Frequently Asked Questions


Our frequently asked questions give you a simple understanding of everything you need to know as a business rates payer.

Who are RVA Surveyors?

RVA Surveyors are the independent business rates reduction specialists. We offer our services to business rate payers, whether commercial property owners or tenants, with a no reduction no fee option available (NRNF).  Our independent status allows us to ensure that we are solely focused on achieving reductions for our clients.

What are Business Rates?

Business rates (also known as non-domestic rates) are a tax levied by the government on all commercial premises. They are decided by both Central government and the Valuations Office Agency (VOA). Central government sets the multiplier. The VOA sets the rateable value which the multiplier is applied to.

Is RVA Surveyors part of any Local Authority or Government Body?

No. We are completely independent and work to correct/resolve the inaccuracies of both the Valuation Office Agency and your Local Authority. Being an independent business rates reduction specialist gives us the ability to be as thorough as possible when looking into a case for business rates payers.

Who pays Business Rates?

All commercial/non-domestic properties have a Rateable Value (RV) set by the Valuation Office Agency. If a property’s is split into domestic and non-domestic/commercial uses, it may also incur business rates. Some business rates payers may receive an exemption or a relief in their business rates liability.

Professional Surveyors

Our team of surveyors and auditors achieve an 85% success rate through the Check Challenge Appeal and Audit process.

Simply put, we offer a no reduction no fee option. So if you choose this, unless there is a reduction or rebate in the business rates liability for your property there are no fees for our services.

Do small businesses pay business rates?

Small businesses may have to pay business rates. This is all dependent on their rateable value. If the business has a value less than £51,000 they still have to pay rates but it is based on a reduced multiplier. However, some small businesses may be eligible for small business rate relief if they have a rateable value within the range of £12,001-£15,000 and only operate from one site. The conditions are as follows:

Properties £13,500 relief is 50%.

Properties £14,000 relief is 33%.

You will not need to pay business rates at all if your rateable value is under £12,000.

What if a small business uses more than one property?

If as a business you acquire a second property, you will keep getting the existing relief on the main property for 12 months. You can still get small business rates relief on your main property after acquiring a second one if:

None of the other properties outside of the main one have a rateable value above £2,899.

The total rateable value of the properties is less than £20,000 (£28,000 in London).

Are business rates outside the scope of VAT?

Business rates are outside the scope of VAT as it is a tax that is levied by the government. While VAT can be applied to goods from businesses, they cannot be applied to the occupation of the property that the business operates out of.

What is a Multiplier?

A multiplier is the pence in the pound that business rates payers pay against the rateable value. This is the equation that gives you your Rates Payable (also known as your Rates Liability).

The current multipliers are

– Below £51,000 rateable value) £0.49.9

– Above £51,000 rateable value) £0.51.2

Rateable Value x Multiplier = Liability


What is Rateable Value?

Rateable Value (sometimes shown as RV) is set by the Valuation Office Agency based on comparable open market rental evidence, along with the use and size of your commercial property. It is representative of what that property can be rented out for, and is used to calculate non-domestic/commercial property’s business rates.


What is Rates Payable?

Rates payable (also known as Rates Liability) is the full amount you will pay to your local authority based on your Rateable Value as determined by the multiplier. This is after any exemptions or reliefs have been applied.

What is a Rating List?

A rating list is a set period of time where a commercial properties value is set by the Valuation Office Agency. We are now in the 2023 rating list.

Rating lists are either held by Local Authorities or Councils, or in the case of the Central Rating list (which deals with larger companies such as major transports), by central government. Rateable Values, unless successfully argued, will remain the same until the next rating list.


Can I reduce my own Business rates liability?

Like many things, it is possible for business rates payers to achieve reductions in their business rates themselves. However, the complexity of the Check, Challenge, Appeal, (CCA) system means that most businesses would prefer to engage with a business rates reduction specialist.

With approximately one-hundred-and-fifty things that can be sent to Challenge alone, trying to sort a reduction of your own business rates can prove to be more trouble than it’s worth. Over 40,000 properties have so far engaged with RVA; bolstered by our 85% success rate and risk-free policy.

What is RVA’s success rate?

Under the Check Challenge Appeal and Rates Audit process over 85% of properties where a check is lodged, receive a reduction. A rating Audit, whilst a highly specialised service, in simple terms, is a forensic analysis of your historic business rates liability.

Why should I use RVA and what will RVA do for me?

We offer a fully managed end-to-end specialist business rates reduction service. With our expert knowledge and advice, we have a proven history of achieving significant reductions throughout England & Wales.

Our on-going support, reviews, and reductions that are transcending the rating lists are delivered with a ‘No Reduction No Fee’ option available. It is these qualities that allow us to fully engage with our clients to bring about the best outcome. W

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Contact us by phone

Or simply call us on 0330 055 3234 and a member of the team will be happy to help. 

FAQs July 14, 2021