About business rates

Find out how your business rates are calculated, payment options, and information about transitional relief here.

Business rates, also known as non-domestic rates, are a way for businesses to contribute to the funding of local services. Although the council collects business rates, the amount payable is determined by the government.

Knowsley Council is committed to safeguarding public funds and may use the information you provide or have access to for fraud prevention and detection purposes. 

Additionally, the council may share this information with other organizations for these purposes, as well as for tax and charge administration and collection, and to fulfil other statutory enforcement responsibilities.

Further information about business rates can be found on the Government Information Website.

Calculating business rates

Your business rates bill is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of your property by the appropriate multiplier. 

The rateable value is determined by the Valuation Office Agency, and the multiplier is set by the government. 

The standard rating multiplier for 2023-24 is 51.2 pence, and the small business rates relief multiplier is 49.9 pence. 

Transitional arrangements may also be applied, and any applicable mandatory or discretionary reliefs are deducted.

Payment options

You are not required to pay your entire business rates bill at once. You have the option to pay in ten- or twelve-monthly instalments starting in April. Failure to make timely payments will result in the cancellation of your instalment plan.

Payment methods

Direct Debit is the most convenient way to pay your business rates bill. We also offer a variety of alternative payment methods. For details on these options, please refer to our information on how to pay your business rates.

Appeal your rateable value

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) calculate rateable values. If you think the current value for your property is wrong you can:

  • Appeal to the VOA and ask them to correct the details you think are wrong.







03000 501 501


Non-Domestic Rates North West

Redgrave Court

Merton Road



L20 7HS

Appeal your rates if you and the VOA can’t agree through the Valuations Tribunal.


You are still obligated to pay your business rates while your appeal is pending. If you fail to do so, we will initiate recovery action, which may include the issuance of a summons and the imposition of additional costs.

If your appeal is successful, you will be refunded any overpaid business rates upon request. You will also be eligible for interest payments, provided you have made instalment payments in accordance with your bill, and we have not obtained a Liability Order.

Transitional relief

The rateable value of non-domestic properties is typically reassessed every three years. If your property's rateable value increases significantly as a result of a revaluation, your rates will increase gradually. Transitional relief is a mechanism that limits the extent to which your rates can increase following a revaluation. We automatically calculate this relief and adjust your bill accordingly. The reduction for transitional relief will be displayed on your non-domestic rate bill if applicable.

Future revaluations

The most recent revaluation took effect on April 1, 2023, and the next revaluation is scheduled for 2026.

Empty property rates

If you own or rent a business property that is unoccupied, you are not required to pay business rates for the first three months. After this period, most businesses must pay full empty property rates. Industrial premises are exempt from business rates for the first six months after becoming empty.


Certain properties are eligible for extended empty property relief:

  • Listed buildings that are unoccupied
  • Buildings with a rateable value below £2,900 that are unoccupied
  • Properties owned by charities if their next use will be for charitable purposes
  • Community amateur sports club buildings if their next use will be as a sports club
  • Properties where the owner is prohibited by law, by action taken by the Crown or a public authority, from occupying or allowing occupation

Partial occupancy

Ratepayers are responsible for paying full business rates regardless of whether a property is fully or partially occupied. In certain circumstances, if a portion of a property is vacant for a brief period, we may be able to grant relief for the unoccupied portion.

Relief for charities and similar organisations

Relief may be granted to charities or similar organisations that occupy premises and use them wholly or primarily for charitable purposes. We may require additional information if you request this relief. This type of relief, known as mandatory relief, can reduce your business rates by up to 80%.

Discretionary rate relief

In certain circumstances, we may also grant relief towards all or part of the rates bill of organisations that occupy premises and are not established or conducted for profit. This is known as Discretionary Rate Relief, and each council has its own eligibility criteria. To apply for this relief, you must contact us and complete a form. We will also request information to confirm your eligibility.


Business Rates Team


0151 443 4126/4069



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