Business rates are a charge paid by owners, leaseholders and occupiers of non-domestic properties. Properties such as shops, offices, factories, warehouses and pubs to help pay for local services.

However, the property does not have to be used for a business. If it is used for purposes which are not domestic, it is likely to be rateable. If the property is unoccupied or empty, the owner or the person entitled to possession, including lessees, are liable.

We are responsible for collecting business rates from businesses in the Somerset Council area.

Apart from properties that are exempt from business rates, each non-domestic property has a rateable value set by the Valuation Office Agency. The Valuation Office Agency keeps a full list of all rateable values shown in local and national lists.

Revaluation 2023

The Valuation Office Agency regularly updates the rateable values of all business and other non-domestic properties in England and Wales. This is called a revaluation. This is to reflect changes in the property market, which means that business rates bills are based on more up-to-date information.

Rateable values are the amount of rent a property could have been let for on a set valuation date. For the 2023 valuation, that date was 1 April 2021. Somerset Council use these rateable values to work out business rates bills.

Contacting the Valuation Office Agency

From 1 April 2023, Somerset Council is responsible for anything to do with your business rates bill. The Valuation Office Agency is responsible for the valuation of your property. You must contact the Valuation Office Agency for any queries about your rateable value.

If your property details need changing

To tell the Valuation Office Agency about changes to your property details (such as floor area sizes and parking) you need a business rates valuation account. The Valuation Office Agency may accept your changes and update the current and future valuations.

Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account

If you think your rateable value is too high

From 1 April 2023, you will need to use a business rates valuation account to tell the Valuation Office Agency you think your rateable value is too high. You must continue to pay your business rates as normal until a decision has been made.

Sign in or register for a business rates valuation account

Your Business Rates Bill explained

We work out the amount of Business Rates payable by multiplying the rateable value of each property by one of two Business Rates multiplier figures (also called the Non-Domestic Rating Multipliers or ‘poundage’). The multipliers are set each year by central government for the whole of England.

The multipliers change each year in line with the Retail Price Index and take into account of the cost of small business rate relief. By law, they cannot go up by more than the rate of inflation, except in the year of a revaluation.

The small business multiplier

The small business rate multiplier is a lower figure. It’s used for occupied properties where either of the following apply:

  • You are in receipt of small business rate relief.
  • You are not in receipt of mandatory relief and the property has a rateable value less than £51,000 (from 1 April 2017).

The standard multiplier

The standard multiplier is for all properties where the small business multiplier does not apply. This includes all empty properties.

When there is a revaluation, the multiplier is set at a level which keeps the total amount raised in rates the same as before, plus inflation for that year. Following revaluation, businesses facing a large increase or decrease come under transitional arrangements.

Changing a residential property to a holiday let (including Airbnb)

If you are changing your council tax rated residential property into a holiday let, you will need to follow the guidance below and submit the request to the valuation office agency.

Rules from 1 April 2023

If your property is in England, it will be rated as a self-catering property and valued for business rates if it’s:

  • Available to let for short periods for at least 140 nights in total over the current and previous tax years
  • Let for at least 70 nights in the last 12 months.

It must be a commercial business that raises a profit, for example, not just available for friends or family.

To register to have your property assessed as a holiday let and business rated, please complete the VO 6048 form below.

VO 6048 request for rental information: self-catering holiday homes (applies to England)

Business rates: Self-catering and holiday let accommodation(


If you are already assessed and banded for council tax, your property will stay in the council tax list. You will need to pay as a Council Tax property and when the criteria have been met for all three points, then the Valuation Office can assess as a Business rated assessment. Please note this won’t be backdated. It will only be business rated from the point that all three criteria’s have been met.

Last reviewed: April 16, 2024 by Jenny

Next review due: October 16, 2024

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