Business rate reliefs and exemptions

Small Business Rate Relief

Small Business Rates Relief (SBR) is available to businesses that occupy a single property with a rateable value (RV) of less than £15,000.

If you take on an additional property while in receipt of SBR, you can continue getting existing relief on your main property for 12 months.

You could keep SBR on your main property after 12 months if all of your additional properties have rateable values below £2,900 and the total rateable value of all of your properties is less than £20,000.

The value of the relief is 100% when the rateable value is £12,000 or lower. Between £12,000 and £15,000 the relief decreases on a sliding scale for every pound of rateable value increased (e.g. at the RV of £13,500 the relief is 50%, at £14,000 the relief is 33%).

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the small business rate relief form (PDF).

Charitable Rate Relief (Mandatory relief)

Charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASC) can apply for Charitable Rate Relief of up to 80% if a property is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Organisations should be a registered charity, a charity that is exempt from registration, or a registered community amateur sports club.

The Council also has the discretion to top this up to 100%. However, this is only ever allowed in exceptional circumstances. Contact us for more details.

If you are applying for, or contesting a decision concerning, charity relief you must continue paying your business rates in the meantime.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the mandatory relief form (PDF).

Rural rate relief

Certain properties can receive help with their business rates if the business is in a rural area with a population below 3,000. The rural areas in Bradford Council's current rural settlements list are: Eastburn, Harden, and Oxenhope

You will receive 100% relief on your business rates if your business is in an eligible area and you are one of the following:

  • the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • the only public house or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500

The council also has the discretion to allow up to 100% relief to any non-domestic property in a rural settlement with a rateable value up to £16,500 if the Council is satisfied that the property is used for a purpose that benefits the local community.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the rural rate relief form (PDF).

Relief for partly occupied properties

In certain circumstances, the council can request that the valuation officer provides a certificate to apportion the rateable value of a property which is partially occupied for ‘a short time only'. This is called a Section 44a certificate.

This is normally used in situations where a property is occupied or vacated in stages, or where part of the property is unusable eg due to fire, flood or redevelopment.

The effect of the apportioned values enables a reduction of 100% to be made against the rateable value of the un-occupied part.

This is a discretionary power and exceptional circumstances need to apply in order for the council to do this.

To apply, contact us.

Exempt or empty/unoccupied properties

Exempted Buildings

Certain properties may be exempt from business rates. Such as:

  • agricultural land and buildings, including fish farms
  • buildings used for training or welfare of disabled people
  • buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls

Empty / Unoccupied Properties

You do not have to pay business rates on empty buildings for 3 months. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates. Some properties can get extended empty property relief:

  • industrial premises (for example warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
  • listed buildings or ancient monuments - until they're reoccupied
  • buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 - until they're reoccupied
  • properties owned by charities - only if the property's next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports club buildings - only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club
  • where the occupation of the property is prohibited by law
  • new build / major alterations / repairs – up to a further 3 months from completion of the work
  • where the liable party or their representative is covered by the Insolvency Act 1986
  • where the liable party is in possession as a representative of a deceased person

How to apply

Contact us to apply.

Supporting Small Business Scheme (SSBR)

This relief will help those ratepayers who as a result of the change in their rateable value at the revaluation are losing some or all of their small business or rural rate relief and because of this are facing large increases in their bills.

For 2023/24 revaluation changes - you can get Supporting Small Business Relief if both of the following apply:

  • your business property's bill is going up after, and because of, the revaluation
  • you'll lose some or all of your Small Business Rate Relief (SBR) or Rural Rate Relief

If you're eligible for SSBR, your bills will go up by no more than £600 for the 2023/24 tax year.

Please use our general enquiry form to apply.

Retail Hospitality and Leisure Relief (RHL)

You could qualify for retail, hospitality and leisure relief if your business is mainly being used as a:

  • shop
  • restaurant, café, bar or pub
  • cinema or music venue
  • hospitality or leisure business - for example, a gym, a spa or a hotel

Please note that businesses providing certain types of services (financial, medical, other professional services), Post Office sorting offices, or properties that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public are not eligible.

If you're eligible, you could get 75% off your Business Rates bills for the 2024/25 tax year. (Note: the rate for 2023/24 is 75% and for 2022/23 is 50%)

The maximum value of this relief that you can get in each tax year is £110,000 per business.

You may also need to consider State Aid and Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Subsidy Allowance limits for your business. If you need us to reduce or stop the RHL relief being applied to your bill you must contact us immediately. Please note that if you opt out of the relief you cannot change your mind.

If you feel your business meets the criteria for the scheme, and you and not in receipt of RHL, please email quoting your business rates account number in the subject field.