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Business rates (non domestic rates)

Business rates are worked out based on your property’s ‘rateable value’. This is its open market rental value on 1 April 2008, based on an estimate by the Valuation Office Agency. Find out more about business rates and how these are calculated. Find out the rateable value for a business property using the address.

Revaluation 2017

The next revaluation of the rateble value is due to take effect on 1 April 2017. This was postponed from 2015.

The rateable value is not the amount you pay. It is used to calculate the basic annual rate charge (before any entitlement to reliefs/reductions or other adjustments are applied) by multiplying it by a 'rate' (an amount per £ of rateable value) called the Multiplier.

Rating List

The Valuation Office Agency compiles a list of all the rateable values called the ratings list. They are also responsible for maintaining the list.

The local Valuation Office that covers the Harborough District is Non-domestic Rates East who can be contacted at or at Valuation Office Agency, Rosebery Court, Central Avenue, St Andrews Business Park, Norwich, NR7 0HS; or by telephone on 03000 501501.

The Valuation Office may alter the rateable value if it is believed that the circumstances of the property have changed.

The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also appeal against the rateable value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.

The Valuation Office Agency website has information such as  :

  • How the property is valued
  • How to search the rating list online to find the rateable value of your property (and others)
  • What to do if you think your rateable value is wrong

You can find and review your Rateable Value on the Valuation Office Agency website.  If you have reason to believe that your 2017 Rateable Value is not correct, follow the instructions provided on the site.  You will need to do the following (not available until 1 April 2017): 

An appeal on your 2017 Rateable Value is not possible, and may not be necessary, until you have completed the check and challenge process.

Paying business rates

You can pay your business rates over 10 or 12 months. Tell us before April 2016 if you wish to change over to 12 monthly instalments for the next business rate year.

You can pay your business rates in several ways

Pay by Direct Debit: This is the most cost effective method. Setup a Business Rates Direct Debit. You can choose if payments are deducted on the 1, 8, 15 or 25 of the month. You can also use the Direct Debit setup form to change the details of a Direct Debit - simply complete the Direct Debit form with the new details and we will make the change.

Pay online: Pay by debit or credit card using our online payments system.

Pay at a Post Office: Payment can be made at any Post Office. You will need to have a bill showing a barcode on the front. Payments by this method can take up to 5 working days to reach us.

Pay at payzone outlets: Just take your bill to anywhere displaying the payzone logo. You will need to have a bill showing a barcode on the front. Payments by this method can take up to 5 working days to reach us.

Make Bacs payments: To make a Bacs payment you must quote:

  1. Your Non-Domestic Rates Account Reference
  2. The council's Bank Sorting Code of 40-32-04 (HSBC Bank PLC, Market Harborough)
  3. The account to be credited is 81011561

Payments by this method can take up to 5 working days to reach us.

Read about all payment options

Extra help with business rates

We can give discounts (known as business rates relief) on all or part of the bill for properties used by certain non-profit making organisations, in cases of hardship, or where part of a property is beyond use for a certain period. Read more about 'discretionary' relief we can offer and how to apply

Certain types of business in rural villages with a population of 3000 or less, may qualify for discounts of 50 per cent. Businesses that qualify for this relief are:

  • Qualifying sole Post Office in the village, provided it has a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • Any qualifying food shop with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • Qualifying sole public house provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,500
  • Qualifying sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of up to £12,500

We can give further discounts on the remaining bill for these properties.

We can decide to give up to 100 per cent discount to any other business in a rural village which has a rateable value of up to £16,500. To do this we must be satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and consider the interests of all Council Tax payers.

Read about changes to the small business rate relief scheme from April 2017

Business rates bills and recovering money

Annual business rates bills (Demand Notices) are sent in March each year.

Contact us as soon as possible if you have difficulty paying your business rates so we can offer help and advice.

If a payment is missed you will receive a reminder and will have a further 7 days to pay before the whole balance becomes due. If it is not paid you will receive a summons that will cost you an additional minimum amount of £37.00

If payment of the reminder is made within 7 days, you can continue to pay monthly. If your payment is late again, you will receive a Final Notice that has to be paid in full within 7 days to avoid a court summons being issued.

The summons tells you how much you owe and tells you when a Magistrates Court hearing is to be held.

At the Court hearing we will ask the Magistrates to grant a Liability Order which incurs further costs of £23.00. This order, once granted by the Court, allows us to take further recovery action to clear the debt.

Recovery action can take the form of:

  • Payment by special arrangement - we will discuss and agree an appropriate payment plan with you
  • An instruction to an external Enforcement Agent company to recover the debt on our behalf - this option could involve significant additional costs being payable by you directly to the Enforcement Agents
  • Prison sentence - you could be sent to prison for up to 90 days for not paying your Business Rates
  • Insolvency proceedings

When we instruct Enforcement Agents to collect a debt on our behalf, the information about the case is sent to an external enforcement company. For each level of action undertaken by the Enforcement Agents a specific fee is added. The stages are:

  • Stage 1 (Compliance) - £75 fee added to the debt
  • Stage 2 (Enforcement) - £235 plus 7.5% on debts greater than £1500
  • Stage 3 (Removal of goods) - £110 plus 7.5% on debts greater than £1500

For help and advice on all aspects of business rates please contact the Business Rates Team.