Buiness Rate Reductions

There are a range of reductions that businesses may qualify for. You can also find further information about Business Rates on the gov.uk website. Dont forget: if you move into, out of, or within Worcester City you need to let us know as this will affect your bill.  Please contact us with the details.

Hardship Relief

Businesses may be entitled to a reduction from rates if they are suffering hardship and they can show that the local community would suffer a loss if the business was to close.  

As each case needs to be determined on its merits you should contact us for further information.

Charitable and Discretionary Relief

Registered charities, charitable organisations and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC's) are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Relief is given at 80 per cent of the bill. We have the discretion to give a further 20% relief on the remaining bill depending upon what the premises are used for.

We also have the discretion to give up to 50% discretionary relief on all or part of any rate bill for property occupied by certain non-profit making organisations for example; sports clubs, societies, village halls and youth associations.

If you wish to apply please contact us for an application form or click on the link below.

Mandatory and Discretionary Rate Relief application form.

N.B. If your annual turnover is in excess of £250,000 or your surplus is in excess of £25,000 then you will automatically be disqualified.

You can get further information on Rate Relief by visiting the gov.uk website.

Empty property

Business Rates will not be payable for the first three months that a property is empty.  After the 3-month period rates will be charged at 100% unless the property is exempt e.g. Listed buildings, empty properties owned by charities and community amateur sports clubs (NB. Industrial property will be exempt for 6 months), or has a rateable value of less than the following limits (see table below):-

Upto 31 March 2009 RV 2,200
01 April 2009 - 31 March 2010   RV 15,000
01 April 2010 - 31 March 2011 RV 18,000
From 01 April 2011 RV 2,600




Please note - due to the lowering of the Rateable Value limit from 18,000 to 2,600 with effect from 01 April 2011, you may now be subject to an empty business rate charge.    

In brief, office and retail premises receive 100% relief for the first three months, and industrial and warehouse premises will receive 100% for the first six months, from when the property becomes empty. All rate relief for these properties will end after this time and Non Domestic Rates will be chargeable in full.

You can find more information about business rates at the gov.uk website.

Empty New Build Exemption - effective from 1st October 2013

The Government has announced that all newly constructed commercial property completed between 01 October 2013 and 30 September 2016, will be exempt from empty property rates, for the first 18 months following it's deemed completion date.

This is designed to encourage new construction, so reorganised properties which are revalued, for example those which have been split or merged, will not automatically qualify. The "new" property has to be wholly or mainly comprised of new structures to qualify for this exemption. Each of these cases will be different, and will be assessed on a case to case basis to assess their eligibility.

It won't be necessary to apply for this exemption. It will be awarded automatically wherever the right circumstances exist. 

Partially empty property

If only part of the premises is being used it may be possible to reduce the amount of business rates that are paid.

If you wish to claim this relief you should contact us immediately and we will arrange for one of our Visiting Officers to visit your premises.

The relief would stop if:

  • the unoccupied part becomes occupied
  • the property becomes completely unoccupied  

Small Business Rate Relief

If the property has a rateable value of less than £18,000 from 1st April 2010 you may qualify for Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). 

To qualify for SBRR the ratepayer must:

  • occupy only one property , or
  • occupy one main property and other additional properties providing those additional properties each have rateable values less than £2,600.

PLEASE NOTE: You are only eligible to claim Small Business Rate Relief on ONE property regardless of how many properties you occupy.

The rateable value of a single property or the aggregate total value of all the properties must be less than £18,000 (or £25,500 within Greater London).

Ratepayers can only claim relief in respect of one property. However, you may now continue to receive SBRR for a period of 12 months further to occupying another property. 

How much relief will I get?

The Scheme prior to 1 October 2010

Eligible properties with a rateable value of less than £6,000 will receive 50% relief. This relief will decrease on a sliding scale of 1% for every £120 in rateable value over £6,000 and up to £12,000, at which point no relief is applicable.

In addition, eligible properties will have their rate bill calculated on the small business non-domestic rating multiplier.

Changes from October 2010

The Government has temporarily changed the scheme so that businesses who qualify and whose rateable value is less than £6,000 will get 100% relief. This will decrease on a sliding scale if your rateable value is between £6,000 to £12,000. If the rateable value is between £12,001 and £17,999 the bill will  be calculated using a lower multiplier than non-qualifying businesses.

Businesses must apply in writing and there are time limits on how long you have to apply so please don't delay - apply as soon as you can. You can get further information on Small Business Rate Relief and do a trial calculation by visiting the My Business Rates website.

Changes from April 2017

From 1 April 2017  Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) will permanently double from 50% to 100%. The £6,000 and £12,000 thresholds will increase to £12,000 and £15,000 respectively. Therefore, those with rateable values below £12,000 that meet the eligibility criteria will receive 100% relief.  This relief will decrease on a sliding scale if your rateable value is between £12,000 and £15,000.

The threshold for the standard business rates multiplier will also increase from £18,000 (£25,500 in London) to a rateable value of £51,000. This means that if the rateable value is between £15,001 and £51000 the bill will be calculated using the small business non domestic rating multiplier if appropriate.

Apply for Small Business Rate Relief

If you delay your application it could cost you money.

Please note: If your business qualifies for Mandatory Charity Relief or Mandatory Rural Rate Relief you cannot get SBRR as well.

Don’t forget: if you move into, out of, or within Worcester  you need to let us know as this will affect your bill. 

 Please contact us with the details.

Rural Rate Relief

Businesses in a Rural Settlement could qualify for Mandatory and Discretionary Rural Rate Relief on their Non Domestic Rates bill.

A Rural Settlement is a defined area with a population of less than 3000.

To qualify for Mandatory Relief, the business premises must be the only Post Office, general store, public house or petrol filling station in the rural settlement. Food shops may also qualify for relief and do not need to be the only food shop in the rural settlement. See below for more details.

In addition to Mandatory Relief for those businesses mentioned above, we are able to grant Discretionary Relief.  Other types of businesses in a rural settlement may also qualify for just the Discretionary Relief.  In all cases, the business must be used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community.  See below for more details.

A list of the areas that are designated Rural Settlements is available on our website or at our Customer Service Centre at Customer Service Centre, The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester, WR1 3PB

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief

To qualify for 50% Mandatory Rural Rate Relief, your business premises must:

  1. be within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
  2. have a rateable value of not more than £8,500 in the case of a Post Office, general store or food shop.
  3. have a rateable value of not more than £12,500 in the case of a public house or petrol filling station.
  4. be used in whole or in part, as a general store, Post Office or both, or as a public house, food shop or petrol filling station.
  5. be either the only general store, the only Post Office, the only public house or the only petrol filling station in the rural settlement.

Please note: it is possible for both a general store and a Post Office in the same rural settlement to qualify for Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

Please note: if you do not qualify for Mandatory Relief, you may still qualify for Discretionary Relief. It is also possible for certain qualifying businesses to receive both Mandatory and Discretionary Rural Rate Relief, contact us for further details.

Discretionary Rural Rate Relief

We may grant up to an additional 50% relief to any general store,food shop, Post Office, public house or petrol filling station which qualifies for the Mandatory Rural Rate Relief.

Other types of business can also apply for Discretionary Rural Rate Relief of 50% provided that it:

  1. is within the boundaries of a qualifying rural settlement.
  2. has a rateable value of less than £16,500.
  3. is used for purposes which are of benefit to the local community, and
  4. is reasonable for us to make such a decision having regard to the interests of persons liable to pay Council Tax set by it. 

To download an application form click on one of the links below.

Mandatory Rural Rate Relief application form.

Discretionary Rural Rate Relief application form.

If you would like more information please contact us.