Uniform business rate

The Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is a standard rate of tax applied to the rateable value of non-domestic properties in the United Kingdom, used to calculate business rates owed by businesses to local authorities.
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Updated: May 30, 2024

3 key takeaways

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  • The Uniform Business Rate is a standardized tax rate applied to the rateable value of non-domestic properties.
  • Business rates are a form of property tax levied on businesses by local authorities in the UK.
  • The UBR is set annually by the UK government and is used to determine the amount of business rates payable.

What is the Uniform Business Rate?

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The Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is a fixed multiplier used to calculate the amount of business rates that businesses owe to their local authorities in the United Kingdom. Business rates are a tax on the occupation of non-domestic properties, such as shops, offices, warehouses, and factories. The UBR is set by the central government and is applied uniformly across all local authorities in England.

The purpose of the UBR is to standardize the calculation of business rates, ensuring a consistent approach to property taxation for businesses throughout the country.

How the Uniform Business Rate works

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The amount of business rates a business must pay is determined by multiplying the rateable value of the property by the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) multiplier. The process involves several steps:

  1. Rateable Value: The rateable value of a property is assessed by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and represents the estimated annual rental value of the property on a specific date.
  2. Uniform Business Rate (UBR): The UBR is set annually by the UK government. It is a pence-per-pound value that is applied to the rateable value to calculate the business rates owed.
  3. Calculation: The business rates payable are calculated using the formula:Business Rates Payable=Rateable Value×UBRBusiness Rates Payable=Rateable Value×UBR

For example, if the rateable value of a property is £20,000 and the UBR for the year is 50p, the business rates payable would be:£20,000×0.50=£10,000£20,000×0.50=£10,000

Key features of the Uniform Business Rate

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The UBR has several important features:

  • Standardization: The UBR provides a uniform method for calculating business rates across all local authorities in England, ensuring consistency and fairness in the tax system.
  • Annual adjustment: The UBR is reviewed and set annually by the government, and it may be adjusted to reflect changes in inflation and economic conditions.
  • Small business relief: Businesses occupying properties with a lower rateable value may be eligible for small business rate relief, which reduces the amount of business rates payable.
  • Local authority funding: Business rates collected by local authorities contribute to funding local services and infrastructure, such as schools, roads, and public safety.

Implications of the Uniform Business Rate

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The UBR has significant implications for businesses and local authorities:

  • Business costs: The level of business rates directly impacts the operating costs of businesses. Changes in the UBR can affect the financial burden on businesses, particularly for those occupying high-value properties.
  • Economic impact: Business rates influence location decisions, investment, and expansion plans for businesses. High business rates can deter investment in certain areas, while reliefs and exemptions can encourage economic activity.
  • Local government revenue: Business rates are a major source of revenue for local authorities, supporting the provision of essential public services and infrastructure development.

Understanding the Uniform Business Rate is essential for businesses and policymakers, as it plays a crucial role in property taxation and local government finance. For further exploration, topics such as property taxation, local government funding, and small business rate relief provide deeper insights into the functioning and impact of the UBR in the UK.



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Arti
AI Financial Assistant
Arti is a specialized AI Financial Assistant at Invezz, created to support the editorial team. He leverages both AI and the Invezz.com knowledge base, understands over 100,000... read more.