Business rate relief and exemptions

If you pay business rates, you may be eligible for rate relief. There are several options available.

Charity and amateur community sports clubs

Charity and registered amateur sports clubs can apply for charitable relief, which can reduce the bill by 80 per cent (called mandatory rate relief).  We also have discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20 per cent on such properties (called discretionary rate relief).

Apply for Mandatory Rate Relief (MRR)

Download, complete and return:  Business rates relief [charities] [PDF, 56kB]

Apply for Discretionary Rate Relief (DRR)

Discretionary Rate Relief is awarded from the Community Grants budget.  

For 2017-18: All the budget has now been committed.

Relief for small businesses

To qualify for a reduced business rate, your business must occupy either:

  • a single property with a rateable value of less than £18,000
  • a main property with additional properties, where the additional properties have a rateable value of less than £2,900 each, and the total rateable value of all properties together is less than £20,000

If your business meets either of these criteria, your business rates bill will be calculated using a lower uniform business rate (UBR) multiplier.

Apply

Additional relief

In addition to having your bill calculated using the lower multiplier, a further reduction is available if the rateable value of the single or main property is less than £15,000.

A percentage rate reduction is available on a sliding scale for properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £14,999, and a straight reduction of 100% is available for properties with a rateable value below £12,000.

Unless your circumstances change, your rates relief will last until the next revaluation of your property in 2022.

Empty and partly-occupied properties

Empty properties

If a property is empty and unused, you do not have to pay business rates for the first three months from the date the property was first unoccupied. This is extended to six months for certain industrial properties.

After this period, rates are payable at the standard rate, as if the building was occupied.

Some exemptions do apply - such as listed buildings, small properties with rateable values of less than £2,900, or where occupation has been restricted by law.

Owners of these properties do not have to pay business rates for as long as the property remains empty.

Partly-occupied properties

If a property is partly-occupied for a short period of time, we have the discretion to give business rate relief on the part of the property that is unoccupied.

For example, this could apply if your business is moving into or out of a property in stages.

If discretionary relief is granted, the rateable value will be recalculated, and, if applicable, empty-property rates will be payable on the unoccupied part and full rates will be payable on the occupied part of the property.

Apply for your empty or partly-occupied property

Contact us with the following information:

  • the address of the property
  • the name of the current owner or leaseholder
  • the date it was or will be empty or partly-occupied

Applications for partly-occupied properties also need:

  • a plan of the property which identifies the unoccupied area
  • reasons for the application

Contact us

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