Small Business Rate Relief
The Government acknowledged that more assistance should be given to small, single property businesses, and consequently introduced the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme (SBRR). The scheme was introduced on 1 April 2005 and is available to businesses meeting the qualifying criteria.
Download the Small Business Rate Relief application form
This scheme is principally designed to help those ratepayers who occupy a single non-domestic property in England with a Rateable Value of less than £15,000.
However, if you occupy a ‘main’ property and one or more additional smaller properties, you may still qualify for a discount on the Rates for your main property. This will only apply providing the aggregate Rateable Value of all your occupied properties does not exceed £19,999 and that no more than one property has an individual Rateable Value of greater than £2,899.
Ratepayers can only claim relief in respect of one property. For the purposes of the scheme, “one property” refers to a single hereditament shown in the Local Rating List, it may not be the same as a single building.
Applying for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR)
Please note that SBRR is not an automatic entitlement as ratepayers must meet the criteria on every chargeable day for which they claim relief.
The application must be signed by the ratepayer or a person authorised to sign on behalf of the ratepayer. This means, where the ratepayer is:
- a sole trader - the proprietor of the business
- a partnership - a partner of that partnership
- a trust - a trustee of that trust
- a limited company or other body corporate - a director of that body
The application should state the property for which relief is being claimed, and also list any other non-domestic properties in England occupied by that ratepayer.
If the ratepayer is a partnership, and one or more of the partners occupies other non-domestic property (either solely or as part of the same or a different partnership) then ALL the properties involved must be declared.
A condition of entitlement to SBRR is that a ratepayer must notify the Council of any changes in circumstances that may affect their entitlement to the relief, within four weeks starting on the day after the change occurred.
These changes are:
- Any increases in the Rateable Value of a property occupied by the ratepayer which is not in the area of the billing authority granting SBRR - these changes will have to be notified in writing; and
- the ratepayer coming into occupation of any property which is not mentioned in their application for relief - these changes will have to be notified through a fresh application for relief.
It is a criminal offence for a ratepayer to give false information when applying for Small Business Rate Relief.
How much relief will I get?
The Government confirmed that the doubling of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) from 50% to 100% will be made permanent from 1 April 2017. The former £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively.
Therefore, properties with Rateable Values of £12,000 or below that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief and those businesses with Rateable Values between £12,001 and £14,999 will receive tapered relief. The taper will operate as at present – with 100% relief for eligible hereditaments with a Rateable Value of £12,000 or below, decreasing to 0% relief for hereditaments with an RV of £15,000 or above.
The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from a Rateable Value of £18,000 to £51,000.
3. Ratepayers who occupy more than one property
Whilst the scheme was primarily designed for ratepayers who occupy a single hereditament in England, ratepayers who have occupied an additional property on or after 1 April 2014 will retain their relief on the first property for 12 months after occupying the second (but will not be able to claim relief for the second property). This will not apply if the total Rateable Value of all your properties exceeds £17,999.