Information about Covid19:
Please read our information on how we are supporting residents and businesses, as well as information on affected services.

Business Rate relief

There are a number of business rate relief schemes available below. 

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

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

Cornwall Council, as the Data Controller, is committed to protecting your privacy and any personal data you provide or we collect about you will be stored securely and only used for business rate purposes, in accordance with our Privacy Notice.  We will not use your information for any other purpose or give it to anyone else unless we are required to do so by law.  For example, we have a duty to protect public funds so we may need to use the information held about you for the prevention and detection of fraud which would require us to share it with other Council statutory services or organisations responsible for auditing or administering public funds. 

Apply for Business Rates 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 

Where more than one property is occupied, but the above criteria is met, relief will only be applied to the main property (the property with the largest rateable value).


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.



  • 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:
    • the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
    • an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local authority which granted the relief.

Retaining small business rates relief when taking on an additional property

Ratepayers receiving Small Business Rate Relief that take on an additional property which would currently disqualify them from receiving relief, will continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months.

For example, if you occupy another property with a rateable value of £2,899 (£2600 prior to 1 April 2017) or above, or 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.

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, 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 (for example florists, bakers, butchers, grocers, greengrocers, jewellers, stationers, off licences, chemists, hardware stores, newsagents, supermarkets)
  • Charity shops
  • Opticians
  • Post Offices
  • Garden Centres
  • Furnishing shops / display rooms (for example, 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 and it would be impossible to list the many varied retail uses that exist. 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?

Premises which are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the Public, or 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 (for example, banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Medical services (for example, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors)
  • Post Office sorting offices
  • Professional services (for example, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents / financial advisors, tutors)
  • Other services (for example, 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 have received a bill without any retail discount but think your property should qualify for the discount please contact us using the link at the top of this page and we can send you an application form.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, in the Budget on 11 March 2020 the Government announced that it would increase the discount to 100% from 1 April 2020.  It would also extend it to include the leisure and hospitality sectors.

This relief will apply to occupied retail, leisure and hospitality properties in the year 2020/21. There will be no rateable value limit on the relief.

Further information on Retail Discount in respect of the Coronavirus

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, 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 to request an application form, this application form is not available online.

A scheme was approved by members of the Cabinet 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 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 will be at reduced levels, pro rata to the reduced funding from the government and ratepayers will be notified on a yearly basis of the level of their relief.

Ratepayers were sent amended bills during August, along with a state aid declaration to complete and return to us to confirm their eligibility for the relief.

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 follows:

The increase per year is limited to the greater of:

A. A percentage increase of 5%, 7.5%, 15% and 15% 2017/18 to 2021/22 all plus inflation, or

B. 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 also be calculated and granted automatically, and qualifying ratepayers will see the reduction shown on the subsequent year's bills.

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 also 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, if it is 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.

Registered charities or trustees for a charity are entitled to 80% rate relief on any non-domestic 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 by calling the Inland Revenue Sports Club Unit on 0131 777 4147. For more information regarding Community Amateur Sports Clubs please visit the HMRC's CASC webpage.

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 which if also eligible for mandatory relief may be in addition to this. The guidelines also give details on hardship relief.