Guide Overview of Business Rates

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3. Pubs and licensed trade

In England and Wales, the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) works out the rateable value based on the annual level of trade that a pub is expected to achieve if operated in a reasonably efficient way. This is called ‘fair maintainable trade’ and it’s based on:

  • the type of pub or licensed premises
  • the area it’s in
  • the services it offers (for example, food, gaming, sports screenings)

The VOA also looks at rents and turnovers to work out the fair maintainable trade figure, then applies a percentage to work out the rateable value. The percentages are agreed with the British Beer and Pub Association. Government guidance is available in the Business Rates section of their website.

You can view and update the information the VOA holds about your property at

You can contact the VOA at If you are unable to use the online service you can also contact the VOA on 03000 501 501.