Types of business rate reliefs and exemptions

There are various business rate reliefs based on the type of business you run.

How to apply for relief

Contact us to apply

Types of relief

You need to apply for some rate reliefs, but others are automatic.

Small business rate relief

You may be entitled to small business rate relief if:

  • your property’s rateable value is less than £15,000
  • you only use one property – although there are rules which mean you may still be able to get relief if you use more

How much relief you get depends on the rateable value. 

You will get 100% relief if your property has a rateable value of £12,000 or less and it’s the only property your business uses

For properties with a rateable value of £12,001 to £15,000, the rate of relief will reduce gradually from 100% to 0%.

If you use more than one property

When you get a second property, you will keep getting existing relief on your main property for 12 months. 

You can still get small business rates relief on your main property after this period if both of the following apply:

  • none of your other properties have a rateable value above £2,899
  • the total rateable value of all your properties is less than £20,000

Once you have registered for business rates, your bill, along with an application form for relief will be issued to confirm eligibility. 

Register for business rates

Providing the conditions of the relief continue to be satisfied, small business rates relief will automatically be awarded each year and new valuation period. 

Supporting small business relief

You can get supporting small business relief if both of the following apply:

  • your business property’s bill increased because of the most recent revaluation on 1 April 2023
  • you have lost some or all of your small business rate relief or rural relief

If you’re eligible, your bills will increase by no more than £600 for the 2023 to 2024 tax year. 

The Support for Small Business Relief (SSBR) 2017 scheme ceased on 31 March 2024. 

Retail, hospitality and leisure relief

You may be entitled to retail, hospitality and leisure relief if your business is mainly being used as a:

  • shop
  • hair and beauty services
  • restaurant, café, coffee shop, takeaway, bar or pub
  • car showroom or hire, petrol station, garden centre
  • cinema, music venue, theatre, museum and art gallery, sport and leisure
  • gym, spa, hotels, guest houses and self-catering accommodation

The list above is not exhaustive, for the full list read Business Rates Relief: 2024 to 2025 Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Scheme on GOV.UK

If you’re eligible, you could get 75% off your business rates bill in 2023 to 2024 and 2024 to 2025. 

The most you can get in relief is £110,000 per business as a cash-cap applies. In addition, retail, hospitality and leisure relief is subject to the Minimum Financial Assistance Limits under the Subsidy Control Act. This means a business cannot receive over £315,000 assistance over a three year period (consisting of the current and the two previous financial years) COVID business grants and any other subsidy claimed should be included. 

Generally, relief will be applied automatically, and a cash-cap declaration will be issued along with your bill. 

Charities and Community Amateur Sports Club relief

Charities and registered Charities and Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the charity or CASC and is wholly and mainly used for the purposes of the charity or CASC. 

We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining bill to charities, CASCs, and not for profit enterprises if the property portfolio for the organisation does not exceed £51,000. 

Contact us for further information on local discretionary discounts.

Contact us

Rural relief

You can get 100% rural relief if your business is in an eligible rural area with a population below 3,000.

To qualify, your business must also be the only:

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

The property must be occupied.

We may also grant up to 100% discretionary relief to any rural business provided that all of the following criteria are met:

  • the business is located in a qualifying rural settlement
  • the rateable value of the property does not exceed £16,500 at the beginning of the rating year concerned
  • the property is occupied by a business that benefits the local community
  • it is reasonable to grant relief having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay the Council Tax set by it

Discretionary relief is not limited to any particular type of business. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate that their business is important to the maintenance of village life.

Improvement relief scheme

From 1 April 2024 the Improvement Relief scheme will ensure that no ratepayer will face a higher rates bill for 12 months as a result of qualifying improvements to their property. The regulations will come into force from 1 April 2024. Improvement Relief will commence for eligible improvements which are completed on or after 1 April 2024.

Business rates relief: Improvement relief - GOV.UK

Newspaper relief

You can get newspaper relief if your property is used as office premises for journalists and reporters on a local newspaper. This does not apply to magazines and online publications that are not printed. 

The relief is £1,500 per year for one property per newspaper. If several use the same office, only one newspaper title can claim the relief. 

Newspaper relief will end on 31 March 2025. 

Empty property relief

You can get empty property relief for previously occupied properties for:

  • three months for non-industrial properties
  • six months for industrial properties

To start a new empty relief period, the property must be occupied continuously for six weeks before becoming empty again. A further empty relief period does not automatically apply due to a change in ownership, leaseholder or tenant. 

The empty property relief “reset period” will be extended from six weeks to thirteen weeks from 1 April 2024 in England.

Empty property relief can be extended further for:

  • listed buildings 
  • ancient monuments
  • properties with rateable values under £2,900 
  • properties used by charities or CASCs if the next use is charitable or related to the CASC
  • properties where occupation is prohibited by law
  • properties where the crown or council has taken action to buy the property or prohibit occupation
  • properties where the ratepayer is the personal representative or executor of someone who has died

Unoccupied properties are also exempt where any of the following insolvency or debt situations apply:

  • there’s a bankruptcy order in respect of the ratepayer or their estate
  • the ratepayer is a company in administration, liquidation or subject to a winding up order
  • the ratepayer is a trustee under a deed of arrangement

Film studios relief

Eligible film studios in England will receive a 40% reduction on gross business rates bills until 2034.The relief will be implemented as soon as possible, and bills will be backdated to 1 April 2024.

Rate relief and subsidy control

Mandatory relief doesn’t count as a subsidy, but discretionary rate relief usually does. If you apply for any discretionary reliefs and you have received any other subsidy this year or in the last two financial years, you must tell us. You’re allowed up to £315,000 over a rolling three-year period. 

Expanded Retail Discount granted in 2021 to 2022 does not count towards the £315,000 allowance, but COVID business grants and any other subsidies claimed under the Minimal Financial Assistance limit of £315,000 should be counted. 

Further information on UK subsidy control regime on GOV.UK 

If your circumstances change

You should report any changes swiftly so you do not get a backdated increase. 

Let us know if your circumstances change