Business rates discounts, exemptions and relief
Small business rate relief
You can get small business rate relief if:
- your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
- your business only uses one property, you may still be able to get relief if you use more
Amount of business rate relief available to ratepayers
For a property with a rateable value of not more than:
- £15,000 the ratepayer will receive a relief of up to a maximum of 100%
- £12,000 the ratepayer will receive a relief of 100%
Ratepayers who can apply for relief
Generally, this relief is only available to ratepayers who occupy:
- (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 combined total 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 claimed.
If the rateable value, or combined total rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will stop 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 they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.
Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to us by a ratepayer who is in receipt of relief. Other changes will be picked up by us.
The changes you must tell us about:
- (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.
Apply for small business rate relief
Unoccupied property rating
Business rates will not be payable in the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 months in the case of certain industrial properties.
After this period rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order.
In most cases the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs. In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the unoccupied property rate.
Full details on exemptions can be obtained from the Business Rates Department. If the unoccupied property rate for the financial year has been reduced by order, it will be shown on the front of your bill.
Local discounts or discretionary rate relief
We can grant discretionary local discounts. Full details are in the discretionary rate relief policy:
We have the discretion to give hardship relief in exceptional circumstances. Please complete the application form and send it back to us.
Application form for hardship relief 2023 to 2024 (ODT, 16 KB)
Charity and community amateur sports club relief
There is an 80% mandatory relief for charities and registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs. This is only when they occupy the property and use for the charitable purposes of the charity or purpose of the club. This includes when there is more than one charity or club using the property too.
Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief Scheme
At the Autumn Statement on 17 November 2022 the Chancellor announced the introduction of a new business rates relief scheme for retail, hospitality and leisure properties worth around £2.1 billion in 2023/24. This will support the businesses that make our high streets and town centres a success and help them to evolve and adapt to changing consumer demands.
The 2023/24 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Business Rates Relief scheme will provide eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business.
Under the cash cap, no ratepayer can in any circumstances exceed the £110,000 cash cap across all of their hereditaments in England.
Hereditaments that meet the eligibility for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme will be occupied hereditaments which meet all of the following conditions for the chargeable day as they are wholly or mainly:
Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of goods to visiting members of the public:
- shops (such as: florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, newsagents, hardware stores, supermarkets, etc)
- charity shops
- post offices
- furnishing shops/ display rooms (such as: carpet shops, double glazing, garage doors)
- car/caravan show rooms
- second-hand car lots
- petrol stations
- garden centres
- art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)
Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of the following services to visiting members of the public:
- hair and beauty services (such as: hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc)
- shoe repairs/key cutting
- travel agents
- ticket offices e.g. for theatre
- dry cleaners
- PC/TV/domestic appliance repair
- funeral directors
- photo processing
- tool hire
- car hire
Hereditaments that are being used for the sale of food and/or drink to visiting members of the public:
- sandwich shops
- coffee shops
Hereditaments which are being used as cinemas
Hereditaments that are being used as live music venues:
Hereditaments that are being used for the provision of sport, leisure and facilities to visiting members of the public (including for the viewing of such activities).
- sports grounds and clubs
- museums and art galleries
- sport and leisure facilities
- stately homes and historic houses
- tourist attractions
- wellness centres, spas, massage parlours
- casinos, gambling clubs and bingo halls
Hereditaments that are being used for the assembly of visiting members of the public.
- public halls
- clubhouses, clubs and institutions
We consider hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation to mean:
Hereditaments where the non-domestic part is being used for the provision of living accommodation as a business:
- Hotels, Guest and Boarding Houses
- Holiday homes
- Caravan parks and sites
The following Hereditaments are not eligible for this relief:
- financial services (e.g. banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, short-term loan providers, betting shops)
- medical services (e.g. vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
- professional services (e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, employment agencies, estate agents, letting agents)
- post office sorting offices
Hereditaments that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public
Apply for retail relief after 1 April 2023 (ODT, 20 KB)
Relief for local newspapers 2020 to 2025
The Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth up to £1,500 a year until 31 March 2025, to office space occupied by local newspapers.
This is up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits. The relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988).
Eligibility criteria for the local newspaper business rates relief is set out by GOV.UK
Contact Business Rates
Monday to Thursday: 9am to 5:15pm
Friday: 9am to 5pm
Tel: 020 8359 2735
Write to us at:
PO Box 236