Help with your business rates

There are a number of ways to reduce how much you pay for your business rates

You can get help with reducing the business rates that you pay in a number of ways:

  • small business rate relief
  • unoccupied property relief
  • partly occupied property relief
  • charity and registered community sports club relief
  • discretionary relief for non-profit making organisations
  • hardship relief
  • retail, hospitality and leisure relief 

Small business rate relief

Some small businesses can get relief to help them reduce the number of rates you need to pay.

To qualify, your business must:

  • occupy one business property with a rateable value below £15,000
  • occupy one business property with a rateable value below £15,000, together with others whose rateable values are below £2,899, and when added together, the total rateable value does not exceed £20,000

Businesses with rateable values below £12,000 may be entitled to 100% relief.

Rateable values between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive a percentage reduction on a sliding scale of between 0% and 100%.

Unoccupied property rating

There are two common vacant exemptions for business rates:

  • industrial premises and some warehouses qualify for a six-month exemption
  • all other properties qualify for a three-month exemption

Property is only classed as unoccupied when all the items have been removed (except for fixtures and fittings). If a property is being used for storage purposes, then full business rates must be paid.

If you take on a vacant unit, you may not qualify for any exemption if it has already been used up by the previous ratepayer.

Change to Empty Rate Regulations

The Non-Domestic Rating (Unoccupied Property) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2024

With effect from 01 April 2024,  a property must be continually occupied for a minimum of 13 weeks to benefit from 100% empty rate relief for three months (or six months for qualifying industrial property) when a property becomes empty.

Charity/registered community amateur sports club relief

You may be entitled to a reduction of up to 100% on your business rates if you're a:

  • non-profit organisation
  • registered charity or community amateur sports club

If the 80% mandatory relief is awarded, we may award a 20% discretionary relief to grant a full 100% relief from business rates.

Hardship relief

We may be able to reduce your business rates bill with hardship relief.

To be eligible, you must satisfy us that both:

  • you would be in financial difficulties without it
  • it is in the interests of our Council Tax payers

Retail, hospitality and leisure relief

The 2024/25 retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief scheme provides eligible occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business. 

You could qualify for retail, hospitality and leisure relief if your business is 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 the closing date to apply for the 2023/2024 Retail, Hospitality & Leisure relief is 30 September 2024. 

Apply for rates relief or exemption

Business rates relief guidance

We have considered how we should use our discretionary powers to give extra rate relief to voluntary and charitable type groups in Hart. The policy sets out the criteria we will use in deciding whether to give extra rate relief:

Further information on business rates relief and exemptions, can be found at: