Help with business rates

There are a number of relief schemes available which you may be eligible for - find out more details and apply below.

There are a number of relief schemes available which you may be eligible for - find out more details and apply below.

The information you supply on these forms will be used for the purpose for which you have provided it, and appropriate measures are in place to protect your personal data.  A full privacy notice, which provides information about your rights under current data protection legislation and details about what will happen to your personal data can be found here:

In order to increase transparency around the use of public funds for non-domestic rates relief awards, information associated with the awarding of the non-domestic rates reliefs will be published on our website. This information may include the liability holder (company or sole trader name), non-domestic property information (including relevant property reference numbers), the date of the relief award, type of relief award, gross bill and net bill.

This information may also be analysed internally to help us improve our services. This data sharing is in accordance with our Information Use and Privacy Policy and covered in our full privacy statement on our website.

Small Business Bonus Scheme

 Small Business Bonus Scheme relief is being reformed from 1st April 2023. 100% SBBS relief will continue to be available for properties with a rateable value up to £12,000.  The tables below show the levels of relief available.

Single Entry in the Valuation Roll
Rateable Value range (for ratepayers with a single non domestic entry in the valuation roll) Percentage of rate relief
£12,000 or less 100%
£12,001 to £15,000 Relief taper from 100% to 25%
£15,001 to £20,000 Relief taper from 25% to 0%

MULTIPLE ENTRIES IN THE VALUATION ROLL

The cumulative rules including the RV threshold of £35,000 will remain.  If you have more than one non-domestic property in Scotland the level of relief is shown below:

Multiple Entries in the Valuation Roll
Cumulative rateable value range (multiple entries in valuation roll) Percentage of rate relief
£12,000 or less 100%
£12,001 to £35,000

25% on each individual property with a rateable value of £15,000 or less

For individual properties with rateable value £15,001 to £20,000, a tapered relief percentage from 25% to 0%

No relief is available for properties used for payday lending. From 1st April 2020 relief is not available to properties not in active use.

Car parks, car spaces, advertisements and betting shops will be excluded from eligibility for Small Business Bonus Scheme relief from 1 April 2023.

The Scheme provides the following relief for rating years 2019/20 to 2022/23:

Combined Rateable Value (RV)of all premises in Scotland
Combined Rateable Value (RV)of all premises in Scotland %
Up to £15,000 100
£15,001 to £18,000 25
£18,001 to  £35,000 (only on individual properties with RV of £18,000 or less) 25

The relief available for 2016/17 and previous Financial Years is as follows:

Combined Rateable Value (RV)of all premises in Scotland 2016/17
Combined Rateable Value (RV) of all premises in Scotland
Up to £10,000 100%
10,001 to 12,000 50%
12,001 to 35,000 (only on individual properties with RV of £18,000 or less 25%

For rating year 2013-14 and previous years, the combined rateable value limit was £25,000, but the rates of relief were otherwise as shown above. Relief was also available to payday lenders. You can still apply for this relief – there is no time limit.

What if I own two different businesses are they treated separately?

In situations where a single person owns two entirely separate businesses which operate completely independently out of separate premises each business should be treated as an “individual ratepayer” in its own right and the limits may be applied to each business separately.

The decision on whether or not to treat a business as separate from another is entirely a matter for each local authority to determine.

How do I apply?

Empty Property Relief is changing from 1st April 2024

The Scottish Government has devolved Empty Property Relief to local authorities. From 01 April 2024 Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy will be as follows:

  • 50% relief for 3 months followed by 10% relief for a maximum of 9 months.
  • The only exception will be properties which are empty due to the owner being insolvent who will continue to benefit from 100% relief.
  • No relief will be granted after a property has been empty for over 12 months

For properties currently in receipt of Empty Property Relief

  • Where 100% relief is in place as at 31 March 2024 (categories such as Listed Buildings, Rateable Value less than £1700, Industrial etc.) this relief will end as at that date and 50% relief will be awarded for 3 months followed by relief at 10% for 9 months, thereafter the full charge will be due.
  • Where 10% is currently being granted, this will continue for a maximum of 1 year and thereafter the full charge will be due.

There will be no back-dating of Empty Property Relief and applications must be submitted as soon as the property becomes Empty.

A review of all properties currently in receipt of Empty Property Relief will be carried out in January to ensure our records are up to date prior to these changes coming into force on 1 April 2024.

Empty Property Relief up to 31st March 2024

 The Scheme grants 50% relief to properties which are empty for the first 3 months.  After 3 months a charge of 90% of the normal rate applies.  Empty industrial properties get full exemption for 6 months and thereafter a charge of 90% of the normal rate applies.  Listed buildings and properties with rateable values  of less than £1700 continue to get full exemption for an unlimited period

How do I apply?

Charity and Sports Relief

Registered charities (listed on the register maintained by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator OSCR) and other organisations of social benefit such as Sports, Theatre, Arts Clubs etc. can qualify for both Mandatory and Discretionary relief of up to 100% of rates liability.  Licensed Clubs are usually entitled to a maximum of 75% relief.  Organisations applying for Discretionary relief must have an equal opportunities policy.

How do I apply? 

Fresh Start Relief

Mandatory relief of 100% is available for a period of up to 12 months, for certain occupied premises. The following two criteria must be met:

• the property has been empty for a continuous period of at least six months immediately prior to the applicant’s occupation;

• the property has a RV of up to £95,000 (up from £65,000 until 31 March 2021); and

• an application for the relief must be made to the council, and the relief may not be backdated, i.e. an application must be made in-year and relief provided from 1 April of that financial year.

How do I apply?

New and Improved Property Relief (Business Growth Accelerator)

100%  relief is available for new properties until a date 12 months from occupation for such properties added to the valuation roll on or after 1 April 2018. For improved properties, 100%  relief is available on the increase in rateable value resulting from the alterations (ignoring any intermediate reduction in rateable value such as from a partial demolition of the building being expanded).  An application must be submitted for this relief.

Rural Relief

Properties located within a designated rural settlement area with a population of less than 3,000 may qualify for rural relief.  The categories eligible for relief are as follows:-

Rural Relief Categories
Category Description (RV=Rateable value) Relief Available
Qualifying General Store and Post Offices (sole general store or post office in rural settlement with RV maximum £8,500) 100% mandatory relief
Sole General Store or Post Office in settlement with RV £8,500 - £17,000 50% discretionary relief
General Store, or Post Office where no more than 2 in settlement with RV up to £8,500 100% discretionary relief
Qualifying food store where more than 2 food stores in settlement with RV up to £8,500 100% mandatory relief
Qualifying food store where there is more than 2 food stores in settlement with RV up to £8,500 50% discretionary relief
Council owned schools, halls and public conveniences in rural settlement with maximum RV £17,000 100% discretionary relief
Abattoirs, auction marts, landing pads, airfields, piers and jetties and pharmacies in rural settlement with max RV £8,500 100% discretionary relief
Petrol filling stations with RV up to £12,750 and where no other owned in Scotland 100% mandatory relief
Petrol filling station with RV up to £8,500, where ratepayer owns another in Scotland   100% discretionary relief
Sole public house/hotel in settlement where ratepayer has no other in Scotland with RV up to £12,750 100% mandatory relief

How do I apply?

Renewable Energy Relief

From 1 April 2016 this relief applies only where community organisations are, in return for investment in the project, entitled to payments at a specified level.

Combined rateable value of all business properties in Scotland Percentage relief (%)
up to £145k 100
up to £430k 50
between £430k and £860k 25
between £860k and £4m 10
Greater than £4m 2.5
Where these arrangements do not apply then the following reliefs are available from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 for new entries in the Valuation Roll only;
Up to £500K 10
Above £500K 1.5

How do I apply?

Renewable Energy Hydro Relief

A new relief of 60% is available from 1 April 2018 for entries which are used solely for the generation of renewable heat or power (or both) from water where the rateable value does not exceed £5 million.  The previous new build renewables relief is ended.

Disabled Relief

Relief of rates can be granted in respect of an establishment in which nursing care is available in terms of the Rating (Disabled Persons) Act 1978.  For more information please contact the Non Domestic Rates Team.  

How do I apply?

Day Nursery Relief

With effect from 1 April 2018 100% relief is available for properties wholly or mainly used as day nurseries.  This relief will be applicable until 31 March 2023.

Telecommunications New Fibre Relief

The Non-Domestic Rating (Telecommunications New Fibre Infrastructure) (Scotland) Order 2019 allows for new or separate entries to be made in the Valuation Roll where lands and heritages contain telecommunications new fibre infrastructure which is laid, flown, blown, affixed or attached on or after 1 April 2019. 

100% relief is available for all new broadband fibre entered on the Valuation Roll on or after 1 April 2019 for a ten-year period until 31 March 2029.

Relief will be available from the date of entry on the Valuation Roll.

The exact level of relief awarded will depend on the level of other public sector assistance received by your business (State aid).

Small Business Transitional Relief

The Scottish Government has introduced a Small Business Transitional Relief scheme for 2023 in order to "cap" bill increases in Rates payable for properties losing eligibility for, or seeing a reduction in Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief with effect from 1st April 2023.  The maximum increase in the rates liability relative to 31 March 2023 will be capped at £600 in 2023/24 per property.

Transitional Relief for Parks

From 1st April 2023, subjects that are located in parks will appear in the valuation roll for the first time.  The Scottish Government has introduced a Parks Transitional Relief scheme that will reduce the 2023/24 rates bill by 67%.

Islands and Remote Areas Hospitality Relief

The Scottish Government have introduced a new relief available under The Non-Domestic Rates (Islands and Remote Areas) (Scotland) Regulations 2024, under which 100% relief is available for the 2024/25 financial year, capped at £110,000 per ratepayer.

The list of whole or main property uses and the qualifying remote areas that may be eligible for relief are set out in schedules 1 & 2 of the regulations, these can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ssi/2024/55/made

Did you find what you were looking for?

Why wasn't this information helpful

Limit to 250 characters.