Business Rates / Rating

Our Business Rates team covers everything from challenging and negotiating business rate valuations to examining your business rate records and rates account management.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice

The Government recently announced a package of grant payments for businesses who qualify for Small Business Rates Relief, and, in addition, those in the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, to help with fixed costs.


These are not business rates grants, but entitlement to certain elements of rates relief is being used as a vehicle for identifying grant recipients. Over the course of the next two weeks, billing authorities will be writing to you to request your bank details to make a payment for all applicable properties.


The exemptions and grants available to you are:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday has been given for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England. There is no rateable value limit on the relief. This is available if your property has had to close or is still operating a takeaway service.

  • As the rates holiday/relief does not apply until 1st April 2020 and the Government made it the law for properties not to be occupied from 21st March, you should be able to claim empty rates relief from then until 31st March. We can advise further on this.

  • You will receive a small business grant funding of £10,000 if you are in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief. If you have are not in this category, you will be eligible for grant funding for retail, leisure and hospitality businesses of £10,000 on a property with a rateable value up to and including £15,000, and £25,000 with property with a rateable value between £15,000.01 and £50,999. This is paid per property.

  • There will be 12 months’ relief for properties in the retail, leisure, childcare and hospitality sectors with a Rateable Value of £500,000 or less (definition as per England).

  • A £10,000 grant is available to all businesses eligible for Small Business Rates Relief with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. A £25,000 grant will be given for retail, leisure and hospitality properties with a rateable value between £12,000.01 and £51,000 (for each property) if you are not in the category above. We do not believe that it is possible to obtain a grant in the lower tier if you do not qualify for SBRR.

  • There will be 12 months’ relief for properties in the retail, leisure, hospitality and nursery sectors (no RV limit, definition as per England).

  • Small businesses who receive the small business bonus scheme or rural relief will be eligible for a £10,000 grant (i.e. RV below £18,000).

  • A £25,000 grant for retail, leisure, nursery and hospitality properties with a rateable value between £18,001 and £50,999.

  • For both categories, one grant is available per business, not per property.

  • The NI Executive announced a 12 month rate holiday for certain sectors of the market, which we understand to be:

    • hospitality, tourism and leisure
    • retail (excluding certain supermarkets and off-licences)
    • childcare
    • Belfast City, Belfast International and City of Derry Airports.

  • A grant of £10,000 will be provided to all small businesses who are eligible for the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme.

  • A grant of £25,000 will be provided to companies in the retail, tourism and hospitality sectors with a rateable value between £15,000 and £50,999.

  • Rates payments are being deferred until 1st June.

  • There have been no announcements regarding rates.

If you do not receive the grants and would like us to make an application on your behalf, we’d be happy to do so for a nominal fee.

  • The grants above will be subject to the 800,000 Euros State Aid limit. This limit has been designated specifically for the COVID-19 grants.

  • If a property is partially empty or is being vacated in phases, it may qualify for s44a partial empty rates relief. If you would like any further information on this or have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0800 358 3230 or to email us at
Helping minimise your liability

We are aware that business rates is a huge liability for all businesses and is of particular concern for sectors who are not currently eligible for exemptions or relief. Download the brochures below for where we can help you.
Automotive Support
Tyre, exhaust centres and garages, we can advise you.
Industrial Support
Industrial occupiers, we can advise you.
Landlord Support
If you're a landlord of a property and need advice, we're here for you.
Offices Support
Office occupiers, we can advise you.
Retail Leisure Hospitality Support
Despite being awarded exemptions and grants, there is further help that we can give you.
Serviced Offices Support
Serviced office operators, we can advise you.
S44a Support
Partly-occupied and under-utilised properties, we can advise you.
Grant Funding for Small Businesses
Grant Funding Schemes for Small Businesses
Emergency business grants may be available to small businesses operating in serviced offices. As a way of identifying those that meet the criteria for the grants, Local Authorities are using the small business rate relief scheme.
Download our advice
What we offer
Market leading experts
  • We have 90+ specialists, including four Rating Diploma holders, more than any other private practice firm.

  • Our team includes over 150 agency and valuation specialists, alongside senior leaders formerly with the Valuation Office Agency, who were responsible for providing technical advice and guidance to surveyors across the Agency as well as liaising with colleagues in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

  • Colliers are active participants in the work of external rating bodies and have experts sitting on the panels of the Institute of Revenues Rating and the Rating Surveyors' Association.

  • £1.2 billion has been saved for clients as of 2010, with our Accurates property usage review having refunded over £29 million.

  • We have successfully recovered savings of £300 million, including £3 million in one review alone.

  • Through our rate account management we manage over 50,000 properties and £500 million in client funds per annum.
Extensive experience in both the public and private sectors

Rateable value is the keystone of calculating your business rates assessment. However, it is not an exact science and is based upon a hypothetical opinion of value reached by the Valuation Office Agency, a division of HMRC. It is a complex area and requires specialist rating expertise to challenge it. We work closely with our Valuations team and draw upon their in-depth market knowledge in order to effectively analyse data and query the approaches adopted by the Valuation Office Agency.

Our rating surveyors have extensive experience in both the public and private sectors, having had experience of providing evidence at both Valuation Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. We monitor all changing legislation and are well positioned to provide all of our clients with regular update newsletters throughout the duration of an instruction.

We deliver timely advice on whether it's appropriate to launch appeals, setting out a clear business case. We have the valuation expertise and specialist rating knowledge to ensure that your rateable value is at the lowest level. We actively respond to the government on any prospective changes to legislation and we will ensure that you are informed of any changes in the law that might affect your rate liability. Our services include co-ordination with other bodies, prior agreement of a new property or for the 2021 Rating List, material change of circumstance appeals, focus on methods of valuation and case law specialists. We have specialist surveyors within the team to handle every area of the market.

Forensic examination of your payments record

The Accurates team is made up of highly skilled, forensic rating compliance audit specialists. The majority are Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation qualified former local authority revenues officers. The other part of the team is made up of data and systems analysts, whose prime objective is to supplement your own existing cost management systems.

Accurates is the industry leader, due to its specialist expertise, in providing advice on whether or not rate liabilities (current and historic) demanded by billing authorities, are compliant with current local tax collection/enforcement legislation and best practice.

We forensically examine your historical payments record to identify instances of overpayments in rates, which can be as a result of inaccurate calculation at the time, or through charges that were not compliant with the legislation in force.

Our services include: desktop assessment of liabilities, liability and collection compliance, best practice and due diligence audits, business rates health-check, web-based compliance audit reports and business rate administration.

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Proactive advice on managing and minimising rate liabilities

Empty rates are the breaking point for some in the current market. By eliminating business rate relief on empty properties, companies are being penalised for situations where there is no income. Empty rates are making a bad situation worse.

We played a key role in the consultation that preceded the introduction of the new legislation, helping to limit its impact on owners of empty properties. With a legal consultant on board, we can offer proactive advice on managing and minimising rate liabilities now and in the future. We can ensure compliance with new and existing legislation.

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Managing your rates liability

We manage client rates liability using a dedicated accounts team and surveyors to deal with portfolio changes and appeals. Our team can additionally take on responsibility for the rate function altogether, providing a service that integrates our expertise in rating and management accounts.

We will ensure that only correct rate demands are paid and that any refunds and interest due are paid promptly, making sure all payments are traceable against individual properties and providing regular, comprehensive reports to keep clients in touch with all developments.

Our Services include: dedicated specialists, rate demands, funding and payment, reporting and forecasting.

Rating Expertise
Understand how business rates come into play in each area of the UK and Republic of Ireland.
Rating Success
To date, we have saved clients £300m. We find ways to work with the system.
Property Tax Guide
A quick guide to the rating system.
Success Stories

BT Case Study
We have worked with BT as a single specialist advisor over the past three years providing a complete rating service of valuation appeals, audit and rate account management. 
Travelodge Case Study
We have acted on behalf of Travelodge since 2014 for for 550 sites. We have reviewed the portfolio to ensure that previously missed opportunities were rectified which resulted in significant savings.
Co Op Case Study
We’ve acted for Co-op for the last two rating lists, minimising their liability using all three service lines – appeals, rates payments and audit/empty rates mitigation, over a portfolio of 6,000 properties.
Get in touch


Please do not hesitate to contact the team on:

0800 358 3230


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