Ways in which you may be able to reduce your Business Rates Bill.
Small Business Rate Relief
This relief is aimed at helping small businesses where they are not entitled to another mandatory relief.
Relief is based on the Rateable Value (RV) of your business in the relevant valuation period.
- Businesses that occupy only one property in England and have an RV of less than £15,000 (£12,000 up to 31 March 2017).
- Businesses may qualify if they occupy one main property and other additional properties, providing that:
- the additional properties do not have individual RVs of more than £2,899 (2,599 up to 31 March 2017) and
- the combined RV of all the properties is under £20,000 (18,000 up to 31 March 2017)
Businesses that qualify for small business rate relief when they occupy more than one property can only be granted relief on the main property.
Businesses receiving small business rate relief that take on an additional property which would currently disqualify them from receiving relief, will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.
Small business rate relief is funded by a supplement added to all other rates bills. However, if your property has a rateable value above £15,000 (£12,000 up to 31 March 2017) but below £51,000 (£18,000 up to 31 March 2017), your bill will have already been calculated using the lower small business multiplier. This means that although you are not entitled to the relief, you will not have to pay the supplement.
How much relief will I get?
Relief is on a sliding scale.
Up to to 31 March 2017
- Properties with an RV of up to £6,000 receive 100 per cent relief.
- Properties with an RV between £6,000 and £12,000, will receive tapered relief and relief will gradually reduce from 100 per cent at £6,000 to 0 per cent at £12,000.
From 1 April 2017, Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) doubled and the thresholds increased to benefit a greater number of businesses.
- Properties with an RV of up to £12,000 will receive 100 per cent relief.
- Properties with an RV between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief and relief will gradually reduce from 100 per cent at £12,000 to 0 per cent at £15,000.
- If you are not receiving the relief and you think that you are eligible, you should contact the Business Rates helpline on 01543 464282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Charitable and Discretionary Relief
If your property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes, you are automatically entitled to an 80% reduction of your bill (mandatory relief), though you will need to apply to the Council to make sure you receive it. In addition, the Council may award discretionary rate relief for all or part of the remaining 20% of the bill (discretionary relief). If the property is a charity shop, the property must be wholly or mainly used for the sale of goods donated to the charity and the proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the charity.
If your organisation is not a charity but is another type of non-profit making organisation, you are not automatically entitled to relief, but the Council may award discretionary rate relief for all or part of the bill. To qualify, the organisation must be charitable, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts, or the property must be used wholly or mainly for the purpose of recreation. If your business property is in a designated rural area, you may be able to claim rural rate relief.
For more information on this topic please visit the Discretionary Rate Relief for Businesses section.
If you are suffering severe hardship and cannot pay your Business Rates bill the Council may decide to award up to 100% (discretionary) rate relief. The Council will only do this in extreme cases of hardship and for businesses which are particularly important to the local community.
Rural Rate Relief
If your business is in a rural village with a population below 3000, and it is one of the following types of business:
- The only village general store or post office, and the rateable value of the property is less than £8,500.
- A food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500. (Restaurants and take-away premises are not included).
- The only village pub, or the only village petrol station with a rateable value of less than £12,500.
The above premises are entitled to a 50% reduction in the Business Rates bill (mandatory relief), or more if the Council awards discretionary rate relief for all or part of the remaining 50% (discretionary relief).
If you own a business with a rateable value of less than £16,500 situated in a qualifying rural village, the Council may decide to award up to 100% (discretionary) rate relief, as long as your business is of benefit to the community.
Unnoccupied and Partly Occupied Property
Non-domestic properties which are unoccupied or partly occupied may be liable to empty property rates.
For more information on this topic please visit the Empty Properties section.
Appeals against Rateable Value
If you think your rateable value is wrong, you can make a proposal to alter it. This is know as making an appeal.
For more information on making an appeal please visit our section on appealing against Rateable Value.
Business Rates - New Reliefs available from 2017
In his 2017 Spring Budget the Chancellor announced three new schemes of relief to support businesses:
- Supporting Small Businesses;
- New Business Rate Relief for pubs; and
- New Discretionary Relief Scheme
Supporting small businesses
This is a new scheme of relief made available to those ratepayers facing large increases as a result of the loss of rural rate and small business rate relief due to the revaluation.
To support these ratepayers, the ‘Supporting Small Businesses’ relief will
ensure that the increase per year is limited to the greater of:
- a percentage increase of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% in 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation. Unlike the transitional relief scheme, for the first year of the scheme the percentage increase is taken against the bill for 31 March 2017 after small business rate relief or rural rate relief; and
- a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). This cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after small business rate relief are brought into paying something
Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme.
This relief has been automatically applied to eligible accounts and therefore
there is no formal application process.
New business rate relief for pubs
Please note new applications for 2018/19 can only be accepted up to 30th September 2019.
This is a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses for two years, 2017/18 and 2018/19.
The scheme is available to eligible occupied properties with a rateable value of less than £100,000.
The Government’s states that eligible pubs must:
- Be open to the general public
- Allow free entry other than when occasional entertainment is provided
- Allow drinking without requiring food to be consumed
- Allow drinks to be purchased at a bar.
The Government has excluded the following property categories from the scheme:
- restaurants, cafes and snack bars
- nightclubs, casinos and cinemas
- hotels, guesthouses and boarding houses
- concert halls, music venues, sporting venues and festival sites
- theatres, museums and exhibition halls
Awards such as Pub Relief are required to comply with the EU law on State Aid. This states that an organisation cannot receive more than €200,000 of government funding over a 3 year period, as set out under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. If you believe you have exceeded the €200,000 state aid limit please contact us immediately.
We have written to Pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 to invite them to apply for this relief. If you haven’t received a letter and
application form and believe that you qualify for the relief, please contact
the Business Rates helpline on 01543 464282 or email email@example.com to request an application form.
Business Rates Revaluation Relief Scheme
In line with the budget announcement in Spring 2017 and subsequent funding arrangements, the Council has adopted a discretionary relief scheme primarily to support those local businesses most severely affected by the revaluation of all rateable values which took effect from 1 April 2017.
Details the scheme are included in the current discretionary rate relief policy which can be viewed here.
Business Rates - Retail Discount
At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a one-third discount for eligible retail
businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, up to state aid limits. This scheme
will run for two years from April 2019. This discount will be applied to the bill after the
application of any reliefs, excluding any local discounts.
The Government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme, which can be found
This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under
section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988).
Please contact the Business Rates Team on 01543 464282 for further information.
Last Updated: 11/03/2019