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Business Rate Relief

Small Business Rate Relief

Why not register today for MySouthend, our online facility designed to make your life easier. You can view your Non Domestic Rates bills, make payments, view your account details, payment dates and notifications as well as other online services.

You qualify for a Small Business Rate Relief if:

  • You occupy one property with a rateable value of £17,999 or less
  • Or, if you occupy multiple properties, the main property has a rateable value of £17,999 or less and the additional properties each have a rateable value of £2,599 or less and the combined rateable value of all of the properties total £17,999 or less.

This must be true for every day that the relief is wanted. If the rateable value (or combined rateable value) increases above these levels the relief will stop from the day of the increase.

If you qualify for this relief, your bill for your single or main property will then be calculated using the small business rate multiplier rather than the standard rate.

If the single or main property has a rateable value of between £6,000 and £11,999 you will be entitled to a percentage reduction. The percentage is calculated on a sliding scale between 50% and 1%. 

If the single or main property has a rateable value of £6,000 or less you will be entitled 50% reduction. 

If your application for relief is successful, and as long as your circumstances do not change, your application will not need to be renewed until the next revaluation of non-domestic premises. Please note that periodically the Non-Domestic Rate Department may write to you to review your entitlement to the relief to ensure that you are still eligible for it.

If you currently receive small business rate relief and take on a second property you will continue to receive Small Business Rare Relief on your existing account for a further 12 months. You will be charged full Business Rates on the new premises. 

Changes in Circumstances

You must tell us about changes in circumstances within 4 weeks. These may include::

  • If you take up occupation of a property you did not occupy at the time of making your application for relief
  • If the rateable value of your property increases and it is in an area other than the area of the council which granted the relief.

To apply for a Small Business Rate Relief please fill in our online form.

Temporary amendment in Small Business Relief Scheme (Effective 1st October 2010 until 31st March 2017)

Those who qualify for a Small Business Rate Relief and occupy a property with a rateable of £11,999 or less will now get extra relief. Properties with a rateable value up to £6,000 will receive 100% relief and properties with rateable values between £6,000 and £12,000 will get tapered relief from 100% to 0%.

Charity Relief

If you are a registered charity you can get 80% relief on the property that is occupied by the charity. This property must also be mainly or wholly used for charitable purposes.

You may also be able to be given a further 20% "top-up" relief. This relief is granted at our discretion.

Other non-profit organisations may also qualify for this reduction. These include Church commissioners, voluntary schools and certain colleges and universities.

If you think that you qualify for Charity Relief please download the relevant application form from our related downloads.

Community Amateur Sports Club Relief

If you are a registered Community Amateur Sports Club you can apply for 80% relief.

If you think that you qualify for this relief please download the relevant application form from our related downloads.

For information about registering to be a Community Amateur Sports Club please visit their website.

Discretionary Rate Relief (Non-Profit Making Organisation Relief)

We have the discretion to give non-profit making organisations rate relief from between 0-100%.

If you think that you qualify for this relief please download the relevant application form from our related downloads.

Hardship Relief

We may give Hardship Relief in special circumstances. To qualify for this relief:

  • we must be satisfied that you would suffer hardship if you did not get the relief
  • and it must be reasonable to allow the reduction taking into account the interest of the local Council Tax payers.

This relief is normally only given to businesses that are important to the local community.

If you think that you qualify for this relief please download the relevant form from our related downloads.

Part Occupied Relief

We can give relief on commercial premises that are partly occupied (as long as it is not long-term).

To apply for this relief you must make a request (in writing) to us and the application should include a plan of the property. This plan should clearly mark the areas that are occupied and unoccupied. An Officer will then inspect the property to make sure that the plan is accurate.

If the relief is agreed then we will ask the Valuation Office for a certificate of apportionment. This certificate determines the rateable value for the occupied and unoccupied parts of the property, and so you will only need to pay the charge on the occupied part.

Requests must be made in writing to the:

Business Rates Department,
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council,
PO Box 21,
Civic Centre,
Victoria Avenue,
SS2 6EP.

Transitional Relief and Adjustment

Transitional Relief is granted if the rateable value of your property changes significantly as a result of revaluation. This relief means that the business rates that you have to pay will change gradually. If you get this relief, we automatically include this when we work out what business rates you should pay.

To help pay for the limits on increases in bills there are also limits on the reduction in bills known as transitional adjustment. These do not cover changes in rateable value due to changes to the property. For example, if an extension was built and the rateable value increased you would not be included in the transitional scheme.

Rate Relief for Properties with a Rateable Value of Below £50,000

The government has announced a temporary rate relief of up to £1,000 for the financial year 2014-15 and £1,500 for the financial year 2015-16 for shops, restaurants, cafes and drinking establishments that have a rateable value of below £50,000. Excluded from the scheme are the following types of business: 

  • Financial services (such as banks, building societies, cash points, bureau de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers)
  • Other services (such as estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies) 
  • Medical services (such as vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors) 
  • Professional services (such as solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/ financial advisers, tutors)
  • Post office sorting office
  • Businesses that are not reasonably accessible to visiting members of the public.

This relief was for the financial years 2014-15 and 2015-16 only and will end on the 31st March 2016. Please note that you can no longer apply for this relief for the financial year 2014-15 and the last date for applications for 2015-16 is 30th September 2016.  

Rate Relief for Retail Premises That Become Occupied After They Have Been Empty for a Year or More 

A 50% Business Rates discount is payable for a maximum of 18 months (between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016) for businesses that move into retail premises that have been empty for a year or more.

Please note the last date for applications for this relief is 30th September 2016. 

Page last updated: 27/09/2016