Business rate relief

Some properties are eligible for discounts on their business rates. This is called ‘business rates relief’.

Find out about the available relief from business rates and how to apply.


Registered charities which use premises for charitable purposes are generally entitled to 80% relief. This includes shops if they sell goods that are mostly donated.

Where a property is owned or let to a charity and is currently empty, zero rates apply if the next intended use is for the purposes of the charity.

Apply for charity relief

Community amateur sports clubs

Sports clubs which are registered as community amateur sports clubs with Revenue and Customs qualify for 80% relief.

Find more information on community amateur sports clubs on the government website.

Apply for community amateur sport clubs relief

Relief for not-for-profit organisations

Discretionary relief may be awarded to certain other non-profit-making bodies, for example, sports clubs, social enterprises and community associations.

Apply for not-for-profit organisation relief

Retail, hospitality and leisure relief - 2023 to 2024

You may get 75% business rates relief, up to £110,000 per business, for occupied retail, hospitality and leisure properties.

Read more information on retail, hospitality and leisure relief on the government website.

This relief scheme is likely to count as a subsidy, so can only be claimed if the business has not already exceeded the permitted United Kingdom Subsidy Threshold as set out in the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance.

The responsibility lies with the business, on a self-assessment basis, that by accepting the relief, they will not breach either the cash cap or the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Allowance threshold.

When you apply for or opt out of relief you will need to tell us:

  • your non-domestic reference number
  • the property which you are claiming for
  • that receiving the relief your business will not exceed the cap of £110,000

Apply for or opt out of retail, hospitality and leisure relief

Small business rate relief

Your business may qualify for small business rate relief if:

  • you occupy only one property with a rateable value of under £15,000
  • you occupy one main property with a rateable value of under £15,000 and other additional properties. Each additional property must have a rateable value of £2,899 or less and the total rateable value of all your properties is £19,999 or less

The relief is 100% for properties with a rateable value under £11,999. For those properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £14,999, there is a tapering of the relief and the discount ranges from 100% at £12,000 to zero at £14,999.

Small business rate relief is only available for occupied properties. You must be the ratepayer or a person authorised to act on behalf of the ratepayer to submit an application for small business rate relief.

Your business will not qualify for small business rate relief if:

  • you have not occupied the property
  • you receive mandatory charity relief or rural rate relief 
  • you take on any additional properties

Apply for small business rate relief

Changes in circumstances

If you have been awarded small business rate relief and any of the following changes in circumstances occur, you must report this to us within 21 days:

  • if the Valuation Office Agency increases the rateable value of a business rated premises you are liable for that is not in the council area
  • if a property you are liable for that is listed as empty becomes occupied
  • if you become responsible for another business rated hereditament in another council area
  • if the property you are receiving small business rate relief on ceases to be occupied by you

Rural rate relief

Rural rate relief is available to businesses located in designated rural settlements. You may qualify for a mandatory 100% relief if you are in a designated rural settlement and your business is:

  • a general store with a rateable value of under £8,500
  • a post office with a rateable value of under £8,500
  • a public house with a rateable value of under £12,500
  • a petrol filling station with a rateable value of under £12,500
  • a food store with a rateable value of under £8,500

If your business doesn’t qualify for a mandatory business rate relief, you may still qualify for a discretionary relief if the rateable value of your business is under £16,500.

Apply for rural rate relief

Supporting small business relief

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

  • your business property’s bill is going up after the revaluation that took place on 1 April 2023
  • you will lose some or all of your small business rate relief or rural rate relief

If you are eligible, your bills will go up by no more than £600 for the 2023 to 2024 tax year.

Contact us to apply for supporting small business relief.

Empty property business rate relief

Empty property rates are payable on most commercial properties by the person entitled to possession. This is usually the leaseholder or tenant if there is one, or the freeholder if not.

For the first three months, a property is empty, no rates are payable. This period is extended to six months for properties classed as industrial including factories, warehouses and workshops.

After this, empty rates are charged at 100% of the occupied rate unless one of the exemptions below applies:

  • those where the rateable value is less than:
    • £2,200 from 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2009
    • £15,000 from 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010
    • £18,000 from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011
    • £2,600 from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2017
    • £2,900 from 1 April 2017

  • properties where occupation is prohibited by law
  • properties empty due to action taken by the crown or by any public or local authority, either to prevent occupation or to acquire the property, such as a compulsory purchase order has been made
  • listed buildings or those subject to a preservation order
  • properties where the person liable would be so only in their capacity as:
    • a personal representative of a deceased person
    • a liquidator or a trustee under a deed of arrangement
    • properties where the person entitled to possession is the subject of insolvency proceedings
    • the owner is a company in administration

Apply for empty property business rate relief