Rate relief for small businesses
From 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 £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 £6,000, with a tapered relief of between 100 per cent and 0 per cent for properties with rateable values between £6,001 and £12,000. These new levels of relief are to be available until 31 March 2014. To qualify for the percentage reduction ratepayers must occupy either:
a) one property, or
b) one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have a rateable value of less than £2,600.
The rateable value of the property mentioned in (a), or the aggregate rateable value of all properties mentioned in (b), must be under £18,000.
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; 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 - which can be downloaded below
- 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 on the right of the page. Alternatively you can contact the Business Rates Section - see the contact details on the right.
Last reviewed: 28 - 03 - 2013