Reductions in business rates

Reductions in Business Rates may be available for the following:

People with disabilities

You may be eligible for up to 100% relief if you provide residential accommodation for the care or aftercare of people who are ill; if you provide training for disabled people; welfare services or workshops for disabled people. 

To apply, complete a Disabled Persons Relief application form (PDF 56Kb).

Empty property

Business Rates are payable at the rate of 50% for up to three months on property which is unoccupied. After three months, a reduction of 10% of the normal business rate applies. For industrial properties relief is awarded at 100% for the first 6 months followed by a reduction of 10%. The 10% reduction does not apply to listed buildings, property vested in certain trustees or property with a rateable value of £1,700 or less. Industrial premises can qualify for Empty Property Relief even when partly occupied. 

To apply, complete an Empty Property Relief application form (PDF 92Kb).

Fresh start

Businesses occupying certain long term empty properties which have been empty for at least one year may be entitled to a relief of 100% discount for their first 12 months in those premises. 

In order to qualify for relief you need to have started occupying the property on or after 1 April 2018 after the property must have been empty for at least the previous 6 months before your occupation. The rateable value must be under £65,000.

To apply, complete a Fresh Start application form (PDF 146Kb).

Business growth accelerator

If your premises are new build you will not have to pay business rates until 12 months after the building has been completed.  Once the property is occupied the new tenant will qualify for full relief for the first year.

If you have to expand or make improvements to your property the business rates that you are charged will not be increased for 12 months, you will continue to be charged based on your old rateable value during this period.

To apply, complete a Business growth accelerator application form (290Kb).

Social benefit

Registered charities 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 Business Rates liability. Licensed clubs are not necessarily disqualified.

To apply, complete a Social Benefit Relief application form (PDF 31Kb).

Small business bonus scheme

Occupiers of non domestic property located in Scotland with a combined rateable value of £35,000 or less may be eligible for relief as follows:

Rateable value          


Up to £15,000


£15,001 to £18,000


£18,001 to £35,000

25% on individual property each with a rateable value up to £18,000*

* Multiple properties linked to one business may be eligible for relief if their combined RV does not exceed £35,000.

Payday lenders are not eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

To apply, complete a Small Business Bonus Scheme application form (PDF 263Kb).

Transitional relief

Following the 2017 rates revaluation, Transitional Relief became available to certain categories of business and the scheme applies to a 12.5% limit to the real increase in gross bills between 2016/17 and 2017/18.

The relief can only be awarded to certain categories of business (hotel, pub, restaurant).

To apply, complete a Transitional Relief application form (PDF 197Kb).

Day nursery relief

From April 2018, you will be able to get 100% relief on your business rates if you run a day nursery. To get this relief your premises must be used only as a nursery school or mainly as a nursery school.

To apply, complete a Day Nursery application form (PDF 299Kb).

Rural rate relief

You can get 100% off your business rates if your property is in a designated rural area with a population below 3,000 and it is:

  • a small food shop, general store or post office with a rateable value below £8,500
  • a small hotel, public house or petrol filling station with a rateable value of up to £12,750
  • any other business providing a benefit to the community with a rateable value of up to £17,000

To apply, complete a Rural Rate Relief Application form (PDF 62Kb).

Renewable energy generation relief

You may be able to get up to 100% off your business rates if your scheme has arrangements in place that entitle one or more community organisations to at least 15% of the annual profit, or so much of the annual profit as is attributable to 0.5 megawatt of the total installed capacity of the project (or more).  To be eligible the scheme has to produce heat or power from certain sources and the amount you can receive depends on the rateable value of your property.  For more information please contact us.

To apply, complete a Renewable Energy application form (PDF 399Kb)

Contact Information

Business Rates
John Dickie Street
East Ayrshire