Business rates - exemptions and reliefs

Small business rate relief

With effect from 1 October 2010 the levels have been revised in which you can receive small business rate relief. Ratepayers occupying single properties with a rateable value up to £6,000 are exempt until 31 September 2011; after that date there is a 50% reduction.  Relief declines in percentage terms on a sliding scale until it is 0% at £12,000. Properties with a higher rateable value than £12,000 but less than £25,499 will pay against the small business rate multiplier rather than the standard multiplier. The supplement for this relief is built into the standard multiplier.

Your application submitted prior to 2010 will continue to 2012. If your circumstances change you must inform the authority within four weeks starting the day after the change occurred. Failure to notify the authority will mean that you will no longer be entitled to the relief and if you notify the authority after four weeks, you lose your relief from the date after the date of change until the day on which the authority is notified in accordance with the amended 2004 Order.

Does your business qualify for relief?

Your business may qualify if you:

  • occupy only one rated property in England, where the rateable value is less than £25,499; or 
  • occupy one rated property in England, where the rateable value is less than £25,499 plus other property, provided that:
    • all other property has a 2005 rateable value of less than £2,599; and
    • the total rateable value of the main property plus all other assessments is less than £25,499.  

Application for relief

If you are currently in receipt of small business rate relief this will continue through to 31 March 2014.

If you wish to apply for the first time you must apply in writing. Application must be:

  • made on the specified form 
  • 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
  • made by no later than the 30 September in the year after the rating year concerned; and 
  • made for each year that relief is being claimed.  

Amount of relief

The amount of relief is dependent on the rateable value of the main rating assessment as follows:

  • if the rateable value of the main property is £6,000 or less, then you will be exempt until 31 March 2014.  After this date the relief will be 50% of the amount otherwise payable 
  • if the rateable value is between £6,000 and £12,000 then the relief will be on a sliding scale between 1% and 49% 
  • if the rateable value is between £12,000 and £25,499 then although there will be no relief, the amount due will be calculated on the lower "small business multiplier" rather than the standard multiplier used for other businesses.

The small business multiplier for 2013/14 is 46.2p.

Standard multiplier

The higher standard multiplier will be paid by:

  • businesses who do not meet the definition of a "small business" 
  • all occupiers of property with a rateable value of £25,499 or higher
  • businesses who may qualify for relief, but have not made a valid application 
  • all owners of empty property (except where exemption applies).

The standard multiplier for 2013/14 is 47.1p

If you think you qualify for small business rate relief                 

You must complete all parts of the small business rate relief application form  and return it as soon as possible.

Statutory Warning

Under the Non-Domestic Rating (Small Business Rate Relief) (England) Order 2004, you should be aware that it is a criminal offence to give false or misleading information when making an application for small business rate relief.