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Small business rates relief

Find out if your start-up qualifies for tax breaks

If you’re a small business owner then you might be eligible for business rates relief through the government’s Small Business Rates Relief scheme (SBRR).

This relief cuts the amount of business rates you have to pay and in some cases you are exempt from paying anything but many business owners are unaware of the rates relief on offer to them.

Here we outline the different rates relief available and how to find out if your business qualifies:

Rateable value less than £12,000

In England, you can get small business rate relief if you only occupy one property with a rateable value of less than £12,000. To find out your rateable value visit our guide on calculating business rates here.

Until 31 March 2015, if your property has a rateable value of £6,000 or less you will get 100% relief from business rates. This rate will gradually decrease from 100% for properties with a rateable valued between £6,001 and £12,000.

If you have one property of less than £12,000 and other properties which each have a rateable value of less than £2,600 then you may still be able to get small business rates relief. The rateable values of the properties are added together and relief applied to the main property.

You can find out if you qualify for small business rates relief by contacting your local council.

Rateable value less than £25,500

You still qualify as a small business if your property has a rateable value of below £18,000 or £25,500 for Greater London.

If this is the case, your business rates will be calculated using the small business multiplier instead of the standard multiplier. This applies even if you have multiple properties. To find out what ‘multipliers’ are and how they are used to calculate business rates visit our guide.

The standard multiplier for small businesses in England for 2014-15 is 47.1 pence, 47.5 pence for London properties, and 47.3 pence for properties in Wales.

Charity rate relief

Charities and small community sports clubs are entitled to get their business rates bills reduced by 80%.

Other non-profit organisations can apply for up to 100% ‘discretionary relief’, which is decided by local councils.

Rural relief

If yours is a rural business you may be able to claim rural rate relief of between 50% and 100% off your business rates.

This includes a village shop with a rateable value below £8,500, a pub or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500, or any other rural retail businesses with a rateable value of up to £16,500.

To qualify for rural rate relief, your business must be based an area that features in the rural settlement list for a defined settlement where less than 3,000 people live.

If you’re finding it difficult to pay, you may be able to get hardship relief, although this is usually available only to businesses that are significant to the local community.

Again, local councils can decide whether to top up the relief from 50% to 100%.

Enterprise Zone relief

If you’re starting a business within an enterprise zone or relocating to an enterprise zone by April 2015 then you qualify for enterprise zone relief and you could get up to 100% business rate relief for up to five years.

Enterprise zones that are included within this relief are listed here and to find out how to apply for the relief you need to contact your enterprise zone area.

Useful resources

To find out how to calculate your business rates and for more information on business rates payable, check out our guide here.

Gov.uk – www.gov.uk/calculate-your-business-rates

Valuation Office Agency –  http://www.voa.gov.uk/

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