Business support for rates

Below are the list of related business support and exemptions for non-domestic property.

If you are unsure about your property or require more information view the Valuation Office Agency. 

Charity or non-profit organization

Charities and Registered Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is mainly used for charitable purposes or as a Sports Club.

Councils also have discretion to cancel all or part of business rates for of properties occupied by certain bodies not created for profit.
More information on Charities and Non-Profit.

Transitional arrangements happen when your property is reevaluated and the information needs updating. 
More information on transitional relief

Please contact the Business Rates Team if you would like more information on how this works.

Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) is available under certain circumstances. Relief is generally available only to ratepayers who occupy a single property, but there are exceptions to this rule. 

Businesses occupying premises with rateable values below £51,000 will have their bills calculated using the lower small business multiplier, unless they receive a mandatory relief or they are empty. More information on Small Business Rate Relief

The Government announced the establishment of a new national discretionary fund of £300m over 4 years to provide some temporary relief for business ratepayers who were negatively affected as a result of the 2017 revaluation. 

Letters have been sent to the business ratepayers who are entitled to the relief based on the following eligibility criteria:

  • Your business rates have increased by 12.5% or more, as a result of the 2017 revaluation
  • You were in occupation of the business rate assessment at 31 March 2017
  • Your rateable value is less than £200,000

Those businesses already in receipt of empty property relief, small business rates relief, mandatory and top-up reliefs and the new pub relief are excluded.

An award will be made amounting to 50% of the 2017/18 net liability, up to a maximum limit of £1500.

 The policy excludes:

  • Banks, national supermarket and retail chains
  • Hereditaments that do not directly employ anyone e.g. parking spaces, advertising boards, communication masts and ATMs
  • Unoccupied properties

You did not need to do anything to claim this relief. It was applied automatically. No application was required.

The scheme for 2018/19 is currently under consideration. Details will be made available once adopted.

Find out more about Business Rates on empty properties.

There is no liability for rates where a property has been continuously unoccupied for a period of up to three months, or 6 months for Industrial properties, after it ceases to be occupied or from the day that it is determined as its 'completion date' in respect of new properties.

After three months, or 6 months for Industrial properties, the full rates are payable unless the property is exempt.

If, after this three month period, the property is subdivided or there is a new owner, there is not another 'free' period.

Exemptions from Empty Rates

  • Empty properties with a rateable value of less than £2,900 
  • Empty properties owned by charities that when next used will be used for a charitable purpose
  • Empty properties owned by Companies in Liquidation or Administration
  • Where an unoccupied property is prohibited by law from occupation, no empty rates are payable
  • Listed buildings are exempt
  • Personal Representatives of deceased persons are exempt together
  • Ancient Monuments 

A ratepayer is normally liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. However, where a property is partly occupied for a short time, the local authority can provide relief from business rates. 

Applications should be made in writing and include plans of the property showing the unoccupied part. Upon application, we will arrange for a Council inspector to visit your premises to determine if you would qualify.

If you are entitled to the relief, a letter will be sent to the Valuation Office. The Valuation Office will then determine rateable values for both the occupied and unoccupied parts.

Whilst waiting for your application to be processed, your current rates are still due and payable.

This relief will only be granted for a maximum period of 3 months, or 6 months in the case of industrial properties. After this, the full rates on the entire property will be payable

If you need further information on Section 44(a) relief, please do not hesitate to contact the Business Rates team.

Local Authorities have the power to grant reductions in business rates in circumstances which they may determine.

Also, the Council may, in very exceptional circumstances, reduce or remit the charge payable of ratepayers whose business, if to cease trading, would have a detrimental effect on the local community.

For more information on these reductions please contact the Business Rates Team.

Exempt land and property is not shown in the Local Rating List and therefore has no liability for business rates.

Such exemptions include:

  • agricultural land and buildings,
  • fish farms,
  • places of religious worship,
  • open public places such as parks,
  • property used for the disabled,
  • property in enterprise zones

If your property is used under such circumstances, you should contact the Valuation Office Agency for further information.