Business rates are charged on most non-domestic premises, including most commercial properties such as shops, offices, pubs, warehouses and factories. Some properties are eligible for discounts from the local council on their business rates. This is called business rates relief. There are a number of reliefs available including small business rate relief, rural rate relief and charitable rate relief.
In England, small businesses rate relief is available on properties with a rateable value up to £15,000. Small businesses that occupy property with a rateable value of £12,000 or less pay no business rates. There is a tapered rate of relief on properties with a rateable value up to £15,000. Relief is usually only available to businesses with one property but can be extended under certain limited circumstances.
In Scotland, the relief is known as the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS). Business rates relief through the SBBS scheme is available if the combined rateable value of all business premises is £35,000 or less and, the rateable value of individual premises is £18,000 or less.
In Wales, the relief is known as the Welsh Small Business Rates Relief scheme. 100% rate relief is available to eligible businesses premises with a rateable value of up to £6,000 and a tapered relief is available on properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.
In Northern Ireland, the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) scheme is available. Eligibility for the SBRR is based on the Net Annual Value (NAV) of business premises. There are three levels of SBRR where the reductions in rate relief range from 50% to 20%. No relief is available for properties with a NAV of more than £15,000.