Non-domestic and business rates

Reliefs and discounts from business rates

Businesses which occupy a sole or main property with rateable value of not more than £12,000 will get 100% rate relief on their liability. Ratepayers with a sole or main property with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive a percentage reduction in their rate bill.

The relief is available to ratepayers with either:

  • one property, or
  • one main property and other additional properties, providing the additional properties do not have individual rateable values of more than £2,899 and the combined rateable value of all the properties is under £19,999 (or £27,999 in London). The threshold for the combined rateable value is dependent on the location of the main property. The main property is the only one that will have the relief applied to it. The additional properties will have their charges calculated using the standard multiplier.

Discretionary Rate Relief

Central government has provided additional funding over a four year period for businesses who have seen a substantial increase in the amount of business rates payable following the 2017 revaluation exercise by the Valuation Office.

Our local Discretionary Rate Relief scheme will limit increases for some businesses who have been affected by increases due to the revaluation exercise. Details of the scheme can be found here.

Rural Rate Relief

At the Autumn Statement on 23 November 2016 the Chancellor of the Exchequer confirmed that rural rate relief will double from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2017.

The Government intends to amend the relevant primary legislation to require local authorities to grant 100% mandatory Rural Rate Relief to take effect from 1 April 2018. However, before the requirement to grant mandatory relief comes into force local authorities are expected to use their local discount powers to grant 100% rural rate relief to eligible ratepayers from 1 April 2017.

How it works

The Rural Rate Relief scheme was introduced to help protect the last retail outlets and similar services in rural settlements with a population of less than 3,000.

Under the scheme, the following businesses in designated rural settlements are entitled to 50 per cent mandatory rate relief;

  • the sole village shop or post office with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • the sole public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500

Who is eligible for 100% rural rate relief?

Anyone who is entitled to the mandatory Rural Rate Relief as above will be eligible for the increased level of discount off their rates bill.

When does this happen?

The revised reliefs will apply from 1 April 2017.

How will the relief be provided?

For 2017-18, local authorities will be expected to use their discretionary relief powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to grant the revised rural rate relief in line with the eligibility criteria set out in this document.

The relief will be subject to state aid de minimis levels in the normal way.

Increase in level of small business rate relief

The government introduced a temporary increase in the level of small business rate relief (SBRR) available to eligible businesses in October 2010.

On 24 March 2010, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the government would temporarily increase the level of SBRR so that eligible ratepayers would pay no rates on properties with rateable values up to £6,000, with a tapered relief between 100% and 0% for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000.

In his autumn statement, the chancellor announced that the double level of Small Business Rate relief would again be extended and would now continue until 31 March 2017.

Charities and other non-profit organisations

The Policy for the Determination of Discretionary Business Rate Relief Policy for Charities, Community Amateur Sports Clubs and Not for Profit Organisations was approved at Cabinet and Council in February 2017.

You can find the Discretionary Non-Domestic Rate Relief policy here.


Charities are entitled to mandatory relief of 80% of the full rate bill (or of the transitional bill where such arrangements apply) on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes. Billing authorities have discretion to award further relief to cover the remaining 20% of the bill.

Community amateur sports clubs

Where a property is occupied by a club which is a Registered Community Amateur Sports Club (CASCS) then mandatory relief of 80% of the full rate bill can be given.

Bodies not established or conducted for profit

Billing authorities can award relief of up to 100% to non-profitmaking bodies whose main objects are charitable or otherwise philanthropic or religious, or are concerned with social welfare, education, science, literature, the fine arts or recreation.

The power is discretionary and can therefore be limited by other factors.

Retail Discount

At Autumn Budget 2018, the Government announced a one-third discount for eligible retail businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000, up to state aid limits. This scheme will run for two years from April 2019. This discount will be applied to the bill after the application of any reliefs, excluding any local discounts.

The Government has issued guidance on the operation of the scheme which can be found here.

This relief will be delivered through local authority discretionary discount powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988). Further information can be obtained from the local authority.

Unoccupied properties

Once a property becomes empty, the first three months are exempt from rating (six months in the case of empty industrial property). After this period 100% rates are payable. Certain types of empty property will have no rates payable after the three month period expires - these include listed buildings, ancient monuments and those with a rateable value under £2,900.

Pay your Business Rates online

You can pay your Business Rates bill online now using our secure payment system. Make sure to select 'Business Rates' from the list on the left.