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Help paying your business rates

Information about eligibility for relief and reductions in your business rates and how to apply.

Small business rate relief

Apply for small business rate relief

This reduction is not available on empty properties or ratepayers who are in receipt of any other mandatory relief eg charity relief.

Small business rates relief has two elements:

  • a percentage reduction in the amount payable
  • calculation of the rates liability using the small business rates multiplier

A percentage reduction in the amount payable

  • rateable value up to £12,000 – no rates payable
  • rateable value between £12,001 and £15,000 – tapered relief between 100% and 0%

Eligibility

The percentage reduction is available to ratepayers who are liable for business rates on:

  • one property with a rateable value below £15,000
  • one main property and other additional properties that have rateable values less than £2,899 and the combined rateable value of all the properties is under £27,999 in London

Ratepayers are entitled to keep an existing award of small business rate relief for 12 months where they take up occupation of an additional eligible property, which would have previously disqualified them from relief.

Application process

Applying for relief does not entitle you to withhold payments on your account. Recovery action will be taken if your payments are not up to date.

Calculation using small business rates multiplier

  • occupiers of properties with a rateable value under £51,000 automatically have their bill calculated using the small business rate multiplier
  • the small business rate multiplier for 2022/23 is 49.9p (0.499), for other businesses this is 51.2p (0.512)
  • more information on the multiplier can be found on the Valuation Office website.

Requirement to notify of a change in circumstances

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to the council by the ratepayer.

The changes which must be notified are:

  • you take up occupation of an additional property
  • you occupy an additional property outside of Barking and Dagenham and the rateable value of this property is increased

Notification of these changes must be given to the council within four weeks of the day after the day on which the change happened. If this happens, there will be no interruption to the ratepayer’s entitlement to the relief.

 

Relief for charities and other not-for-profit organisations

Mandatory relief

Charities are entitled to mandatory relief from rates on any property used wholly or mainly for charitable purposes.

Relief is awarded for 80% in respect of your annual business rates if you are a registered charity. You must occupy the property for which the relief is being sought in-line with your charitable aims. 

Registered community amateur sports clubs are entitled to 80% mandatory rate relief on occupied premises.

To be considered for this relief, community amateur sports clubs must first register with HM Revenue and Customs.

Discretionary relief

We have the discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20%.

If your organisation is not a registered charity but is another type of non-profit making organisation, we have a discretionary power to grant relief on all or part of the bill.

Apply for rate-relief for charities and other not-for-profit organisations

Discretionary policy from 1 April 2016 (DOCX, 64.74 KB)

The fastest way to send your application is by email to the business rates team.

Buildings used for religious worship

Discretionary Rate Relief 20% top up is not applicable for buildings used solely or mainly for the use of religious purposes.

In the instance of use for worship, the ratepayer is required to contact the General Register Office and request a certificate for the property to be taken out of the business rates rating list:

General Register Office

0300 123 1837

certificate.services@gro.gsi.gov.uk

Include ‘GQ’ in the subject of your email

As the certificate will be issued from the date of application and will not be backdated it is important the application is made as soon as possible.

The business rates charge will remain due and payable whilst the application is made with the General Register and recovery will commence should the account not be kept up to date.

The certificate will need to be forwarded to the Business Rates Department for our records and the Valuation Office for the rating list to be updated:

Valuation Office

0300 0501 501

ratinglondon@voa.gsi.gov.uk

If the property is no longer used for religious worship or religious purposes, the Business Rates Department and Valuation Office will need to be notified immediately.

Relief for partly occupied properties (section 44a relief)

A ratepayer is liable for the full business rates whether the property is fully or only partly used.

Where a property is partly occupied for a short time with an intention to fully occupy the whole property again, in certain circumstances, we can use discretionary powers to apply to the Valuation Office Agency to award a temporary reduction for the part that is not in use.

This relief is known as Section 44(a) and can only be awarded for a maximum of 3 months, or 6 months in the case of industrial properties.

Applying for relief

Any application for relief under Section 44(a) must be made in writing to us.

Your application should include:

  • reason and details of the parts of the property that are occupied and those that are unoccupied
  • a plan of the property, clearly identifying the parts that are occupied and those that are unoccupied
  • the date the unoccupied part of your premises will be used again

Applying for relief does not entitle you to withhold payments on your account. Recovery action will be taken if your payments are not up to date.

Application process

A council inspector will need to visit your premises to determine if you would qualify for Section 44(a) relief.

If you are entitled to the relief, a request will be made to the Valuation Office requesting Section 44(a) relief be awarded on the property.

The Valuation Office will then send the council a separate rateable value for both the occupied and unoccupied areas of the property, which will enable us to calculate your relief entitlement. Once your relief has been calculated, a revised bill will be issued showing your entitlement.

If we do not grant relief we will write to you to explain why.

There is no formal right of appeal as this relief is discretionary.

Empty properties relief

If a building is empty, you might be able to claim relief depending on the previous and current circumstances.

Changes to the business rate liability of empty properties took effect on 1 April 2008 as follows:

  • three months exemption for empty buildings
  • six months exemption for industrial premises (eg. warehouses)

Once the exemption period has elapsed, business rates will be due at full charge even if the property still remains empty.

Exempt from paying empty rate charges

Certain property may be exempt from paying empty rates:

  • the property has a rateable value less than £2,900
  • the owner is prohibited by law from occupation, or allowing the property to be occupied
  • properties owned by charities – only if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports clubs buildings – only if the next use will be mostly as a sports club
  • the property is kept vacant by reason of action taken by or on behalf of the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to prohibiting the occupation of the property or to acquiring it
  • listed buildings – until they’re reoccupied

Revaluation 2017 and relief schemes

Transitional relief scheme

The government’s  transitional relief scheme phases in changes to rate bills caused by the revaluation. To pay for the limits on bill increases, there are also limits on reductions.

Your bill will be capped each year until applying the cap would result in a higher increase or decrease than calculating your bill by multiplying your new rateable value by the multiplier.

The scheme applies only to the bill  at the time of the revaluation. If there’s any changes to the property after 1 April 2017, transitional relief won’t normally apply to  those changes.

Changes to your bill for other reasons, such as changes to small business rate relief, aren’t covered by the scheme.

How transitional relief is worked out

The percentage cap depends on whether your business is classified as small, medium or large. These percentage increases or decreases are applied before inflation is added, which for 2017-18 is 2%. For example, if your rateable value is £25,000 then the increase in your bill for 2017-18 when compared to 2016-17 would be capped at 7%.

Your bill will be capped each year until applying the cap would result in a higher increase or decrease than calculating your bill by multiplying your new rateable value by the multiplier.

All calculations for transition are based on the lower of the two government set multipliers. The supplement is the difference between the two multipliers, multiplied by the rateable value.

This year the standard multiplier is 0.479 and the small business rate multiplier is 0.466. The difference (0.479 – 0.466) is 0.13. If the 2017 rateable value is £70,000, then the supplement is £70,000 x 0.013 = £910.00.

Ratepayers who don’t qualify for small business rate relief will have the supplement added to their bill after the calculation of transitional relief has been completed.

Cap on increases

Size of propertyRateable value2017-182018-192019-202020-212021-22
Smallless than £28,0005%7.5%10%14%15%
Medium£28,001 to £100,00012.5%17.5%20%25%25%
Largemore than £100,00042%32%49%16%6%

Cap on decreases

Size of propertyRateable value2017-182018-192019-202020-212021-22
Smallless than £28,00020%30%35%55%55%
Medium£28,001 to £100,00010%15%20%25%25%
Largemore than £100,0004.1%4.6%5.9%5.8%4.8%

Transitional Relief 2022-23

The Government announced that the transitional relief scheme which was due to end in 2021-22 would be extended to 2022-23. 

 This will restrict increases in bills to 15% for businesses with small properties (up to and including £28,000 rateable value) and 25% for medium properties (up to and including £100,000 rateable value).

Unfortunately, we have been unable to apply the relief at this time due to a delay in our software being updated by our system provider.  

 As a result of this, the bills issued for the financial year 2022-23, do not include these relief amounts.

We will issue you with a revised bill later this year once the relief is applied.

Supporting small business relief

Ratepayers losing Small Business or Rural Rate Relief as a result of the 2017 revaluation will have their increases limited to the greater of either (i) a cash value of £600 per year, or (ii) the matching cap on increases for small properties in the transitional relief scheme. The relief will run until the next revaluation in 2021 and ratepayers will receive the relief until this date or they reach what their bill would have been without the relief scheme, whichever is first.

The relief is automatically awarded, there is no application process or appeals process.

The relief ends if there is a day where the property becomes un-occupied.

The Government announced that the supporting small business scheme which was due to end in 2021-22 would be extended to 2022-23.  

This will restrict increases in bills to 15% (or a cash value of £600 if greater) for businesses. 

Unfortunately, we’ve been unable to apply the relief at this time due to a delay in our software being updated by our system provider.   

As a result of this, the bills issued for the financial year 2022-23, do not include these relief amounts.  
 
We will issue you with a revised bill later this year once the relief is applied.

Retail Rate Relief 2019 to 2020

For 2019/20 to qualify for Retail Relief which was one third of your bill (after all other reliefs), a property was required to meet the following criteria:

  • Rateable value less than £51,000
  • Occupied (i.e. in use/trading)
  • Used wholly or mainly for one of the following retail purposes to visiting members of the public:
    • sale of goods (florists, bakers, butchers etc.)
    • provision of services (hairdressers, travel agents, dry cleaners etc.)
    • sale of food and/or drink (restaurants, takeaways etc.)
  • State Aid rules applied (de minimis threshold of €200,000 euros for last 3 financial years)

For 2019/20, properties being used for the following purposes were not eligible for Retail Relief:

  • Financial services e.g. banks, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops
  • Other services e.g. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies
  • Medical services e.g. vets, dentists, osteopaths, chiropractors
  • Professional services e.g. solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/financial advisors, tutors
  • Post office sorting offices
  • Assembly or leisure uses e.g. cinemas, theatres, museums

Retail Relief application form (DOCX, 50KB)

Retail Rate Relief 2020 to 2021

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March 2020 the government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% and extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Following the announcement on 23 March 2020 of further measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, the government removed some of the exclusions for this relief to assist those businesses that had to close, i.e. estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies and betting shops.

Properties that will benefit from this new expanded retail relief must be occupied and wholly or mainly being used as:

  • shops for the sale of goods e.g. florists, bakers, grocers, off licences, car show rooms, petrol stations
  • shops for the provision of services e.g. hairdressers, travel agents, ticket offices, appliance repair, funeral directors
  • restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments
  • cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure e.g. public halls, clubhouses, clubs
  • hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

The RV limit has been removed for 2020/21 so that any businesses of these types will be eligible.

This relief will not be treated as State Aid either for 2020/21, so the normal exclusions do not apply.

We will automatically award this relief to all qualifying businesses an application is not required.

2020/21 Retail Relief Guidance

Retail Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF)

The government also announced that there would be grant funding for all businesses in receipt of this expanded retail relief with an RV under £51,000.  

Those businesses with an RV below £15,000 will receive a cash grant of £10,000 per business and those with an RV between £15,000 to £51,000 will receive a cash grant of £25,000.  

State Aid rules apply, €800,000 limit over 3 years under the UK COVID-19 Temporary Framework. 

State Aid Guidance

We will automatically award this grant to all qualifying businesses an application is not required.

2020/21 Covid-19 Grant Guidance 

Extended Retail Rate Relief 2021 to 2022

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 3 March 2021 the Chancellor announced on-going support for businesses within the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure sectors.

All eligible businesses will receive the Extended Retail Relief of 100% for the first three months of the 2021/22 financial year and then 66% for the remainder of the year.

There is no RV limit for the businesses that are granted the relief but there are cash cap restrictions for each company (including all holding and subsidiary companies) in respect of how much relief they can receive.

The cap only applies for the billing period of 1 July 2021 to 31 March 2022 where businesses receive the 66% discount, the limits are:

  • Businesses required to close, a cash cap of £2 million applies.
  • Business permitted to remain open, a cash cap of £105,000 applies

Properties that will benefit from this new extended retail relief must be occupied and wholly or mainly being used as:

  • Shops for the sale of goods e.g. florists, bakers, grocers, off licences, car show rooms, petrol stations
  • Shops for the provision of services e.g. hairdressers, travel agents, ticket offices, appliance repair, funeral directors
  • restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments
  • Cinemas and live music venues
  • For assembly and leisure e.g. public halls, clubhouses, clubs
  • Hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

The RV limit has been removed for 2021/22 so that any businesses of these types will be eligible.

This relief will not be treated as State Aid either for 2021/22.

We will automatically award this relief to all qualifying businesses an application is not required.

Expanded Retail Relief Guidance on Gov.uk.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Relief 2022 to 2023 

At the Budget on 27 October 2021, the Chancellor announced that eligible ratepayers in occupied retail, hospitality and leisure premises will receive 50% relief on their business rates bills for the year 2022/23 up to a maximum cash cap of £110,000.

The £110,000 cash cap applies at a Group company level, so holding companies and subsidiaries cannot claim up to the cash cap for each company.

This relief is also subject to subsidy allowance rules as per the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement. Ratepayers cannot claim this relief if doing so would mean that they have received more than £343,000 in state aid over the past 3 years, this is known as the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit.

Please note that the Extended Retail Discounts granted in 2020/21 or 2021/22 do not count towards this limit. However, Covid business grants received from local government and any other subsidy claimed under the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit over the 3-year period from 2020/21 to 2022/23 should be counted.

To be eligible for this relief, you must not exceed:

  • the £110,000 cash cap for 2022/23, and
  • the Small Amounts of Financial Assistance limit of £343,000 over 3 years (including 2022/23)

Properties that will benefit from this relief must be occupied and wholly or mainly being used as:

  • shops for the sale of goods e.g., florists, bakers, grocers, off licences, car show rooms, petrol stations
  • shops for the provision of services e.g., hairdressers, travel agents, ticket offices, appliance repair, funeral directors
  • restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments
  • cinemas and live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure e.g., public halls, clubhouses, clubs
  • hotels, guest & boarding premises and self-catering accommodation

We will automatically award this relief to all qualifying businesses; an application is not required.

You must notify us immediately if you are not eligible or have exceeded the cash cap or Small Amounts of Financial Assistance Limit.

Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Guidance

Covid Additional Relief Fund

The Government announced on the 25th of March 2021 that a Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) would be introduced to support businesses that were not eligible for the any of the previous covid-19 support schemes: Expanded Retail Relief and Nursery Discount.

The Council has designed a local scheme in-line with the Government’s guidance and targets support at those businesses most in need, which are small to medium sized businesses with an RV under £51K.

The Council will award 100% relief to qualifying businesses for the financial year 2021-22. The relief is applicable after all other reliefs and discounts have been calculated.

To qualify for the relief the business must satisfy the following eligibility criteria:

  • the property must have been occupied for the financial year 2021/22. Any unoccupied periods will not be considered for the relief
  • the Rateable Value must be below £51,000, if you have an on-going appeal with the Valuation Office that may impact this then you must notify the Council
  • the business has not already received Expanded Retail Relief or Nursery Discount or is not eligible for these
  • the business is not an undertaking in distress or insolvent. If you are a sole trader, then you must not be declared bankrupt
  • the business does not fall into one of the following exclusion categories:
CategoryIncluding
Financial Services

Banks, loan offices, ATM sites

Medical Services

Dentist and doctor surgeries, veterinary centres, pharmacies

Professional ServicesSolicitors, accountants 
Government Services

Properties occupied by local authorities and central government

TransportBus stations and railway arches
Police and Fire stations 
Car Parking Spaces 
Communication stations

Independent distribution network operators and mobile phone concession stands

ConstructionSite offices and site huts
UtilitiesElectricity, gas and power stations
Land used for storage 
EducationColleges and schools
Housing Associations 

All qualifying businesses have been contacted by the Council and they must meet the following subsidy limit criteria.

Subsidy Allowance

The CARF scheme is subjected to the subsidies chapter within the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement. The details of the limits are below:

  1. Small Amounts of Financial Assistance allowance (SAFA). This allows a single economic entity an allowance of up to £343,000 over a period of 3 fiscal years. The precise amount can be accessed via the Special Drawing Right calculator
  2. The Covid-19 Additional Relief Allowance. Where the SAFA allowance limit has been reached businesses can use the covid-19 Additional Relief Allowance to access additional funding of £1,900,000 for covid related losses. It may be combined with SAFA to increase the limit to £2,243,000. It should be noted that Extended Retail Discount granted in either 2020/21 or 2021/22 does not count towards these allowances, but Covid-19 business grants awarded for the past 3 years do count
  3. Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund Further Allowance. Where the above limits have been reached a business can use the Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund Further Allowance to receive up to a further £10,000,000. Certain conditions must be met to receive this further allowance relating to uncovered fixed costs’ i.e., fixed costs not covered by profit, insurance, or other subsidies such as rent

Business rates team

Town Hall, 1 Town Square, Barking IG11 7LU

020 8227 2934

businessrates@lbbd.gov.uk