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Apply for business rates relief

Find what business rates relief your business may qualify for and how to apply. 

How do I apply for business rates relief?

Your business may qualify for business rate relief depending on factors such as what your organisation does, where it is located and the rateable value of your business property.

Answer the questions below to find out what business rate relief your business may qualify for and how to apply

Does my business qualify for small business rate relief?

Your business may qualify for small business rates relief if:

  • you occupy only one property with a rateable value of under £15,000 
  • you occupy one main property with a rateable value of under £15, 000 and other additional properties. Each additional property must have a rateable value of £2,899 or less and the total rateable value of all your properties is £19,999 or less.

The relief is 100 per cent for properties with a rateable value under £11,999. For those properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £14,999 there is a tapering of the relief and the discount ranges from 100% at £12,000 to zero at £14,999.

Small business rates relief is only available for occupied properties. You must be the ratepayer or a person authorised to act on behalf the ratepayer to submit an application for small business rate relief. 

Your business will not qualify for small business rate relief if:

  • you have not occupied the property
  • you receive mandatory charity relief or rural rate relief 
  • you take on any additional properties 

Check if your business qualifies for small business rates relief

Before filling the online form, make sure you have the following information:

  • your business account name 
  • your business rates account number 
  • the rateable value (RV) of each of your business properties 

Please note: if you submit false information, you can be fined, imprisoned or both. 

Does my business qualify for rural rate relief?

Rural rate relief is available to businesses located in designated rural settlements. You may qualify for a mandatory 100 per cent relief if you are in a designated rural settlement and our business is:

  • a general store with a rateable value of under £8,500
  • a post office with a rateable value of under £8,500  
  • a public house with a rateable value of under £12,500
  • a petrol filling station with a rateable value of under £12,500  
  • a food store with a rateable value of under £8,500

If your business doesn’t qualify for a mandatory business rate relief, you may still qualify for a discretionary relief if the rateable value of your business is a under £16,500. 

Check if your business qualifies for rural rate relief

Before filling the online form, make sure you have the following information:

  • your business account name 
  • your business rates account number 

Does my business qualify for charitable rate relief? 

Registered, and non-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations can apply for charitable rate relief of up to 100% if a property is used for charitable purposes. If you are a registered charity you will automatically qualify for 80% mandatory relief. You can also apply for discretionary relief top up for the remaining 20% charge. If you are not eligible for charitable rate relief, you may still be able to get discretionary relief if you’re a non-profit or voluntary organisation. 

Check if your business qualifies for charitable rate relief

Before filling the online form, make sure you have the following information:

  • your business account name 
  • business rates account number
  • the full address of your business properties 
  • if you are a registered charity, not-for-profit or voluntary organisation, you will need your registration number 
  • your written constitution, if you have one
  • your latest audited business accounts unless this is your first year of trading
  • a business plan – this is not mandatory but it can be used if you don’t have audited accounts 
  • information about membership fees if fees are charged and the residency of your members 
  • if you are a charity shop, information about turnover generated by donated products as opposed to new goods. The percentage of donated goods must be 50 per cent or more to qualify for charitable rate relief. 

Does my business qualify for sports clubs rate relief? 

Community amateur sports clubs (CASCs) can apply for 80% mandatory relief if they are registered with HM Revenue and Customs. A CASC can also apply for a discretionary ‘top up’ relief of up to 20 per cent.

A sports club that is not registered as a CASC, but is operated on a not for profit basis can also apply for discretionary relief.

Check if your business qualifies for sports club rate relief

Before filling the online form, make sure you have the following information:

  • your business account name 
  • your business rates account number 
  • your written constitution, if you have one
  • your latest audited business accounts
  • a business plan – this is not mandatory but it can be used if you don’t have audited accounts 
  • charity registration number if you are a registered charity 
  • public liability insurance certificate
  • information about the residency of your members 

Can I get business rate relief for unoccupied properties? 

If your business property is not occupied, you may still qualify for business rates relief depending on your business. 

Properties can be granted an exemption from the payment of business rates for certain periods if they are unoccupied and there are various other discounts and exemptions available.

If a property is empty the following types of exemption are available:

  • if the property has a rateable value under £2,899 or the property is listed or the property is classified as land. In this case an exemption can be applied for as long as the property is empty
  • if the property has a rateable value of over £2,899 and is an industrial property. In this case a maximum six month period of exemption can be applied
  • if the property is over £2,899 and is not industrial. In this case a maximum period of three months exemption can be applied. 
  • in all cases the exemption applies to the property and so if the previous account holder has already used some of the empty exemption then the remaining amount of time is the maximum that can be applied. If all the period of exemption has been utilised then no further exemption is applicable, until the property has been occupied again for at least 6 weeks.

Read more about occupied and unoccupied properties on the billing of business rates page. 

How do I contact the business rates team?

If you need further information regarding business rates relief, please contact the business rate team:

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Tel: (01482) 394748
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