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The National Non-Domestic (Business) Rate


Help with Business Rates

New – Discretionary Rate Relief Grant Scheme

A new pilot scheme is now in place to grant discretionary rate relief to help businesses achieve their growth potential. The aim of this scheme is to help to create the right environment for businesses to achieve their growth plans, create jobs and contribute to the economic development of Leicester.  It is split into three themes: 


  1. Supporting high-growth businesses;

  2. Bringing properties with significant economic value back into use; and

  3. Attracting Inward Investors


Businesses can apply for relief through a competitive application process. Awards are discretionary and meeting the criteria does not automatically trigger relief.  Please click below to view our policy /  download an application form.


For further information please contact Ashok Thakrar at or telephone (0116) 4542533.


Small Business Rates Relief

The higher level of relief has been further extended to 31st March 2016. Please contact us directly or see the link at the bottom of this page for an application form.


Retail / Reoccupation Relief

  1. Retail rate relief of up to £1,000 (2014/15) and £1,500 (2015/16) can be allowed in respect of all qualifying occupied properties with a rateable value of up to £50,000.

  2. A 50% discount for 18 months is available for those businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for a year or more. This is available for businesses which move into empty premises between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2016

As both of these changes come under discretionary rate relief powers, we have implemented policies in 2014/15 under which all eligible businesses will be considered for a reduction. The policies can be accessed from the links below


The relevant relief will be automatically awarded for all qualifying properties and the rates charge reduced accordingly. If you feel you are entitled to this reduction but the relief has not been allowed on your bill, please print, complete and return the appropriate appeal form, using the links below 


What is National Non-Domestic Rate?

The National Non-Domestic Rate, or Business Rate as it is commonly called, is a national tax on all non-domestic properties to help finance the cost of local services.


It was introduced in April 1990 as a replacement for locally set general rates. Under the retention scheme, which became effective from 1st April 2013, the Council and the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Fire Authority keep a proportion (49% & 1% respectively) of the income received from rates and the remaining 50% is kept by the Government. It replaces the previous system where Councils collected the rates but paid them back to the Government, which then redistributed the amounts through an annual formula grant settlement. The change was to try and create a direct link between rates collected and Council income.


Your Rates Bill

The rates charge is based on the rateable value and the national multiplier. The amount payable may then be subject to certain reliefs and exemptions.

The rateable value of the property is the first element of the calculation of the rates bill. Rateable values are assessed by the Valuation Office Agency, which is an executive agency of HM Revenue and Customs and independent of the Council. Generally, the rateable value of a property reflects the annual rent that it could have been let for on the open market.

The second element in the rates bill is the national rate or "multiplier", expressed in pence per pound and is set by the Government each year.


The basic rates liability, before any reliefs or exemptions, is calculated by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the multiplier.

The Council's role is to bill and collect the rates and administer reliefs and exemptions.


There are two multipliers; for 2015/16, the non-domestic rating multiplier is 49.3 pence in the pound (0.493) and the small business non-domestic rating multiplier  is 48.0 pence in the pound (0.480). The higher multiplier will apply to all unoccupied properties and those occupied but with a rateable value of £18,000 or more. Ratepayers in receipt of mandatory rate relief will also have their rates bill calculated using the higher multiplier, irrespective of rateable value. The lower multiplier will apply to all occupied properties with a rateable value of less than £18,000.


All businesses are sent an annual bill in March for the financial year that begins on 1st April, which is payable by instalments. You can now spread your payments over 12 months (instead of 10) from April 2015 to March 2016. Further details are shown on the back of your bill.


Financial information relating to this Council; Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Combined Fire Authority and the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicestershire can be found here. You will also find from the link, the rates explanatory notes for 2015/16 and details of other help and support available to businesses.


The Government has also set up a website at where you can find more information.