Small business rate relief

Small business rate relief is a discount for small businesses and other organisations. 

You can't get small business relief if any of the following apply:

Small business rate relief discounts are based on the rateable value of the property in relation to lower and upper threshold figures set by central government.

Until 31 March 2017, the lower threshold is £6,000 and the upper threshold is £12,000.

From 1 April 2017, the lower threshold is £12,000 and the upper threshold is £15,000.

To get small business relief, either of the following must apply:

  • you occupy a single property with a rateable value of up to the upper threshold
  • you occupy one property with a rateable value up to the upper threshold and other properties that each have a rateable value below £2,600 (up to 31 March 2017) or £2,900 (from 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018) and the total rateable value of all properties is below £18,000 (up to March 2017) or £20,000 (from 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018). 

You can only get the discount for the main property. 

If you take on another property that means your business no longer meets these conditions, you can still keep getting small business rate relief for another year.

How much rate relief small businesses can get 

Properties with a rateable value below the lower threshold get 100% discount (doubled from the previous 50%). This discount then decreases gradually until it reaches 0% for properties with a rateable value at the upper threshold. This sliding scale is called tapered relief.

Until 31 March 2017, the discount goes down by 2% for every £120 of rateable value. From 1 April 2017, it goes down by 4% for every £120. 

Example small business relief discounts 

Example small business discounts
Rateable value 2016  - 2017 Rateable value 2017  - 2018 Discount 
Up to £6,000 Up to £12,000 100%
£7,500 £12,750 75% 
£9,000 £13,500 50%
£10,500 £14,250 25%
£12,000 and over £15,000 and over 0%

How to apply for small business rate relief

To apply, print off and return a small business rate relief form (PDF, 231KB).

You must keep paying the rates shown on your bill while you wait to hear from us, unless we've agreed you don't have to.

Backdating claims for small business rate relief

Granting relief is subject of the Statute of Limitation Act 1980 which limits backdating to six years.

What happens next

We will assess your application, this includes checking that you don't have any non-domestic properties in other council areas that would take you above the upper threshold. If you can get the discount, we'll then send you a new bill. If you can't, we'll let you know why.  

We try to make decisions within 4 weeks of getting all the information, but it might take longer.

If we don't give you the discount and you think we've made a mistake or you want to challenge a property's rateable value, you can appeal

Renewing small business rate relief

Once small business relief is added to your bill, you'll get it automatically the next year. 

Changes in circumstances for small business rate relief

You must contact the Business Rates team if your circumstances change. For example, if you've occupied another property, or if the rateable value of a property you occupy outside of Cheshire East changes. The Valuation Office Agency tells us about changes to the rateable value of properties within Cheshire East.

We do sometimes review reliefs. If you haven't told us about a change that means your property no longer counts, you'll have to pay the backdated business rates within 14 days.