Small business rate relief

Since 1 April 2012 small business rate relief (SBRR) has been split into two elements.

The first element is available to all ratepayers who occupy properties with a rateable value under £51,000 from 1 April 2017 (previously £18,000).  Ratepayers will have the bill for their property calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier rather than the ordinary non-domestic rating multiplier that is used to calculate the liability of other businesses.

Under the  second element of SBRR eligible ratepayers will not pay any rates on properties with rateable values up to £12,000 from 1 April 2017 (previously £6,000), with a tapered relief of between 100 per cent and 0 per cent for properties with rateable values between £12,001 to £15,000 (previously £6,001 and £12,000).  To qualify for the percentage reduction ratepayers must occupy either:

a) one property with a rateable value of less than £15,000 in England, or  

b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value of less than £2,900 from 1 April 2017 (previously £2,600) and the total value of all the properties (including the main property) remains under £20,000.  SBRR is only payable on the main property.

Relief is only available on occupied properties; there is no relief if the property is vacant.

If an application for relief is granted, provided the ratepayer's circumstances do not change, the application will not need to be renewed.  Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the council by the ratepayer (other changes will be picked up by the council). The changes which must be notified are:

a) the ratepayer taking up occupation of a property they did not occupy at the time of making their application for relief (From 14 February 2014 existing relief will continue for 12 months provided the £20,000 RV threshold is not exceeded after taking on an addition property which would usually disqualify the ratepayer); and

b) an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the council which granted the relief.

Notification of these changes must be given to the council within four weeks of the day after the day the change happened. If this happens, there will be no interruption to the ratepayer's entitlement to the relief. However, failure to notify the council within this timeframe will mean the ratepayer ceases to be entitled to the relief with effect from the day that the change happened. If they are still eligible, the ratepayer will be entitled to the relief again with effect from the day that they notify the council. A notification that the ratepayer has taken up occupation of an additional property must be by way of fresh application for relief; notice of an increase in rateable value must be given in writing.

Applications should be:

- Made on the specified form - in downloads section of this page

- Signed by the ratepayer or authorised person - in the case of a company or partnership, this means a director of the company or one of the partners

For more details on the eligibility criteria and on how to apply please see the guidance notes and application (in downloads section of this page). Or contact the Business Rates team.

Last reviewed: 26 - 09 - 2017

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