Business Rate relief

Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Apply for business rates relief

Business rate relief schemes are listed below. 

If you feel you are eligible for any of the schemes, please complete the application form using the button below to apply. 

Please note, it is not possible to apply online for Newspaper relief or relief for pubs. Applications for these are below. 

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Apply for Business Rates Relief

Small Business Rate Relief

If you occupy one business rate property you may be eligible for small business rate relief. This is dependant on the rateable value.

You may still qualify for small business rate relief if you occupy more than one property, but:

  • the total rateable value of all properties is less than £20,000, and;
  • the second or subsequent properties have rateable value(s) of less than £2900 

Relief will only be applied to the main property, with the largest rateable value, if you occupied more than one property and met the above criteria.


Rateable Value (RV) of property


Amount of small business rate relief


Up to £12,000

(£5,999 prior to 1 April 2017)

100% relief

£12,001 to £14,999

(£6,000 to £11,999 prior to 1 April 2017)

Relief is awarded on a sliding scale from 100% to 0%; 1% for every £30 of rateable value

(Relief reducing on a sliding scale of 2% per £120 RV and a lower multiplier of 48.4p prior to 1 April 2017)

Properties up to £51,000

(£12,000 to £17,999 prior to 1 April 2017)

Relief is awarded using the small business multiplier.


Eligibility for small business rate relief

You do not qualify if your property is empty.

If you receive small business rate relief, you must notify us of these changes in circumstances:

  • You occupy an additional property, and or
  • Your rateable value increases on a property you may occupy in another area (not in Cornwall)

Retaining small business rates relief when taking on an additional property

Ratepayers who take on an additional property, can continue to receive their Small Business Rate relief for 12 months from the date they take on their additional property.

  • For example, if you occupy another property with a rateable value of £2,899 (£2600 prior to 1 April 2017) or above,
  • or you occupy another property with a rateable value below £2,899 (£2600 prior to 1 April 2017) but the combined rateable value total is above £19,999.

Business Rate Retail Discount

For the financial year 2019/20, a discount of one third of the bill after any other reliefs have been applied will be given to qualifying occupied properties with rateable values of less than £51,000. This is also subject to State Aid De Minimis limits. The properties must be occupied and wholly or mainly used to sell goods, services or food and drink to visiting members of the public.

Qualifying businesses may include:

Premises used to sell goods to visiting members of the public:

  • Shops (such as florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, hardware stores, newsagents,)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post Offices
  • Garden Centres
  • Furnishing shops/display rooms (such as, carpet shops, shops selling double glazing or garage doors)
  • Car/Caravan show rooms
  • Second hand car lots
  • Markets
  • Petrol Stations
  • Art galleries (where art is for sale/hire)

Premises used to sell food and drink to visiting members of the public:

  • Restaurants
  • Takeaways
  • Sandwich shops
  • Coffee shops
  • Pubs
  • Bars

Premises used to provide the following services to visiting members of the public:

  • Hair and beauty services (for example, hairdressers, nail bars, beauty salons, tanning shops, etc.)
  • Shoe repairs / key cutting
  • Travel agents
  • Ticket offices, for example for theatre
  • Dry cleaners
  • Launderettes
  • PC/ TV / domestic appliance repair
  • Funeral directors
  • Photo processing
  • DVD / video rentals
  • Tool hire
  • Car hire

These lists are not exhaustive. We will consider the retail discount for any businesses, which are broadly similar to those listed above.

Which properties will NOT benefit from Business Rate Retail Discount?

  1. Premises which are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the Public, or
  2. those which are not mainly used for the qualifying purpose will not be eligible for the discount.

The following list sets out the types of use which the Government does not consider to be retail use:

  • Financial services (such as, banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (such as, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Post Office sorting offices
  • Professional services (such as, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents / financial advisors, tutors)
  • Other services (such as, estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies)

If we decide that the premises are occupied by a business which is broadly similar to those listed above, we will not award the discount.

If you wish to apply for this relief please contact our Revenues Team.

Expanded Retail Discount 2020/21: Coronavirus Response

Further information on Retail Discount in respect of the Coronavirus

Local Newspapers

The government introduced a £1,500 discount for office space occupied by local newspapers.

  • Up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament (business premises), and
  • up to state aid limits, for 3 years from 1 April 2017

If you wish to apply for this relief please contact our Revenues team as this application form is not available online.

Local discretionary relief

A scheme was approved by Members on 26 July 2017 to provide relief for:

  • eligible ratepayers who have faced increases in their rate bills over 12.5% due to the revaluation and
  • where their rateable value is less than 200,000.

The relief will be 50% of the increase for 2017/18.

Awards for year's two to four of this scheme, will be at reduced levels, pro rata. Ratepayers will be notified on a yearly basis of the level of their relief.

Supporting small businesses

This is a five-year scheme to help small businesses that:

  • prior to the 2017 revaluation, qualified for small business rate relief or rural rate relief, 
  • but due to the 2017 revaluation their rateable value means that they no longer qualify. 

The levels of reduction reduce over the lifetime of the scheme as described below.

The increase per year is limited to the greater of:

  • A percentage increase of 5%, 7.5%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation, or
  • A cash value of £600 per year

Qualifying ratepayers were issued with amended bills for 2017/18 during August 2017. This award is subject to the usual state aid limitations.

Reductions for future years will be calculated and granted automatically.

Rural settlement relief

The following properties are eligible to receive 100% rural rate relief from 1 April 2017.      




Sole Post Office


Sole general store


Food Shop


Sole pub


Sole petrol Station

Rateable value Less than £8,500 Less than £8,500 Less than £8,500 Less than £12,500 Less than £12,500


We have the discretion to give rate relief of up to 100% on any other business in a rural village with a rateable value of less than £16,500. We also have to be satisfied that the business is of benefit to the community, whilst having regard to the interests of all its council tax payers

We maintain a list of rural settlements areas, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The current lists of areas effective since 1 April 2016 are shown in the rural boundaries document.

The relief given is subject to state aid de minimis levels in the normal way.

Mandatory Relief

Registered charities or trustees for a charity are entitled to 80% rate relief on a property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes.

Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC)

A registered Community Amateur Sports Club is entitled to 80% Mandatory rate relief. 

To qualify as a CASC a sports club must:

  • Be open to the whole community
  • Be run as an amateur club
  • Be a non-profit making organisation
  • Aim to provide facilities for and encourage people to take part in eligible sports.

In order to be entitled to this relief the organisation must be registered as a CASC through the HM Revenues and Customs website.

For more information regarding Community Amateur Sports Clubs please visit the HMRC's CASC webpage. Or by calling the Inland Revenue Sports Club Unit on 0131 777 4147.

Discretionary Relief and Hardship relief

Please refer to our current discretionary rate relief guidelines for details of organisations that may be eligible to receive discretionary rate relief. Organisations may also be eligible for mandatory relief in addition to discretionary rate relief. The guidelines also give details on hardship relief.

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