Business Rates FOI requests
We are frequently asked for information about Business Rates accounts under the Freedom of Information Act.
Account information and sole traders
Please note that we consider sole trader information to be protected by the Data Protection Act 1998 and therefore we will not disclose the business rates account information for a sole trader.
Addresses and rateable value
With regards to requests for the rateable value and address of all Business Rates accounts, the Council considers that FOI Act section 21 (information reasonably accessible to the applicant by another means) applies. Our reason for applying this exemption is that details of the addresses and rateable value of all Business Rates accounts are available on the Valuation Office Agency website.
All other Business Rates account information
Under FOI Section 41 (information provided in confidence) we are not able to supply requesters with all other Business Rates account information. We consider that we could be subject to an actionable breach of confidence if we were to disclose this data to a third party without the authorisation of the companies involved.
Companies provide information to the Business Rates team in circumstances which give rise to an obligation of confidence and companies expect this data to remain confidential. Disclosure would therefore be contrary to the common law principle of confidentiality. Consent has not been obtained from individual Business Rate payers and we feel that it would be impractical to do so.