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Small Business Rate Relief

The Government's rate relief scheme was introduced to help small businesses in 2005.

However, any relief awarded can now only be granted from 1 April 2010.

In cases where a claim arises from an alteration to the Rating List, this deadline may be extended. Please contact the Business Rates Helpline on 01902 555802 if you think this may be applicable to your claim.

Relief is based on the Rateable Value (RV) of your business in the relevant valuation period. The RV figures for the current valuation period (April 2010 to March 2017) are given below.

How to apply for Small Business Rate Relief

To apply for rate relief, download and complete the pdf icon small business rate relief claim form [487kb], and return it to the address stated on the form.

Who is relief available for?

From 1 April 2010, relief is available for eligible businesses who occupy either:

  • one property in England with a rateable value of less than £18,000
  • one main property in England together with one or more additional properties, where the additional properties each have a rateable value of less than £2,600, and the combined rateable value of all the properties is less than £18,000

How much relief is available?

The amount of relief awarded depends on the rateable value of the property as follows:

  • rateable value £6,000 or less - 50% relief
  • rateable value £6,001 to £12,000 - the 50% awarded for rateable values below £6,000 will decrease on a sliding scale which is approximately a 1% decrease in relief awarded for every £120 increase in rateable value.
  • rateable Value £12,001 to £17,999 - liability is calculated using the small business poundage

The Government introduced a temporary increase in the level of Small Business Rate Relief from 1 October 2010 to 31 March 2017 for eligible businesses with rateable values up to £12,000.

  • rateable value £6,000 or less - 100% relief
  • rateable value £6,001 - £12,000 - the 100% awarded for rateable values below £6,000 will decrease on a sliding scale which is approximately a 2% decrease in relief awarded for every £120 increase in rateable value
  • RV £12,001 to £17,999 - liability calculated using small business multiplier

However, in April 2014 the Government introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months. After 12 months they will lose their small business rate relief.

Applications in respect of the financial period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2012 must be determined by the Authority no later than 30 September 2017.

From 1 April 2017

The Government has made the following changes:

  • Eligible ratepayers with a rateable value of £12,000 or less will get 100% relief
  • Eligible ratepayers with a rateable value between £12,001 and £14,999 will receive tapered relief on a sliding scale of approximately 4% for every £120 of rateable value
  • Ratepayers who are not entitled to other mandatory relief or are liable for unoccupied property rates and occupy a property with a rateable value which does not exceed £50,999 will have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier, rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier.

Generally, the percentage reduction (relief) will only be available to ratepayers who occupy either:

  1. one property, or
  2. one main property and other additional properties, providing those additional properties each have a rateable value which does not exceed £2,899, and the combined rateable value of all the properties is less than £19,999 outside London (or £27,999 in London).

Therefore, if you occupy more than one property, whether you are entitled to small business rate relief or not depends on the rateable value of any other property you occupy. The council will disregard occupation of the additional properties, that meet the above condition. If the aggregate rateable value, increases above those levels, relief will cease from the day of the increase.

For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months. After 12 months they will lose their small business rate relief.

Please refer to the pdf icon Small business rate relief claim form [452kb].

Changes in circumstances

It is a criminal offence to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement when making a claim for small business rate relief.

You must notify the council of any change in circumstances within 4 weeks of the day after the change occurred. These changes include:

  • an increase in the rateable value of another property occupied by the ratepayer outside the area of the Council granting the relief
  • taking occupation of another property

You can only claim small business rate relief on one property.

You cannot claim for unoccupied properties, or for properties entitled to a mandatory relief.