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Business rates

Pay your business rates

What are business rates?

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

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

  • shops
  • offices
  • pubs
  • warehouses
  • factories
  • holiday rental homes or guest houses, e.g. a boarding house.

The money, together with revenue from council taxpayers, the revenue support grant provided by government and certain other sums, are used to pay for the services provided by your local authority and other local authorities in your area. Find more information in our council tax booklet 2017.

Calculating your business rates

Business rates are worked out by multiplying the ‘rateable value’ of your property which is set by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) by the national business rates multiplier.

The business rates calculator gives you an estimate of your annual bill.

Owners, leaseholders or occupiers of business properties who think that their rateable value is wrong can appeal here.

The national multiplier

The national multiplier is set each year by the government. The multipliers set since 2010 are as follows:

Financial year  Multiplier Small business multiplier







2015/16 49.3 48.0
2014/15 48.2 47.1
2013/14 47.1 46.2
2012/13 45.8 45
2011/12 43.3 42.6
2010/11 41.4 40.7

Business rates changes from 1 April 2017

Pub Rate Relief

A discount of up to £1,000.00 is available to all ratepayers who occupy public houses with a rateable value below £100,000.  This relief is in respect of the financial year 2017/18 only and will not be available in future years.

We will notify qualifying businesses and automatically award the discount based on the information available to us.  Please see our Pub Rate Relief Policy for further details.


Supporting Small Business Rate Relief

Relief is available to ratepayers facing large increases this year due to the loss of small business rate relief  or rural rate relief.  The relief will limit the increase in business rates to £600.00 for 2017/18 and restrict increases for the next four years. 

We will notify qualifying businesses and automatically award relief based on the information available to us.  Please see our Supporting Small Business Rate Relief Policy for further details.


Local Newspaper Rate Relief

A discount of up to £1,500 per year for the financial years 2017/18 and 2018/19 is available in respect of office space occupied by local newspapers.

We will notify qualifying businesses and automatically award relief based on the information available to us.  Please see our Local Newspaper Rate Relief Policy for further details.


Applying for the above reliefs

If you have not been awarded any of the above reliefs and think you may qualify, please contact us by emailing rates@medway.gov.uk.


Read more about business rates changes effective from 1 April 2017

Business rates reductions

Information about discounts and reliefs can be found in our business rates leaflet.

You can apply online for Charity and community amateur sports club relief or if you wish to apply for one of the other reductions email rates@medway.gov.uk.

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.

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?

Find more information on the 2017 Revaluation, rateable values, and business rates on the GOV.UK website.

You can also estimate your business rates bill, including any small business rate relief the local council may apply.


Freedom of Information data (Business Rates)


Summary of the Discretionary Rate Relief Survey (2016)

There were 157 responses received to the Discretionary Business Rate Relief survey; 75 responses were from organisations, 81 were from individuals and 1 respondent did not answer the question.

Read summary of results

Read a full analysis

Discretionary rate relief policy