Anyone who owns or operates a business in the UK knows that they are bound to pay business rates annually. These are factors which are assessed by your local authority but the multiplier is established by central government.

This revenue is placed in a general fund and distributed to local authorities to help with such things as police, fire and rescue services. Although there may be ‘breaks’ given to small businesses other than the reduced multipliers for small businesses, on the whole it is possible to estimate how much your business rates may be with an online business rates calculator.

How Business Rates Are Calculated

Business rates are actually charged on most premises which are for non-domestic use. This would include commercial properties such as offices, restaurants and pubs, and then such enterprises as factories and warehouses. Whether you use all or part of the building you will be assessed a business rate annually based on the value of the space occupied and this property value is given by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

The amount you will be asked to pay is based on what is called the property’s ‘rateable value’ and if you would like to know how this amount is arrived at, you can visit to see how they calculate valuations.

As mentioned above, central government establishes the multiplier to be used in calculating business rates and then there are rate relief schemes which some enterprises may be eligible for.

How to Use a Business Rates Calculator

Before using a business rate calculator you will need to visit the VOA website to find the valuation for your property. If you feel the valuation is unfair you can compare your business property to comparable properties and appeal the valuation if necessary.

After finding the property’s valuation, you would find the current year’s multiplier for the type of business you operate. Rates are expressed in Standard or Small Business.

Also, multipliers vary according to country and perhaps the location within that country. For example, in England there are two distinct locations which are multipliers for the whole of England and a separate set for the City of London. Wales has one set of multipliers for all ratepayers and is not broken down into subsets of standard and small business.

Therefore, a business rate calculator would multiply the rateable value times the multiplier to arrive at a billable amount prior to any reliefs for which you may be eligible. You should know that ratings will be published at five year intervals, the latest list was published in 2015 so there will not be changed until 2020. Business rates are billed just before the end of each tax year and are for the upcoming fiscal year for April to March of the following year.

Once you know the property’s valuation and the multiplier, simply enter that information into the appropriate fields of the online business rates calculator and you should have a fairly close estimation of what your bill is likely to be.

Many businesses use this calculator to know how much they need to set aside when it comes time to settle up with the taxman. Simply find a free online business rate calculator and you will be one step ahead of the taxman for the upcoming year. It isn’t often we can say that!

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