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UK business rate relief: what’s available to your firm

The UK government’s business rates relief boosts the working capital of firms in Britain by lowering the amount they pay for their property assets. Various rates relief are available to help an assortment of firms, meaning your company could be eligible to save money. We introduce the seven reliefs you could benefit from below. 

Small business rate relief

Smaller firms owning one property that has a rateable value of less than £12,000 benefit from this relief, and higher relief is offered the lower the value. If your commercial property is valued at £6,000 or less, your firm won’t owe any business rate expense.  

Transitional rate relief 

Should the rateable value of your property change significantly, the amount paid is increased gradually with transitional rate relief to help you avoid a major hit to your cash flow. Your local council will automatically include this when calculating how much you owe.

Rural rate relief

This applies to businesses in rural areas with a population of below 3,000, and between 50 per cent and 100 per cent relief is possible. Certain councils can also top up the mandatory relief to 100 per cent, so be sure to check with your local authority if you are eligible. 


Charitable rate relief

If you are a charity or amateur community sports club, relief of up to 80 per cent on a property can be applied if it used for charitable purposes. An additional discretionary relief is also sometimes provided by local councils so you owe nothing.


Enterprise zones

Start-ups and firms moving to an enterprise zone before March 2018 qualify for enterprise zone relief. Up to 100 per cent off is available for five years up to a maximum property value of £275,000. Click here to use the government’s enterprise zone finder to see the closest area to you. 


Exempted buildings and empty buildings relief 

Some properties are exempt from business rates completely, such as agricultural land, those used for training, and buildings registered for public religious worship. Business rates aren’t owed on empty buildings for three months, and certain properties qualify for an extension to this. 


Retail relief

Finally, some local councils take up to £1000 off business rates if you operate a commercial property with a rateable value of £50,000 or less. This includes buildings used as shops, cafés, restaurants or drinking establishments. Should you occupy a retail premise that has been empty for 12 months or more, you could be entitled to up to 50 per cent off rates.

As a compulsory payment, business rate liabilities are an important expense for organisations to consider during their financial planning. The above relief categories have been designed to ease the pressure on firms, so be sure to research the savings available and give your firm a capital boost.  


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