator you will need to multiply the rateable value by the correct poundage. The current small business poundage rate is 47.1p.  


There are small business, empty property, fresh start and new start relief schemes in Scotland that can give up to 100% relief on business rates for a period of time. Contact your council to ask about these.

In Ireland

Use the rates calculator; you will also need to know what the ‘net annual value’ of your business property.

A note on the author

This article was written by Robin Knox, CEO & Co-Founder of intelligentpos®: producer of small businessiPad EPOS software. Robin worked as a manager in retail and hospitality before starting up several small businesses. Today his mission is to provide small business owners with a powerful, affordable EPOS solution to help them run their businesses more profitably.  


Information contained within this article may not be accurate and the author and connected companies do not accept liability for advice given should it be incorrect or cause losses. Information was correct at time of publishing to the best of the authors knowledge and may become irrelevant over time.  

Robin Knox