Business rates

Business rates (also known as non-domestic rates) are the way that businesses help to contribute towards local services. Although they are collected by the council, the amount payable is set by the Government.

Knowsley Council is under a duty to protect public funds and to this end may use the information held or provided by you for the prevention and detection of fraud. It may also share this information with other bodies for these purposes and also for the administration and collection of taxes and charges and for performing other statutory enforcement duties.

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

Frequently asked questions

How is my bill calculated?

The amount payable depends on the rateable value of the property – fixed by the Valuation Office Agency, and the rating multiplier – set by the Government.

Business rates bills are calculated by multiplying the rateable value by the appropriate multiplier. The 2023-24 standard rating multiplier is 51.2 pence and the small business rates relief multiplier is 49.9 pence.  An additional calculation is undertaken for transitional arrangements and we deduct any mandatory or discretionary reliefs awarded.

Do I have to pay the entire bill at once?

No. Everyone starts the financial year with the right to pay by ten or twelve monthly instalments starting in April. If you don’t pay, or don’t pay on time, your right to pay by instalments is cancelled.

How and where do I pay?

Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay. We also have a number of alternative ways you can pay you bill. See our information on how to pay your business rates.

What if I don’t agree with the 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
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 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

Do I have to pay if I have an appeal outstanding?

You must continue to pay your business rates whilst your appeal is pending, otherwise recovery action will continue and you may receive a summons and incur costs. If your appeal is successful, overpaid business rates will be refunded on request. Interest will be paid as long as you have paid instalments in accordance with your bill and we have not had to obtain a Liability Order.

What is transitional relief?

The rateable value of non-domestic properties is generally reassessed every three years. If the rateable value of your property increases significantly as a result of a revaluation, your rates will increase more gradually. This is because there are set limits on how much your rates can increase by following a revaluation. The adjustment to limit the increase or reduction is called transitional relief. We automatically calculate this relief and adjust your bill accordingly. If applicable, the reduction for transitional relief will be shown on your non-domestic rate bill.

When will my rateable value next be reassessed?

The last revaluation was effective from 1 April 2023 and the next revaluation is currently due in 2026.

I own/rent a business property which is empty. Do I have to pay the full amount of business rates?

You don’t have to pay business rates for the first 3 months after the property becomes empty. After this time, most businesses have to pay full empty property rates. Industrial premises are exempt from business rates for the first 6 months after they become empty.

Are there any exemptions to this charge?

Some properties can get extended empty property relief:

  • Empty listed buildings
  • Empty buildings with a rateable value under £2,900
  • Empty properties owned by charities if the property’s next use will be for charitable purposes
  • Community amateur sports club buildings if the property’s next use will be as a sports club
  • The owner is prohibited by law, by action taken by the Crown or a public authority from occupying or allowing occupation of the property

What if only part of the property is empty?

Ratepayers are liable to pay full business rates whether a property is wholly or partly occupied. If part of a property is empty for a short time only, in certain circumstances we may be able to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.

Can charities or other similar organisations get help with their business rates?

Relief can be granted for charities or similar organisations if they occupy premises and use it wholly or mainly for charity purposes. We may need to ask you for further information if you ask for this relief.  This is called mandatory relief and is for a maximum of 80% of the business rates charge.

In certain circumstances we will also make an award of relief towards all or part of the rates bill of organisations in occupation of premises, and the organisation is not established or conducted for profit. This is called Discretionary Rate Relief and each council has their own criteria for eligibility. You need to contact us if you want to claim this relief and we will ask you to complete a form and to ask for information to confirm eligibility.

Where can I get further advice about my business rates?

If you wish to talk to a member of staff, please contact the Business Rates Team on 0151 443 4126/4069 or email [email protected]

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