Business rates is also known as Non Domestic Rates. Business Rates is a property tax collected by local councils, on behalf of the government. By paying these rates businesses and occupiers of other non domestic properties make a contribution towards to cost of local services.
The council does not have any control over the amount of rates that is charged for a property. The charge is based on the rateable value given to the property. The Government's Valuation Office Agency sets the rateable values for all non domestic properties in the country. The Government sets the rate in the pound (also called the multiplier) each year for the whole country.
The rates collected each year by each council is paid into a central government pool and is then redistributed to local authorities according to the number of people living in their area. This money is then used to pay towards the cost of local services.