Business rates reductions
Small business rates relief
You can apply for small business rate relief if:
- you occupy one property
- the rateable value of your property is less than £15,000
- you occupy one main property and other additional properties, and which the additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899.
What you will get
You are entitled to 100% relief for a sole or main property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.
For properties with a rateable value between £12,001 and £14,999, the rate or relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0%.
If you have more than one property, you can get small business rate relief if the rateable value of each of your other properties does not exceed £2,899. The rateable values of the properties are added together and the relief is applied to the main property.
Change of circumstances
You must tell us if:
- you take up an additional property
- the rateable value of another property you use changes.
You must notify us within 28 days of the change taking place.
Additional support for small businesses
The government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would have normally 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.
If your property has a rateable value below £51,000, you’re considered a small business. If you do not qualify for small business rate relief, your business rates will be calculated using the small business multiplier instead of the standard one. This applies even if you have more than one property.
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.
How to apply for small business rate relief
Relief for unoccupied and partly occupied properties
You don’t have to pay Business Rates for properties which have been unoccupied for three months. After this time, most businesses will have to pay full business rates.
A property is 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, full business rates must be paid.
Some properties are exempt from unoccupied property relief:
- Industrial premises for example warehouses, are exempt for another three months.
- Properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900.
- Nationally listed buildings - until they are reoccupied.
- Companies in liquidation or administration.
- Properties which cannot be occupied by law.
- Personal representation of a deceased person.
- Community amateur sports club buildings - only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club.
- Properties owned by a charity and if when next in use, are likely to be used for charity purposes.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as your property becomes vacant.
Partly occupied properties
A ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly unoccupied.
Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, in certain cases, we can award relief for any unoccupied part.
Please email email@example.com as soon as the partial occupancy begins. We usually inspect the premises to confirm the partial occupancy. We may also request a plan of the premises so that the Valuation Office Agency can accurately apportion the rateable value between the occupied and unoccupied areas.
Charities and registered community amateur sports club relief
Charities and registered community amateur sports clubs can apply for charitable rate relief of up to 80%, if a property is used for charitable purposes.
In some cases, we can give further relief on the remaining 20%.
To apply, please complete the application form and return it to the Business Rates team.
Discretionary relief for non-profit making organisations
In some cases, we can give discretionary relief on properties occupied by non-profit making organisations.
For further information on how to apply, view our Business Rates Discretionary Rates Relief Policy 2020.
In exceptional circumstances, we can award hardship relief. Any award has to be shown to be in the interest of local taxpayers as we must bear 25% of the cost.
Under the Local Government Finance Act 1992, there is no right of appeal against our refusal to grant discretionary relief. However, you can ask us to re-consider our decision.
For further information and to apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief scheme
The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief scheme will provide eligible properties with a 50% discount for business rates in 2022/23. A cash cap of £110,000 for each business will apply.
Properties that will benefit from the relief will be wholly or mainly being used:
- as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues
- for assembly and leisure
- as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation.
The Government has produced guidance on the types of business that fall within these categories.
How to apply for the discount
If you think your business may be eligible, email email@example.com and include the following information:
- name of ratepayer
- address of premises
- business rates account number
- what the premises are used for
- if the business has already received retail, hospitality and leisure relief on any other premises in England and if it has, also include the address of each property and the amount of relief awarded for each property
- that your business has received less than the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance of £343,000 over 3 years (including 2022/23).
All applications for 2022/23 relief, must be received by 29 September 2023.
Properties that don’t qualify for the discount
The following properties are not eligible for the relief scheme:
- Properties that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:
- Financial services for example, banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers and betting shops
- Medical services for example, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths and chiropractors
- Professional services for example, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents / financial advisers, employment agencies, estate agents and letting agents
- Properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.
The cash cap
In line with the conditions set by the Government, a ratepayer may only claim up to £110,000 of support under the 2022/23 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rate Relief scheme, for all their eligible properties. This cash cap applies at a Group company level (so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company) and also to organisations which, although not a company, have such an interest in a company that they would, if they were a company, result in its being the holding company.
Additionally, the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief scheme is subject to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA). The subsidies chapter within the TCA only applies to subsidies over the value of approximately £343,000 per beneficiary over a 3-year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years) (the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit). Extended Retail Discounts granted in 2020/21 or 2021/22 do not count towards the limit. Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the 3-year period should be counted.
We will grant Discretionary Rate Relief (DRR) to occupiers of business properties located within the Infinity Park Enterprise Zone, under certain circumstances.
To qualify for DRR, businesses must have been located on Infinity Park by 31 March 2018. Those businesses that do may be eligible for DRR 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 DRR given to a business locating on Infinity Park will be classed as state aid and is therefore subject to state aid de minimis limits. More information about state aid is included on page 5 of the application form.
As well as locating within the relevant area of the Enterprise Zone, to qualify for DRR businesses will need to demonstrate how their business supports the vision of Infinity Park and will contribute towards growth in the D2N2 local economy. Only businesses that can demonstrate this will be considered for DRR.
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 up until 31 March 2025.
This relief needs to comply with new subsidies rules as EU State Aid rules no longer apply.
This does not impact the limited circumstances in which State Aid rules still apply under the Withdrawal Agreement, specifically Article 10 of the Northern Ireland Protocol. The United Kingdom remains bound by its international commitments, including subsidy obligations set out in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the EU. BEIS guidance for public authorities explaining the subsidies chapter of the TCA, World Trade Organisation rules on subsidies, and other international commitments can be found on the GOV.UK website.
To apply, email firstname.lastname@example.org with full details of why your business should be considered for this discount. Please tell us all the information you think is relevant to support your application.
Ratepayers that occupy more than one property may be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties, subject to subsidies rules.