Business rates - reductions

The rateable value of all non-domestic properties is set by the Valuation Office Agency. If you think that your rateable value is incorrect you can make an appeal.

All appeals against rateable values should be directed to the Valuation Office Agency.

Even though you may decide to appeal or have already appealed, you must still pay the rates as demanded until your appeal has been settled. If your appeal succeeds, your account will be adjusted accordingly.

Retail relief

Retail relief ended on 31 March 2016 and no further relief can now be applied.

Small business rates relief

From 1 April 2017 small business rate relief applies to occupied properties if:

  • you only use 1 property
  • your property’s 2017 rateable value is less than £15,000
You will get 100% for properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000.

If you have more than 1 property, you can get small business rate relief if the 2017 rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,900 and the aggregate values of all the properties is under £20,000.

You will keep getting any existing relief for 1 year when you get a second property.

Please note that if your property has a rateable value below £51,000 your business rate liability will be calculated using the small business multiplier.

Apply for small business rate relief

To apply for small business rate relief, please fill out a PDF file downloadsmall business rates relief application form (PDF, 425kb).

Charitable Relief

Charities and registered amateur community sports clubs can apply for relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes.

Empty properties

Business rates are not payable for the first 3 months that a property is empty. This is extended to 6 months for industrial properties such as factories, warehouses or workshops. After the relevant rate-free period expires, an empty property will be liable for 100% of the rates unless the property is exempt from the unoccupied property rate.

Properties exempt from the unoccupied property rate are:

  • occupation prohibited by law
  • listed buildings
  • those with a minimum Rateable Value (from 1 April 2017 a rateable value of less than £2,900)
  • where the owner is entitled to possession only in the capacity of a personal representative of the deceased persons
  • where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy or winding up order

Exempt properties

Some types of property are exempt from business rates and do not appear in the local rating list.

These properties include:

  • agricultural land and buildings
  • fish farms
  • fishing rights
  • places of religious worship
  • Trinity House lighthouses and buoys
  • sewers and accessories
  • property of drainage authorities
  • public parks
  • certain property used for disabled people
  • air raid protection works
  • swinging moorings
  • road crossings over watercourses
  • property in enterprise zones
  • visiting forces

Other rate reliefs available

The following relief may also be available to ratepayers:

  • partly occupied property relief
  • hardship relief       

Please contact Revenue Services for guidance regarding your circumstances.

Was this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you. You can provide further feedback on this page using our feedback form.