Small Business rate relief

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Small Business Rate Relief

Small business rate relief is a self-funding scheme, which ensures that larger companies pay more business rates to enable the smaller business to pay less.  From 1 April 2017 Government made the doubling of this relief (50% to 100%) permanent.  They also amended the thresholds for eligibility.

Eligibility prior to 1st April 2017

Eligible businesses with rateable values of £6,000 or less are entitled to a 100% rate relief on their liability.  Businesses with rateable values between £6,001 and £11,999 will receive tapered relief from 100% to 0% on a sliding scale of 2% for every £120 of rateable value over £6,000 and up to £11,999.  The table below provides examples of levels of relief where the taper applies.

Rateable Value% of Relief Retained
£6,000 or less100% reduction
£7,20080%
£7,50075%
£8,40060%
£9,00050%
£9,60040%
£10,50025%
£10,80020%
£12,000 and above0%
The relief is available to persons who are responsible for one property or one main property and other additional properties, providing the additional properties do not have rateable values of more than £2,599 and the combined rateable value of all properties does not exceed £17,999.


Businesses that take on a second property are protected for a period of 12 months.  This means that if you take on a second property which would mean your entitlement to the relief is lost, you will continue to get the relief for a period of 12 months.


In addition to this, businesses with rateable values of between £12,000 and £18,000 that are not entitled to relief will be entitled to be included within the 'buffer zone' which means although they do not benefit from being granted relief they do not have to pay an additional amount towards small business relief.

Eligibility from 1st April 2017

Eligible businesses with rateable values of £12,000 or less are entitled to a 100% rate relief on their liability. Businesses with rateable values between £12,001 and £14,999 will receive tapered relief from 100% to 0% on a sliding scale of 2% for every £60 of rateable value over £12,000 and up to £14,999. The table below provides examples of levels of relief where the taper applies.

Rateable Value% of Relief Entitlement
£12,000 or less100% reduction
£12,60080%
£12,75075%
£13,20060%
£13,50050%
£13,80040%
£14,25025%
£14,40020%
£15,000 and above0%

The relief is available to persons who are responsible for one property or one main property and other additional properties, providing the additional properties do not have rateable values of more than £2,899 and the combined rateable value of all properties does not exceed £19,999.

Businesses that take on a second property are protected for a period of 12 months. This means that if you take on a second property which would mean your entitlement to the relief is lost, you will continue to get the relief for a period of 12 months.

In addition to this relief on liability, eligible businesses with rateable values of between £15,000 and £51,000 that are not entitled to relief will be entitled to be included within the 'buffer zone' which means although they do not benefit from being granted relief they do not have to pay an additional amount towards small business relief.

The application

An application form must be completed for Small Business Relief, all applications must be in writing. The application will inform applicants that it is a criminal offence under section 61 Local Government Act 2003 to knowingly or recklessly make a false statement on an application for Small Business Rate Relief.

Other Reliefs taking priority over Small Business Relief

If a ratepayer is entitled to Rural Rate Relief, they will not be entitled to Small Business Relief.
If a ratepayer is entitled to Charity Relief, they will not be entitled to Small Business Relief.
If a ratepayer is entitled to former Agricultural Premises Relief, they will not be entitled to Small Business Relief.

Date of last review: 23 March 2017