How Can I Reduce my Business Rates Bill?

Ways in which you may be able to reduce your Business Rates Bill.

Small Business Rate Relief

This relief is aimed at helping small businesses where they are not entitled to another mandatory relief.

Relief is based on the Rateable Value (RV) of your business in the relevant valuation period.

Who qualifies?

  • Businesses that occupy only one property in England and have an RV of less than £15,000 (£12,000 up to 31 March 2017).
  • Businesses may qualify if they occupy one main property and other additional properties, providing that:
    • the additional properties do not have individual RVs of more than £2,899 (2,599 up to 31 March 2017) and
    • the combined RV of all the properties is under £20,000 (18,000 up to 31 March 2017)

Businesses that qualify for small business rate relief when they occupy more than one property can only be granted relief on the main property.

Businesses receiving small business rate relief that take on an additional property which would currently disqualify them from receiving relief, will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.

Small business rate relief is funded by a supplement added to all other rates bills. However, if your property has a rateable value above £15,000 (£12,000 up to 31 March 2017) but below £51,000 (£18,000 up to 31 March 2017), your bill will have already been calculated using the lower small business multiplier. This means that although you are not entitled to the relief, you will not have to pay the supplement.

How much relief will I get?

Relief is on a sliding scale.

Up to to 31 March 2017

  • Properties with an RV of up to £6,000 receive 100 per cent relief.
  • Properties with an RV between £6,000 and £12,000, will receive tapered relief and relief will gradually reduce from 100 per cent at £6,000 to 0 per cent at £12,000.

From 1 April 2017, Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) doubled and the thresholds increased to benefit a greater number of businesses.

  • Properties with an RV of up to £12,000 will receive 100 per cent relief.
  • Properties with an RV between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief and relief will gradually reduce from 100 per cent at £12,000 to 0 per cent at £15,000.
  • If you are not receiving the relief and you think that you are eligible, you should contact the Business Rates helpline on 01543 464282 or email
Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Charity Relief

If your property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes, you are automatically entitled to an 80% reduction of your bill (mandatory relief), though you will need to apply to the Council to make sure you receive it. In addition, the Council may award discretionary rate relief for all or part of the remaining 20% of the bill (discretionary relief). If the property is a charity shop, the property must be wholly or mainly used for the sale of goods donated to the charity and the proceeds must be applied to the purposes of the charity.

If your organisation is not a charity but is another type of non-profit making organisation, you are not automatically entitled to relief, but the Council may award discretionary rate relief for all or part of the bill. To qualify, the organisation must be charitable, religious, or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts, or the property must be used wholly or mainly for the purpose of recreation. If your business property is in a designated rural area, you may be able to claim rural rate relief.

Discretionary Relief

For more information please visit the Business Rates page.

Hardship Relief

If you are suffering severe hardship and cannot pay your Business Rates bill the Council may decide to award up to 100% (discretionary) rate relief. The Council will only do this in extreme cases of hardship and for businesses which are particularly important to the local community.


Business Rates Charitable Relief Application Form .pdf (66.19 KB)

Rural Rate Relief

If your business is in a rural village with a population below 3000, and it is one of the following types of business:

  • The only village general store or post office, and the rateable value of the property is less than £8,500.
  • A food shop with a rateable value of less than £8,500. (Restaurants and take-away premises are not included).
  • The only village pub, or the only village petrol station with a rateable value of less than £12,500.

The above premises have to be occupied and eligible ratepayers are entitled to relief at 100% of the full charge.

Unnoccupied and Partly Occupied Property

Non-domestic properties which are unoccupied or partly occupied may be liable to empty property rates.

For more information on this topic please visit the Empty Properties section.

Appeals against Rateable Value

If you think your rateable value is wrong, you can make a proposal to alter it.  This is know as making an appeal.

For more information on making an appeal please visit our section on appealing against Rateable Value.

Business Rates - Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Discount

Since 2019/20 the government has provided a Business Rates Retail Discount for retail properties which for 2020/21 it expanded to include the leisure and hospitality sectors. On 3 March 2021 the government confirmed that the Expanded Retail Discount would continue to apply in 2021/22.

You will be entitled to the discount if your business is wholly or mainly being used
•    as a shop, restaurant, café, drinking establishment, cinema or live music venue
•    for assembly and leisure; or
•    as a hotel, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

The amount of discount available will be
•    100% for twelve months, from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
•    100% for three months, from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021
•    66% for the remaining period, from 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 (subject to cash caps as below)
•    50% for twelve months, from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023
•    75% for twelve months, from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2024
•    75% for twelve months, from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025

Ratepayers that occupy more than one property will be entitled to relief for each of their eligible properties subject to the cash caps explained below
•    No cash caps will apply for the period prior to 30 June 2021
•    £2 million for ratepayers whose business was mandated to close on 5 January 2021
•    £105,000 for all other ratepayers
•    £110,000 for all ratepayers from 1 April 2022


Last Updated:

A to Z of Services