Business rates

Council tax and council servicesThe national non-domestic rates (otherwise known as business rates) collected by Allerdale Borough Council are paid over to the Government and then redistributed to billing authorities and major precepting authorities. Allerdale's share of this redistributed rate income, together with income from its council taxpayers, revenue support grant provided by the Government and certain other sums, is used to pay for the services provided by us and the other local authorities in this area.

Direct debit instructions for payment of business rates can be set up securely online. More information and a link to the online direct debit form can be found on the business rates direct debit page.

What are business rates?

Business rates is a local tax that is paid by the occupiers of all non-domestic/business property, in the same way that Council tax is a tax on domestic property.

Business rates is charged on most business properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. However, the property doesn't have to be used for a business - if it is used for purposes which are not domestic it is likely to be rateable. We will send you a business rates bill each year.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) sets the rateable value of business premises by using property details such as rental information. We use the rateable value and the business rates multiplier (set by central government) to calculate your bill.

The rateable value is an assessment of the annual rent the property would bring, if it were available to let on the open market at a fixed valuation date.

·         From 1 April 2017, the rateable values are based on the valuation date of 1 April 2015.

If you think your rateable value is incorrect, you can find and view your property details here:

The VOA may alter the value if they believe that the circumstances of the property have changed. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) may also in certain circumstances propose a change in value. If in any case the ratepayer and the valuation officer do not agree, the matter will be referred as an appeal to a valuation tribunal.

Successful appeals against values shown in the rating list that came into force on 1 April 2017 will normally be backdated to the date they take effect, although there are exceptions to this. Further information about these arrangements may be found on the VOA website.

What is a revaluation?

The VOA regularly reassess and update the rateable values of all business properties usually every five years. This is called a revaluation, and the current one took effect on 1 April 2017.This is done to maintain fairness in the system by redistributing the total amount payable in business rates, reflecting changes in the property market. Revaluation does not raise extra revenue overall.

How can I find out more about the 2017 revaluation?

For more information on the 2017 revaluation, rateable values, and business rates go to . You can also estimate your business rates bill, including any small business rate relief the local council may apply.

National non-domestic rating multiplier

The business rates bill is worked out by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers; the standard non-domestic rating multiplier (0.493 for 2018/19) and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier (0.480 for 2018/19). The former is higher in order to pay for the small business rate relief. The multipliers are set each year by the Government, and normally they cannot (except in a revaluation year) go up by more than the rate of inflation.

Transitional arrangements

Property values normally change a good deal between each revaluation. Transitional arrangements help to phase in the effects of these changes by limiting increases in bills. To help pay for the limits on increases in bills, there also have to be limits on reductions in bills. Under the transition scheme, limits applied each year to increases and decreases in bills until the full amount was due (i.e. rateable value x multiplier). 

The scheme applies only to the bill based on a property at the time of the revaluation. If there are any changes to the property after that date, transitional arrangements do not normally apply to the part of a bill that related to any increase in rateable value due to those changes.

Small Business Rate Relief

The relief is available to ratepayers who occupy either;

a) One business property, or

b) One main business property and other additional business properties provided all of the other properties have rateable values less than £2,900. 

The rateable value of the property mentioned in a), or the total rateable value of all properties mentioned in b), must be under £20,000.

Relief can only be given on one property. Properties currently eligible for either charitable rate relief or rural rate relief will not be eligible for Small Business Rate Relief.

How much relief will be granted?

Successful applicants whose rateable value is £12,000 or less will receive 100% relief. Where the rateable value is between £12,000 and £15,000, the ratepayer will be entitled to a percentage rate relief on a sliding scale.

Properties with a rateable value between £15,001 and £50,999 will automatically get some relief by having the bill worked out using the lower of the two multipliers (ie 0.480 for 2018/19), irrespective of the number of businesses owned by the ratepayer, without the need for an application.

Businesses whose rateable value is £51,000 or more are not eligible for any Small Business Rate Relief.

For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant loss of small business relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for 12 months.

You can download guidance notes and an application form further down the page.

Unoccupied property rating

Once a property becomes empty, the first three months are exempt from business rates (six months in the case of an empty industrial property).Thereafter, the full 100% rates are payable. There are certain types of empty property where no rates are payable even after the three (or six) month period expires - examples include properties with a rateable value under £2,900, listed buildings, ancient monuments, those formerly occupied by companies in administration or a bankrupt person, properties owned by charities or community amateur sports clubs, those where occupation is prohibited by law and those where the owner is the personal representative of a deceased person.                   

Charitable and discretionary relief

Charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property which is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Relief is given at 80% of the full rate bill or of the transitional bill where the transitional arrangements apply. Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or club, and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered CASC.

Billing authorities have discretion to remit all or part of any rate bill in respect of the remaining 20% of a charity or CASC's bill on such property.

Authorities also have discretion to remit all or part of any rate bill in respect of property occupied by certain bodies not established or conducted for profit.

For more details view our Mandatory and discretionary rate relief page.

Rate relief for businesses in rural areas

Certain types of business in rural villages with a population below 3,000 may qualify for rate relief of 100%. Businesses that qualify for this relief are as follows;

i) the sole general store or the sole post office in the village, provided it has a rateable value of less than £8,500

ii) any food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500

iii) the sole pub or the sole petrol station in the village provided it has a rateable value of less than £12,500

Local councils have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill on such properties.

The local council may decide to give up to 100% relief to any other business in such a rural village if it is satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community and having regard to the interests of its council tax payers, who would have to contribute towards the cost of giving such relief.

Relief for Local Newspapers

A discount worth up to £1,500 a year is available for two years from 1st April 2017, to office space occupied by local newspapers. This is up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per property, and up to state aid limits.

Valuation Office website instructions

To check a property in Allerdale, you can search by postcode or local authority from the Valuation Office website. To search by local authority, follow these instructions:

(1) Click the 'Rating Lists' link (right of screen)

(2) Select the rating year list required

(3) Enter Allerdale in the 'Billing/Local Authority' search box

(4) Click the Allerdale link

(5) You can then use the search page to enter property details, then click the 'Find' button.


Downloadable Documents

All documents open in a new window.
File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerBusiness Rates Explanatory Notes 2018/19 in PDF format109 Kb16 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerCouncil tax summary 2018/19 in PDF format584 Kb1 min 23 secs @ 56k, 2 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerSmall business rate relief guidance note in PDF format85 Kb12 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerSmall business rate relief application form in PDF format69 Kb10 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerRural rate relief application form in PDF format171 Kb24 secs @ 56k, 1 sec @ 2mb

Get Adobe Acrobat ReaderDownload Acrobat PDF Reader (external website). Acrobat PDF Reader allows you to view PDF files.

Carlisle City Council logo   Cumbria County Council

Copeland District Council logo   Eden District Council logo


Contact us

0303 123 1702

Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ