Business rate reductions and exemptions

Small business rate relief

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 both the following apply:

  • the 2017 rateable value of each of your other properties is less than £2,900
  • the aggregate value 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

Please fill in the application form to apply for small business rate relief.

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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.

If you wish to apply for charitable relief, please contact Revenue Services.

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 (a rateable value of less than £2,900)
  • where the owner is entitled to possession only in the capacity of a personal representative of deceased persons
  • where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy or winding up order

Exempt properties

Some types of property do not have to pay 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
  • 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 types of relief

The following relief may also be available to ratepayers:

  • partly occupied property relief
  • hardship relief
  • local newspaper relief

Please contact Revenue Services for guidance about these circumstances.

Contact information

Revenue services