What are Business Rates?

Business Rates (also known as National Non-Domestic Rates) are a tax on business properties. The tax is set by the government, but the local council is responsible for sending out the bills and collecting the rates for businesses in the Bradford district.

Under the Business Rates retention arrangements (introduced in April 2013), local authorities keep a proportion of the Business Rates paid locally. This provides a direct financial incentive for authorities to work with local businesses to create a favourable local environment for growth, since authorities will benefit from growth in Business Rates revenues.

Who is responsible for paying?

Property occupied solely by you / your company

A person (or company) is responsible for the Business Rates for any property that they occupy. Even if you only occupy part of the property, you will still be responsible for 100% of the Business Rates bill.

Unoccupied property

Unless an exemption applies, the full (100%) rates remain payable for an empty property. However, for the first 3 months that a property is unoccupied, or the first 6 months for industrial properties, it is exempt from the empty charge.

After this period, the owner or leaseholder of the property (that is, the person who is entitled to possession of the property), is responsible for the charge.

There are also exemptions for certain other properties eg listed buildings, property owned by companies in administration or liquidation, and properties with a rateable value below £2600.

Joint responsibility

There can be more than one person or company responsible for Business Rates. Joint occupiers / owners are “jointly and severally” responsible for the Business Rates bill for the property. This means that any of the named parties can be held liable for the whole bill.

How are Business Rates calculated?

We work out your annual Business Rates bill by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the appropriate multiplier. The rateable value of your property is shown on your bill and usually represents the annual rent for which the Valuation Office considers the property could have been let on a particular date (currently 1 April 2008).

The multiplier is the rate in the pound set annually by the Secretary of State. Any increase in the multiplier cannot exceed the rate of increase in the Retail Price Index, except in a revaluation year.

Multipliers for 2016/17

The standard non-domestic rating multiplier which is 49.7p in the pound.

The small business non-domestic rating multiplier which is 48.4p in the pound.

The final bill may be subject to the government's Transitional Relief Scheme. This works by comparing the amount of Business Rates that were paid in the previous year with the rate that is due in the current year. For more information, go to our Transitional Arrangements page.

Previous years' multipliers


Standard rating multiplier

Small Business rating multiplier

2015/16 49.3 48.0
2014/15 48.2 47.1
2013/14 47.1 46.2
2012/13 45.8 45.0
2011/12 43.3 42.6
2010/11 41.4 40.7
2009/10 48.5 48.1
2008/09 46.2 45.8
2007/08 44.4 44.1
2006/07 43.3 42.6
2005/06 42.2 41.5
2004/05 45.6  
2003/04 44.4  
2002/03 43.7  
2001/02 43.0  
2000/01 41.6  
1999/00 48.9  
1998/99 47.4  
1997/98 45.8  
1996/97 44.9  
1995/96 43.2  
1994/95 42.3  
1993/94 41.6  
1992/93 40.2  
1991/92 38.6  
1990/91 34.8