If you pay business rates, you may be eligible for rate relief or a discount. There are several options available:

Small Business Relief

The Small Business Rate Relief scheme provides a maximum of 100%  mandatory rate relief for properties with a rateable value up to £12,000, with relief declining on a sliding scale until, at a rateable value of £15,000, there is no entitlement.

  • If you are occupying only one property with a rateable value of below £12,000 you would pay no rates at all;
  • If you are occupying only one property with a rateable value of between £12,000 and £15,000 you would benefit from a discount on your bill;
  • Eligible ratepayers with rateable values above £15,000 and below £51,000  will have their bills calculated using the small business multiplier.


Small Business Rate Relief can be awarded if:

  • The rate payer occupies only one property, or
  • The rate payer occupies one main property and other properties, where the rateable value of each additional property is less than £2,900 and the total rateable value of all the properties is less than £19,999.  Rate relief can only be awarded for the main      property.


If you are not claiming and think you may be eligible, contact us on 020 8207 7409 or download a small business rates relief application form (PDF, 120KB) 

Transitional Relief

To try and minimise the financial impact that a general revaluation may have on businesses, the government introduced Transitional Arrangements.

Transitional Arrangements aim to ‘phase in’ any adjustments to the amount payable by a business. The principle behind this scheme is to ensure that businesses will not be expected to pay, or receive a reduction in their bills, by more than a pre-set percentage each year (determined by Central Government). Transitional arrangements are automatically applied and are shown on the front of your bill.

Empty Properties

You don't have to pay business rates on empty properties for three months.

The following properties can get extended empty property relief: 

  • industrial premises (for example, warehouses) are exempt for a further three months 
  • listed buildings - until they’re reoccupied 
  • buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 - until they’re reoccupied 
  • properties owned by charities - only if the property’s next use will be for charitable purposes
  • community amateur sports clubs buildings - only if the next use will be for sporting use


Please tell us when your property becomes vacant by calling 020 8207 2277 or emailing revenues@hertsmere.gov.uk

Section 44a Relief - Partly occupied property

Ratepayers are liable for full non-domestic rates whether a property is wholly occupied or only partly occupied. However, in certain instances, the Council has the discretion if part of a property becomes temporarily vacant, to award relief in respect of the unoccupied part.  This is called Section 44a relief.

When considering an application for discretionary rate relief the following factors will be taken into account:

  • The circumstances leading to the partial occupation
  • What is the intention of the business in relation to the unoccupied parts
  • Evidence that the unoccupied part will be empty for a short term only

Charity Relief

Charitable organisations that occupy a non-domestic property for activities in connection with the purposes of that charity are entitled to business rates relief of 80% of the bill.

We have the discretion to remit all or part of the remaining 20% of the organisation's bill.

To apply for charity relief download an application form (PDF, 69KB) and guide (PDF, 78KB). 

Sports Club Relief

Non-profit making sporting organisations can benefit from 80 per cent mandatory relief.

This relief is intended to help clubs that:

  • are open to the whole community
  • are organised on an amateur basis
  • have as their main purpose providing facilities for, and promoting participation in, one or more eligible sports


Non – profit making sporting organisations include:


To apply for charity relief download an application form (PDF, 69KB) and  guide (PDF, 78KB). 

Rate Relief for Businesses in Rural Areas

From 1 April 2017 you can get 100% rural rate relief if you occupy a property in a rural settlement with a population below 3,000 and  the business meets the following criteria:

  • Is the only general store, food shop or post office with a rateable value of up to £8,500.
  • Is the only public house or petrol station with a rateable value of up to £12,500.

Retail Discount

If you have a retail, hospitality or leisure property you may be eligible for a business rate discount. The value of the discount will be 1/3rd of the bill and is applied after mandatory and other discretionary reliefs are applied to the account.

To be eligible for this discount, the retail premises must:

  • Be occupied;
  • Have a rateable value of less than £51,000;
  • Be wholly or mainly used as shops, including post offices, car showrooms, car hire, opticians, petrol stations, restaurants and cafes, including takeaways and drinking establishments, hair and beauty services.

Premises being used for the following will not be eligible for the discount:

  • Financial services (for example, banks, building societies, cash points, bureaux de change, payday lenders, betting shops, pawn brokers);
  • Other services (for example, estate agents, letting agents, employment agencies);
  • Medical services (for example, vets, dentists, doctors, osteopaths, chiropractors);
  • Professional services (for example, solicitors, accountants, insurance agents/      financial advisers, tutors);
  • Nightclubs and music venues;
  • Cinemas, theatres and museums;
  • Gyms and premises used for sporting activities.


For more information read our retail discount guidance (PDF, 347KB)

Hardship Relief

This discretionary relief can be granted if you are experiencing hardship and your business is considered to be important to the local community. Contact us on 020 8207 7409 for an application form.

Public House Discount

In 2020/21 only, there is a £1000 discount for public houses with a rateable value of less than £100,000.

For more information see: public house discount guidance (PDF, 309KB)

To apply for a Public House discount download the public house relief application form (PDF, 217 kb)

State Aid

State aid rules regulate public sector intervention, with the aim of ensuring fair competition and the proper functioning of the single market.

Giving unregulated financial support to some businesses would risk distorting competition within the European common market, and hinder the long-term competitiveness of the European Union.

This means that a business can only receive government support up to a maximum level. Because of this, we have to ask any business that applies for relief detailed questions about any financial support that they may already have received.

You can find out the State Aid 'de minimis' levels and what the rules for businesses are by downloading our guide below. 

 Read state aid guidance.

Get more information and government guidance on business rates relief