Business Rate Reliefs

Depending on individual circumstances, a ratepayer may be eligible for a rate relief (i.e. a reduction in their business rates bill). There are a range of available reliefs. Further details are provided below and at Gov.UK - Introduction to Business Rates, at the website of your local authority which is normally shown on your rates bill, or by contacting your local authority.

Temporary Reliefs

Some of the permanent reliefs are set out below, but other temporary reliefs may be introduced by Government at a fiscal event. Further detail on current temporary reliefs is available at Gov.UK - apply for Business Rate Relief. You should contact your local authority for details on the latest availability of business rates reliefs and advice on whether you may qualify.

Business Rate Reliefs - Detailed Notes

Small Business Rates Relief

If a ratepayer's sole or main property has a rateable value which does not exceed a set threshold, the ratepayer may receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for the property of up to a maximum of 100%. The level of reduction will depend on the rateable value of the property. For example eligible properties with a rateable value below a specified lower threshold will receive 100% relief while eligible properties above the lower threshold and below a specified upper threshold may receive partial relief. The relevant thresholds for relief are set by the Government by order and can be obtained from your local authority or at Gov.UK - Introduction to Business Rates

Generally, these percentage reductions (reliefs) are only available to ratepayers who occupy either:

(a) one property, or

(b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed the limit set by order.

The aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must also not exceed an amount set by order. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, they will be allowed to keep that relief for a fixed additional period. Full details on the relevant limits in relation to second properties and the current period for which a ratepayer may continue to receive relief after taking on an additional property can be obtained from your local authority or at Gov.UK - Introduction to Business Rates.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by the ratepayer who is in receipt of relief (other changes will be picked up by the local authority). The changes which should be notified are:

(a) the property falling vacant,

(b) the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, or

(c) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

See Reducing Your Business Rates for more information and to apply.

Charity and Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

Charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or the club and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs).

The local authority has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

See Reducing Your Business Rates for more information and to apply.

Transitional Rate Relief

At a revaluation, some ratepayers will see reductions or no change in their bill whereas some ratepayers will see increases.

Transitional relief schemes are introduced at each revaluation to help those facing increases. Transitional relief is applied automatically to bills.

Further information about transitional arrangements may be obtained from the local authority or the website Gov.UK - Introduction to Business Rates.

Local Discounts and Hardship Relief

Local authorities have a general power to grant discretionary local discounts and to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

See Reducing Your Business Rates for more information and to apply.

Unoccupied Property Rating

Business rates are generally payable in respect of unoccupied non-domestic property. However, they are generally not payable for the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial premises, whilst certain other properties such as vacant listed buildings are not liable for business rates until they are reoccupied.

Full details on exemptions can be obtained from your local authority or from gov.uk at Gov.UK - Apply for Business Rate Relief.

See Reducing Your Business Rates for more information and to apply.

Rate relief for businesses in rural areas

Certain types of properties in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 may be entitled to a discount. The property must be the only general store, the only post office or a food shop and have a rateable value of less than £8,500, or the only public house or the only petrol station and have a rateable value of less than £12,500. The property has to be occupied.

An eligible ratepayer is entitled to relief at 50% of the full charge whilst the local authority also has discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill.

The 2016 Autumn Statement confirmed the doubling of rural rate relief from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2017. Local authorities are expected to use their local discount powers to grant 100% rural rate relief to eligible ratepayers.

Full details can be obtained from the local authority.

See Reducing Your Business Rates for more information and to apply.