Relief from Paying Business Rates

There are a number of different reductions available for business rates:

Empty properties

If a property is empty and unused, no business rates are normally payable for the first three months for commercial premises and six months for industrial premises, thereafter the full charge will be payable and no further reduction will be allowed. An exemption will automatically be applied to your bill, if appropriate, when you advise the council that the property has become empty.

Rate relief for small businesses

A new form of relief for small businesses has been introduced with effect from 1 April 2017. A small business is any business with a rateable value of below £15,000. Download the Small Business Rates Relief form and return it to us.

The relief is available upon application and is granted to businesses who occupy one assessment of below £15,000 or whose businesses occupy other properties where the rateable value of these properties is under £2,900. The total of all the properties must be below £20,000.

Generally, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value that does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill up to a maximum of 100%. For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive 100% reduction in their rates bill.

All assessments below £51,000 will be charged the lower rate poundage of 46.6p (for 2017/18).

Charity relief

Charities are entitled to an 80%  mandatory reduction in their bills. The Council has the discretion to reduce the bill further. In addition, the council has the discretion to grant relief to some other types of non-profit making bodies. Application forms can be requested on-line. Click here to download the Charitable Discretionary Rate Relief Policy. Please complete and return the attached charity and/or discretionary rate relief application form

Rural rate relief

If your business property is in a designated rural area where the population is less than 3,000, you may be able to claim rural rate relief. Application forms can be requested on-line.

Hardship relief

This discretionary relief can be granted by the council if you are experiencing hardship and your business is considered to be important to the local community. There are no specific criteria for entitlement all applications are considered individually. Click here to download the Hardship Rate Relief Policy Please complete and return the attached hardship rate relief application form.

Rate relief for community amateur sports clubs

Registered Community Amateur Clubs (CASCs) can receive 80% mandatory rate relief and can apply to the Council for discretionary relief on the remaining 20%. To qualify as a CASC, a sports club must:

  • Be open to the whole community
  • Be run as an amateur club
  • Be a non profit making organisation
  • Aim to provide facilities for, and encourage people to take part in, eligible sport

To register as a CASC please see: or telephone the Inland Revenue Sports Clubs Unit on 01131 777 4147.

Once registered as a CASC, please complete and return the attached charity and/or discretionary rate relief application form

Transitional relief

After each revaluation there is a period of transition. No bill is allowed to increase or decrease by more than a set annual percentage.

Any property with a large increase or decrease in its rateable value will therefore come under the transitional relief scheme, which has the effect of phasing the valuation in over a period of time.

If transitional relief applies to your rates bill, it will be applied automatically.

The scheme for the 2010 revaluation will cap increases to rates bills over a 4 year period and will be funded by capping reductions in other rates bills.

The following caps will apply:

Cap Levels 2010 - 2014
Year Upward Caps Downward Caps
  Large Assessments (£18,000 RV and Over)   Small Assessments (Below £85,000 RV)   Large Assessments (£18,000 RV and Over)   Small Assessments (Below £18,000 RV)
2010/11 12.5%   5%   4.6%   20%
2011/12 17.5%   7.5%   6.7%   30%
2012/13 20%   10%   7%   35%
2013/14 25%   15%   13%   55%
2014/15 25%   15%   13%   55%


Relief from Paying Business Rates