What is small business rate relief?

Definition of small business rate relief

Small business rate relief is a discount on the business rates charged on property in England. It’s available to some businesses if the property in question meets certain criteria. Business rate relief rules are different in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Is your business eligible for small business rate relief?

A business can claim for small business rate relief if:

  • the business only uses one property
  • the property’s rateable value is less than £15,000

In certain circumstances it's still possible to claim small business rate relief if your business uses more than one property. If you’re unsure whether your business qualifies you should check with your local council.

For properties with a rateable value of £12,001-£15,000 the rate of relief decreases from 100% to 0% on a sliding scale. You can find more information on the HMRC website.

Business rates are not applied to properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less.

Businesses can usually claim small business rate relief by contacting their local council.

Small business rate relief and coronavirus

During the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, the UK government announced small business grant funding of up to £10,000 for all businesses claiming small business rate relief. The devolved governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also announced similar funding.

Local authorities in England and Wales will contact business owners about grant funding. Small businesses in Scotland should apply for the grant through the Scottish government.

At the time of writing, the Northern Irish government had not stated how the grant funding will be made available to businesses in Northern Ireland. More information about support for Northern Irish businesses is available on the HMRC website.

To learn more about what the coronavirus crisis could mean for your business and to stay up to date with the latest news, take a look at our small business coronavirus hub.

Got questions?

Bookkeeping and tax tips

Related Definitions

Are you an accountant or bookkeeper?

Find out more about FreeAgent for your practice.