Can I reduce my business rates?

There are a number of reliefs for non-domestic properties that may apply to your business:

Occupied Properties

  • Small business rates relief (please note: if you are currently in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief, this will automatically be applied to your account for the new valuation from 01/04/17) Application Form
  • Rural rate relief - we may also provide discretionary relief for businesses in rural areas where Mandatory relief does not apply
  • Charitable relief - we can also provide additional discretionary relief for charitable and not for profit organisations
  • Enterprise zones
  • Exempt buildings and empty buildings relief 
  • Business rates appeals
  • Discretionary Relief - South Norfolk Council can award discretionary rate relief under powers contained in Section 47 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988

    The Council has a guideline document outlining our general approach to the award of discretionary reliefs, which sets the parameters within which officers assess cases. These are guidelines only as we are required to be able to consider any case on its own merits.

    The full guideline document was last updated and approved by Cabinet on 04 February 2019.

    The Government has over recent years increasingly come up with new ways of supporting businesses, and asked Council’s to implement that support using its discretionary rate relief powers.

    The scope of discretionary rate reliefs has grown considerably over many years from initially being focussed on rate relief for charities, local sports clubs and non-profit making organisations to support for key facilities in smaller settlements (post offices, general stores, specialist food shops and public houses) and now to a wider power to provide support to any type of business – a power which is utilised by Government to deliver locally on national initiatives for support.

  • Partly occupied relief - a ratepayer is liable for the full non-domestic rate whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. Where a property is partly occupied for a short time, we have discretion in certain cases to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part
  • Hardship relief - we have discretion to give hardship relief in specific circumstances. 

Unoccupied Properties

When a property becomes empty, there is no charge for the first three months, or six months in the case of industrial property. After the initial rate-free period has expired, the empty property will be charged 100% Business Rates. There are curtain exemptions from the empty charge which include listed buildings and properties with a rateable value of less than £2,600. Find out more about exempt buildings and empty buildings relief.