Business Rate Relief Schemes

Small Business Rate Relief Scheme

Some small businesses can get relief to help them reduce the amount of rates they need to pay. To qualify a business must:

  • Occupy one business property in England with a rateable value below £15,000
  • Occupy one business property with a rateable value below £15,000, together with others whose rateable values are below £2,900 and when added together the total rateable value does not exceed £20,000
  • An increase in Small Business Rate Relief means that with effect from April 1st 2017, all rate bills for businesses with rateable values below £51,000 will be calculated using the lower multiplier irrespective of how many properties they occupy.

With effect from 1st April 2017 the government  increased the level of relief awarded to 100% for those businesses with rateable values below £12,000, rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive a percentage reduction on a sliding scale of between 0 and 100 percent.

The Government has also introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Businesses that have already been granted (or are already receiving) relief will continue to receive a reduction without needing to reapply, as long as they remain eligible.

Pub Relief

The Government introduced a discount of up to £1000 for pubs with a ratebale value of less than £100,000. This discount applies for 2017/18 and 2018/19.

Supporting small business relief (SSB)

This relief is available to ratepayers who have lost some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief as a result of an increase in rateable value in the 2017 revaluation. The Government introduced SSB from 1 April 2017 to help phase-in large percentage increases for those affected.

This scheme limits any increase in business rates to £600 per year and will apply for a maximum of five years. Relief will automatically be applied each year that the business is eligible to receive it; this could be every year for the five years or could end sooner if the bill amount without the relief is reached.

The Supporting Small Businesses relief will ensure that the increase per year in the bills of affected ratepayers is limited to the greater of:

  • a percentage increase per year of 5%, 7.5%, 10%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation. For the first year of the scheme the percentage increase is taken against the bill for 31 March 2017 after small business rate relief or rural rate relief , or
  • a cash value of £600 per year (£50 per month). The Government’s intention is that the cash minimum increase ensures that those ratepayers paying nothing or very small amounts in 2016/17 after small business rate relief are brought into paying something

In the first year of the scheme, this means all ratepayers losing some or all of their small business rate relief or rural rate relief will see the increase in their bill capped at £600. The cash minimum increase is £600 per year thereafter. This means that ratepayers who are currently paying nothing under small business rate relief and are losing all of their entitlement to relief (Example - moving from £6,000 rateable value or less to more than £15,000) would under this scheme be paying £3,000 in year 5.

Ratepayers remain in the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme for either 5 years or until they reach the bill they would have paid without the scheme.

Those on the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme whose 2017 rateable values are £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement 1.3p to fund small business rate relief while they are eligible for the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme.

As with all reliefs, the amount of relief awarded under the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme will be recalculated in the event of a change of circumstances such as a change to the rateable value.

A change of ratepayers will not affect eligibility for the Supporting Small Business relief scheme but eligibility will be lost if the property falls vacant or becomes occupied by a charity or community amateur club.

State Aid

State Aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses. Providing discretionary relief to ratepayers is likely to amount to State Aid. However the Supporting Small Businesses relief scheme will be State Aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013)7.

The De Minimis Regulations allow a business to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis aid in a rolling three year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years) this includes all sources of state funding.

Recipients of SSB are required to inform the council if they are in receipt of any sum above the De Minimis aid limit. More information can be found on the Government’s State Aid web page see

Mandatory Charitable Rate Relief

You are entitled to an 80% reduction known as 'mandatory relief' if you are one of these occupiers of non-domestic properties:

  • a charity or trustee of a charity whose property is used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes
  • an organisation which is not a registered charity but has charitable objectives - a copy of your articles of association or constitution must be provided to support your case
  • a charity whose property is used wholly or mainly for the sale of goods donated to the charity with the proceeds, after deductions for expenses, applied for the purposes of the charity

 We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining 20% based on an application process.

 Registered Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

 Registered Community Amateur Sports Clubs are entitled to 80% relief where the property is occupied by the Charity or Club and is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes or as a Registered Community Amateur Sports Club.

We have discretion to give further relief on the remaining 20% based on an application process. Please contact us for details about how to apply for this relief.

Discretionary Rate Relief Scheme

Bassetlaw District Council has the power to award additional relief known as 'discretionary relief' to: 

  • organisations entitled to mandatory relief, including charities
  • non-profit making organisations whose main objectives are charitable, philanthropic, religious or concerned with education, social welfare, science, literature or the fine arts
  • non-profit making organisations occupying premises wholly or mainly for the purposes of recreation

 Guidelines for Discretionary Rate Relief    Application forms for this relief can be downloaded from our website. 

Empty Property Relief

An empty property with a rateable value of up to £2900 is exempt from an 'empty' rates charge.  Any empty property above this threshold could give rise to empty property rates being due.

Rate free periods do apply between occupations.  For industrial property, the rate free period is six months from the date the property became unoccupied.

For all other property the period is three months.  A change of owner or landlord within any free period does not trigger another full free period. 

Councils can now grant discretionary rate relief to empty properties in prescribed circumstances for a period of 18 months.  The properties must have been built between 1st October 2013 and 30th September 2016.

To apply for any of the above relief schemes please go to the Council's Revenues Digital Services webpage.

Local Newspaper Relief

From 1 April 2017 the Government is providing funding to local authorities so that they can provide a discount worth £1,500 in year 2017/18 and 2018/19 for office space occupied by local newspapers.

This is a temporary measure to support local newspapers adapt to technological changes within the industry. The relief is only for local newspapers and will be delivered through local authority discretionary powers (under section 47(3) of the Local Government Finance Act. 

The award of this discount is considered to amount to state aid. 

Please note that this relief will finish at the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

Who can apply for this relief?

The relief applies to;

  • local newspapers only
  • The property must be occupied by a local newspaper and used wholly or mainly as offices for journalists and reporters
  • Only one discount is available per newspaper title and per property

How to apply for this discount?

To apply, please write to the Business Rates Unit at Queen's Buildings, Potter Street, Worksop, Notts. S80 2AH or e-mail us at giving full details of why your business should be considered for this local discount. Please confirm if your business receives any form of state aid and the amount granted. Please state what your premises are used for and the title of your newspaper.

For the discount to be granted, the Council must make a decision within 6 months of the end of the financial year.