Business rate reliefs and exemptions

Small Business Rate relief

From 1 April 2017, small businesses with a rateable value of up to £14,999 may qualify for a reduction from their full rate bill. The cost of this relief is paid for by all other ratepayers. Small businesses which qualify, with a rateable value of less than £51,000, will have a lower multiplier used to work out their rate bill.

Businesses with a rateable value up to £12,000 will be entitled to 100% relief.

For businesses with a rateable value of between £12,001 and £14,999 will be entitled to relief on a sliding scale between 100% and 0%, as well as having their bill calculated on the basis of the small business rate multiplier.

For Business with a rateable value from £15,000 to £51,000 there is no discount, but the business will continue to be entitled to have their rates bill calculated using the small business rate multiplier.

Do I need to meet any criteria?

Small Business Rates Relief is available to all businesses who occupy property with a rateable value of less than £14,999. To qualify for the relief, businesses must satisfy their local authority that:

  • the sole or main property they occupy must have a rateable value of less than £14,999, and
  • if they occupy any additional properties, each of the additional properties must have a rateable value of less than £2,899 and the total rateable value of all of their properties must be less than £19,999, in which case the relief would be applied to the property with the highest rateable value

Also, businesses can occupy an additional property with a rateable value below £14,999, without losing entitlement to the relief on their original property, for an initial period of 12 months.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the small business rate relief form.

Mandatory relief

If your organisation is a registered charity or a charity that is exempt from registration or a registered community amateur sports club, it may get mandatory relief equivalent to 80% discount provided the premises are wholly or mainly occupied for charitable purposes.

The Council also has the discretion to award a further 20%‘top-up’ relief where 80% mandatory relief has already been allowed. However, this is only ever allowed in exceptional circumstances. Contact us for more details.

Do I have to pay rates while my application is being assessed?

Yes, rates are still due and payable. If an organisation is successful in their application, any overpayment will be refunded.

How do I apply?

To apply, complete the mandatory relief form.

Rural rate relief

Certain properties in rural areas can receive help with their business rates. The rural areas concerned are contained in the Council's current rural settlements list which includes:

Burley Woodhead
Crossroads
Cullingworth
Dean Head
Denholme
East Morton
Eastburn
Egypt
Esholt
Hainworth
Harden
Harecroft
Keelham
Laycock
Micklethwaite
Mountain
Oldfield
Oxenhope
Stanbury
Tong
Well Heads
West Scholes

A rural settlement is defined as a settlement with a population of no more than 3,000 which is wholly or partly within a council's area.

The Council must give 100%* relief to the following properties which are situated in a rural settlement:

  • Post Office where it is the only Post Office in the settlement and has a rateable value of £8,500 or less
  • general store where it is the only general store in the settlement and has a rateable value of £8,500 or less
  • all food stores - where they have a rateable value of £8,500 or less.
  • public houses - where they are the only public house in the settlement and has a rateable value of £12,500 or less
  • petrol station - where it is the only petrol station in the settlement and has a rateable value of £12,500 or less.

*Prior to 1/4/2017 the relief was 50%

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 of £16,500 or less .

The Council can only use its discretion to allow such relief if it 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.

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 e.g. 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 properties - unoccupied

Class Description
1 Unoccupied newly built properties or those where structural alterations or major repairs have taken place (exempt for up to 6 months from completion of work)
2 Unoccupied hereditaments (exempt for up to 6 months)
3 Hereditaments where occupation is prohibited by law
4 Hereditaments where occupation is prohibited by action taken by the Crown or any local or public authority
5 Listed buildings (subject to a preservation notice under s.58 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971)
6 Ancient monuments (as scheduled under s.1 to the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979)
7 Hereditaments with a rateable value of less than £2.899 from 1 April 2017
8 Unoccupied hereditaments where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
11 Unoccupied hereditaments where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy order or a winding-up order under the Insolvency Act 1986
12 Unoccupied hereditaments where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as a trustee under a deed of arrangement or as a liquidator under the Insolvency Act 1986

Some hereditaments (or properties) are exempt from Business Rates. These include some hereditaments which are occupied and most empty hereditaments. There are several classes of exemption, some of which only apply for a specified length of time.

To apply, contact us.

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Council Switchboard : 01274 432111

Council Address : Britannia House, Hall Ings, Bradford BD1 1HX


© 2017 City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council