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Business Rates: What you need to know

Last updated 3 December 2015

Telephone lines for Business Rates enquiries are only available from 9am to 1pm

How Business Rates are used

Business Rates or 'Non-Domestic Rates' are collected to contribute towards local services. You’ll probably have to pay Business Rates if you use a building or part of a building for non-domestic purposes such as a shop, factory or office.

Some buildings are exempt from Business Rates:

  • agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms
  • buildings used for the training or welfare of disabled people
  • buildings registered for public religious worship and church halls

If you’re thinking of taking on business premises in Waltham Forest, contact the Business Rates team on 0208 496 3000 to find out what the charge is likely to be and discuss any reliefs you may be entitled to.

If you do take on a commercial property, you’ll need to register for Business Rates as early as possible to maximise the number of instalments you’ll have to pay the charge.

Council income and expenditure 2015-16 (16KB PDF file)

Waltham Forest Business Rates Guide 2015 (1MB PDF file)

Letter from the Leader of the Council on Business Rates (116 KB Word file)

Information on ways to pay and translations from the back of your bill  (290KB PDF file)

How the Business Rates charge is worked out

Business Rates are calculated by multiplying:

For the financial year 2015/16 the multiplier is:

  • 0.493 pence in the pound for a standard business
  • 0.480 pence in the pound the small business rate

If your rateable value is less than £18,000 (£25,500 in Greater London) your Business Rate will be calculated using the small business rate.

Use this guide to help you estimate your Business Rate.

Read the GOV.UK guide to Business Rates which includes information on what to do if you don’t agree with your valuation and where to get professional advice.

The Cross Rail Business supplement

If your property has a rateable value over £55,000 you may have a contribution to the Cross Rail Business supplement added to your bill. Details of this supplement are outlined in the guide below.

Cross Rail business supplement guide 2015-16 (PDF file, 87 KB)

You may qualify for a reduction in your Business Rate charge if you are a retail business, small business, charity or if your property is empty. Read Business Rates: reductions for more information and application forms.

You can also apply to pay your Business Rates by instalments through to March each year. This will maximise the amount of time you have to pay and therefore reduce the monthly sum.


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