Business rates - reductions

There are a number of ways you can get help with reducing the Business Rates that you pay:

Small Business Rate Relief

Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 (and who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates) will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

In addition, generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value which does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.

Generally, this percentage reduction (relief) is 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 £2,899.

The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all the properties mentioned in (b), must not exceed £19,999 outside London or £27,999 in London on each day for which relief is being sought. If the rateable value, or aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

The government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief they should contact their local authority. Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the local authority by a 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 ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property and
(b) 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.

Backdating small business rate relief

Small business rate relief can be backdated for a maximum of six years from the date of your application, as long as you have met the qualifying criteria throughout.

Changes in circumstances

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the Business Rates team by the ratepayer. The changes which must be notified are: 

a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time of making their application for relief, and

b) 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.

Notification of these changes must be given to the Business Rates team within 28 days of the change taking place.

To apply, please complete and return the Small Business Rates Relief application form.

Unoccupied property rating

Most owners or tenants of non-domestic properties that are unoccupied will have to pay empty property rates. When a property first becomes empty, there will be a rates free period of three months for commercial assessments or six months for industrial assessments. After the defined period of time we will charge rates at 100%. There are exemptions to this.

A property is only classed as unoccupied when all the items have been removed (with the exception of fixtures and fittings). If a property is being used for storage purposes then full Business Rates must be paid.

If a property has been empty for more than three/six months before it is purchased or leased, then empty property rates will apply immediately from the date the property is purchased or leased.

Exemptions

Certain types of unoccupied properties are exempt from empty property rates. These include: 

  • nationally listed buildings 
  • properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900 
  • companies in liquidation or administration 
  • properties which cannot be occupied by law 
  • personal representation of a deceased person
  • charity and registered community sports club relief registered 
  • properties owned by a charity and, when next in use, are likely to be used for charity purposes.

To claim unoccupied property relief, you must contact the Business Rates team as soon as the property becomes vacant.

Partly occupied property relief

A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have the discretion to award relief for any unoccupied part.

To apply for this relief, you must contact the Business Rates team as soon as the partial occupancy begins. We usually inspect the premises to confirm the partial occupancy. We may also require you to provide a plan of the premises so that the Valuation Office Agency can accurately apportion the rateable value between the occupied and unoccupied areas.

Charity and registered 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 club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a registered community amateur sports club.

We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining 20%. To apply, please complete and return the Mandatory Rate Relief application form

Discretionary relief for non-profit making organisations

We have discretion to give relief to non-profit making organisations via our Discretionary Rate Relief Policy. To apply, complete and return the Discretionary Rate Relief application form 2019.  

Hardship relief

We have discretion to give relief in exceptional circumstances. Any award has also to be shown to be in the interest of Council Taxpayers as we must bear 25% of the cost and therefore this has to be funded from Council Tax. To apply, please contact the Business Rates team.

Retail Discount

The government has introduced a retail discount scheme for all occupied properties with a rateable value of less than £51,000 for 2019/20 and 2020/21. The value of discount will be one third of the Business Rates bill after any reduction for other reliefs.  In order to be eligible for the discount, the property must be:

  • classed as a retail property and is occupied
  • have a rateable value of less than £51,000
  • wholly or mainly used as a shop, restaurant, café or drinking establishment.

Business Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties, subject to State Aid De Minimis limits.

State aid

State aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses.

The award of this relief is considered likely to amount to state aid. However it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 ‘de minimis’ aid over a rolling three-year period.

If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), please contact us straight away with details of the aid received.

More information can be found on the state aid section of the government's website.

Applying for retail discount

Please read the Retail Discount Guidance Notes v2 before filling in and returning the Retail Discount application form.

For more information about retail relief, please refer to the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.

Enterprise Zone

Discretionary Rate Relief for Derby's Enterprise Zone

Derby City Council will grant Discretionary Rate Relief (DRR) to occupiers of business properties located within the Infinity Park Enterprise Zone under certain circumstances.

To qualify for this relief businesses have to have been located on Infinity Park by 31 March 2018. Those businesses that do may be eligible for this relief of up to 100% of the Business Rates payable, up to a limit of £55,000 per year and £275,000 over a five year period. Any relief given to a business will be classed as state aid and is therefore subject to state aid de minimis limits. More information about state aid is included in the application form.

As well as locating within the relevant area of the Enterprise Zone, to qualify businesses will need to demonstrate how their business supports the vision of Infinity Park Derby and will contribute towards growth in the D2N2 local economy. Only businesses that can demonstrate this will be considered for relief.

To claim this relief you will need to read the DRR guidance notes and then complete and return the Enterprise Zone claim form.‌

Local newspaper relief

From 1 April 2017, the government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth £1,500 for office space occupied by local newspapers.

This relief needs to comply with the European Union law on state aid. Therefore, to qualify for this relief, your business should not receive more than €200,000 of state aid in a three-year period (being the current and prior two financial years). The €200,000 threshold may be of particular relevance to those premises that are part of a large chain.

Please note that this relief will cease at the end of the 2019/20 financial year.

State aid

State aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses.

The award of this relief is considered likely to amount to state aid. However it will be state aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013. The de minimis regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 ‘de minimis’ aid over a rolling three-year period.

If you are receiving, or have received, any ‘de minimis’ aid granted during the current or two previous financial years (from any source), please contact us straight away with details of the aid received.

More information on this can be found on the state aid pages on the government's website.

Eligibility criteria

This relief is administered under the local powers discount contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988:

  • The relief is available to local newspapers only
  • The property must be occupied by a local newspaper and used wholly or mainly as offices for journalists and reporters
  • Only one discount is available per newspaper title and per property
  • Subject to state aid limits.

Exclusions

  • Local council newspapers
  • Online publications
  • Local magazines

Application process

There is no application form for this local discount. To apply, please contact the Business Rates team by email giving full details of why your business should be considered for this local discount and provide all information you think is relevant to support your application, including your contact details.

Supporting Small Business Relief

This relief is available for ratepayers who, as a result of a change in their rateable value in the 2017 rating list, have lost some or all of their Small Business Rate Relief. It is available for the 2017/18 through to the 2021/22 financial years.

Ratepayers that qualify for this relief will have the yearly increase in their bills limited to:

Financial year Increase (greater of)
2017/18 5% plus inflation or £600
2018/19 7.5% plus inflation or £600
2019/20 10% plus inflation or £600
2020/21 15% plus inflation or £600
2021/22 15% plus inflation or £600

Ratepayers meeting the scheme criteria will automatically receive the relief and providing ratepayers continue to be entitled, awards will automatically continue year to year.

For more information, please refer to the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy.

Revaluation Support Relief

A government scheme to support businesses that face the steepest increases in bills as a result of the 2017 revaluation. Derby was allocated funds to provide this support.

Year 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Amount £000's 522 254 104 15

To qualify for this relief certain criteria must be satisfied. See the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy for more details.

Generally, the maximum award will be:

Year Maximum Award
2017/18 15% of the 2017/18 bill but capped at £5,000
2018/19 5% of the 2018/19 bill but capped at £5,000
2019/20 2.5% of the 2019/20 bill but capped at £5,000
2020/21 1% of the 2020/21 bill but capped at £5,000

Generally, ratepayers meeting the criteria will automatically receive the relief. See the Discretionary Rate Relief Policy for more details. 

Pub Relief

(for 2017/18 and 2018/19 only)

Pub relief of up to £1,000 for each eligible property is available for the financial years in question.

The qualifying criteria is set out in our Discretionary Rate Relief Policy

If your business satisfies the criteria you will be automatically awarded relief.

Useful forms

Contact details

Email:
Post address:
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Derby
DE1 2FS
Phone: 01332 642428
Minicom: 01332 640666
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Derby
DE1 2FS