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Business rates explained

We collect business rates from businesses in the New Forest that occupy a non-domestic property.

Business rates are also referred to as national non-domestic rates (NNDR). The amounts collected are the way that businesses, and others who occupy a non-domestic property, contribute toward the cost of local services.

Generally, the occupier of the property is liable to pay the business rates, and they are called the ratepayer. If the property is unoccupied, the owner or leaseholder pays.

On this page:

Working out business rates

Each non-domestic property has a rateable value. The rateable value of your property is shown on the front of your business rates bill.

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

To find out how the revaluation from 1 April 2023 affects you, see our business rates revaluation page. 

Rateable values are set by the Valuation Office Agency. We have no involvement in the valuation process, but are required by law to work out your bill based on the value shown in the rating list.

Find out more about how non-domestic properties are valued.

The Valuation Officer may alter the value if circumstances change. The ratepayer (and certain others who have an interest in the property) can also check and challenge a rateable value shown in the list if they believe it is wrong.

We work out your Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the appropriate national non-domestic rating multiplier, as detailed below.

Some non-domestic properties may be eligible for discounts, relief or exemptions from business rates.

National non-domestic rating multiplier

We work out your business rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the appropriate multiplier. There are two multipliers:

  • the standard non-domestic rating multiplier
  • the small business non-domestic rating multiplier

The government sets the multipliers for each financial year.

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will have their bills calculated using the small business multiplier, rather than the standard rating multiplier, unless the ratepayer is in receipt of a mandatory relief or are liable to pay unoccupied property rates.

For the billing year commencing 1 April 2024:

  • standard multiplier is 54.6 pence
  • small business multiplier is 49.9 pence.

Small businesses that occupy properties with a low rateable value may also apply for Small Business Rate Relief.

Business rates instalments

Payment of business rate bills is automatically set on a 10 month cycle. However, if you prefer to pay by 12 monthly instalments, contact us by email to before 1 April.

If you apply after this date, then instalments can only be extended to the following March, which is the end of the financial year.

Occupying premises with other businesses

Where a property has been split into several offices or units, and the Valuation Office Agency assess each one separately, we will charge you according to the area you occupy.

If a property has been recently converted into separate 'premises', or into a different layout, we may not be able to charge you until the correct assessment has been made by the District Valuer.

We may need to ask you more questions to work out who should pay the Business Rates bill. If you think the bill is in the wrong name, contact us straight away with the correct details.

Further information

The government publishes a document of explanatory notes that provides more details on business rates. You can download this document below.

Business Rates explanatory notes for 2024/25 (PDF) [111KB]

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