Business Rates Information
Non-Domestic Rates, often called Business Rates, are a local tax
collected by the Council.
The amount that each business pays is based on the estimated
annual rent for the business property, called its
rateable value, and a rate in the pound or multiplier set each year
by the Government. The rateable value is multiplied by
the rate in the pound to work out the amount to be paid for
the property. The Council has no say in how much the rates
bill is for each business.
Bedford Borough Council keeps 49% of
the rates it collects which is used to help fund the cost
of Council services. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Authority
receives 1% of the rates collected and the remaining 50% is paid to
More detailed information about Non-Domestic Rates is
available in the "explanatory notes" that form part of a rates
bill Click here
for more information on Business Rates
Recent Changes to Business
- There is a revaluation of all business rates properties in
England from 1 April 2017. Rates bills for 2017/18 will
be based on the new rateable value.
- The new rateable values are available from the
Valuation Office Agency website
- The government has adjusted the rate in the £ following the
revaluation to 46.6p. Larger business with a rateable value
of £51,000 or more will also pay a supplement of 1.3p in the
- There will be a transitional phasing
(or 'relief') scheme which will limit how much each bill can
increase or reduce due to the revaluation depending on the rateable
value of the property.
- Small Business Rate Relief of up to 100% will continue
indefinitely. From April 2017 100% Small Business Rate
Relief will apply to qualifying properties with a rateable
value of up to £12,000 and tapered relief will apply to properties
with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £14,999.
- The minimum rateable value for charging empty
property rates will increase from £2,600 to £2,900 from 1
Budget Announcement 8 March 2017
The Government announced extra help for some businesses facing
increases due to the revaluation.
- £1,000 rate relief for 1 year for public houses with a rateable
value of less than £100,000.
- A limit on increases to £600 per year for businesses that
lose some or all of their small business rate relief.
- A national hardship fund to provide rate relief to
businesses suffering hardship solely due to the
Further information on these measures will be provided when the
Government issues more detailed guidance.
Paying your Business Rates
How to pay your Business Rates
Direct Debit form
You should never ignore your rate bill. The Council will
take legal action if a bill is not paid and if you have difficulty
paying you should
contact the Local Taxation Office office straight
Small Business Rate Relief
This relief is available to many small
businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of less than
£12,000. Click here for more information and
Other Rate Reliefs
- Charities normally qualify for 80% rate
relief and in some cases the Council awards more rate
relief. Further information is available in the Council's
policy for rate relief
for charities and not for profit organisations.
- Some small rural businesses may qualify for automatic rural rate relief and the Council also
awards rate relief to some rural businesses. Further
information is available in the Council's policy for rural rate
- The Council may award rate relief when a property is
partly occupied for a short time (often called Section 44a
rate relief). More information is available in the
Council's policy for rate relief
for partly occupied properties.
- Business suffering unusual hardship may be able to apply for
hardship rate relief. More
information is available in the Council's policy for hardship rate
- The Council also has a general power to give rate relief if it
is reasonable to do so having regard to the interests of local
Council Taxpayers. More information is available in the
Council's policy for local rate
Empty (Unoccupied) Properties
The full Business Rates are still charged for most
properties when the property is not occupied. There is no
charge for either the first 3 months (shops, offices,
etc.) or the first 6 months (industrial units,
warehouses, etc.) that the property is unoccupied. The
rate free period starts on the first day that the property
is vacant not from the date a lease ends or the property
is sold. More information about
unoccupied property rates.
The Valuation Office Agency is responsible for assessing the
rateable value for each property. For more information about
property valuations or to find the rateable value of
a property please visit the
Valuation Office Agency website.
Information to accompany rate bills
For information about spending and services by Bedford Borough
Council, the Police Commissioner for Bedfordshire and Bedfordshire
Fire & Rescue Authority, click
More information about Business Rates
Further information is available by clicking on the links