Business rates overview

What are business rates?

Non-domestic rates, or business rates, collected by local authorities are the way that those who occupy non-domestic property contribute towards the cost of local services.

Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties, like:

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

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

How are they calculated?

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value which is set by the valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

They draw up and maintain a full list of all rateable values, available at The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your bill.

This broadly represents the yearly rent the property could have been let for on the open market on a particular date. For the revaluation that came into effect on 1 April 2023, this date was set as 1 April 2021.

You can estimate your business rates by multiplying the rateable value by the correct ‘multiplier’ (an amount set by central government).

The valuation officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can request a change to the value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong, through the reformed Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) process. Full details on the CCA process are available from the VOA or from

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: the standard non-domestic rating multiplier and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

The former is higher to pay for small business rate relief. Except in the City of London where special arrangements apply, the Government sets the multipliers for each financial year for the whole of England according to formulae set by legislation.

The current multipliers are shown on the front of your bill. The multipliers are:

  • 2022/23 0.512 (standard) and 0.499 (small business)
  • 2023/24 0.512 (standard) and 0.499 (small business)
  • 2024/25 0.546 (standard) and 0.499 (small business)


The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) regularly updates the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic properties (properties that are not just private homes) in England and Wales. This is called a revaluation.   

Rateable values are the amount of rent a property could have been let for on a set valuation date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021. 

We use these rateable values to calculate business rates bills. 

Revaluations are carried out to reflect changes in the property market, which means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date information. 

The next revaluation will come into effect on 1 April 2026.

Rating advisors

Ratepayers do not have to be represented in discussions about their rateable value or their rates bill. However, ratepayers who do wish to be represented should be aware that members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS - website and the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV - website are qualified and are regulated by rules of professional conduct designed to protect the public from misconduct. Before you employ a rating adviser, you should check that they have the necessary knowledge and expertise, as well as appropriate indemnity insurance.

I have moved into a commercial property, how do I register for business rates?

Please forward a copy of your lease/licence/agreement etc to A bill will be sent out shortly afterwards to either the property address or contact address you have provided.

If you have purchased a commercial property, please forward a copy of the sale agreement.

I disagree with the charge on my bill, how do I appeal?

We are responsible for anything to do with your business rates bill. The VOA is responsible for the valuation of your property. You will therefore need to contact the VOA for all queries about your rateable value. Using a business rates valuation account is the best way to manage your business property information. Register here:

To appeal your rateable value, you first need to submit a check against your property on the Valuation Office website. You must continue to pay your business rates as normal until a decision has been made. Further information about the grounds on which appeals may be made and the process for doing so can be found on the government website. To contact the Valuation Office please use the online contact VOA service.

You many also be eligible for a relief or exemption dependant on the size and/or use of your property. Please see our reliefs/exemptions page for further details.

I run my business from my residential home, am I liable for business rates?

You do not usually have to pay business rates for home-based businesses if you:

  • use a small part of your home for your business, for example if you use a bedroom as an office
  • sell goods by post

You may need to pay business rates as well as council tax if:

  • your property is part business and part domestic, for example if you live above your shop
  • you sell goods or services to people who visit your property
  • you employ other people to work at your property
  • you’ve made changes to your home for your business, for example converted a garage to a hairdresser’s

I have vacated my property, how do I notify you of the change?

If you have vacated your property please email the following information to

  • Date trading ceased
  • Date goods removed from the property
  • Date the tenancy ends
  • Your forwarding address so we can issue your closing bill.
    • If you are moving to another business premises in Milton Keynes, please forward a copy of your lease/licence/agreement etc.
  • Name and address of your landlord

My trade has been affected by a local disruption

You may get a temporary reduction in your business rates if your premises are affected by severe local disruption (like flooding, building or roadworks).

You will need to report this disruption to the Valuation Office using the VOA service.

Business Rates

Business Rates contact information

  • 01908 253794 - 9am-5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Wednesday 10am to 5pm.

Revenues Service, PO Box 5327, Civic, 1 Saxon Gate East, Milton Keynes MK9 3EJ