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If you pay business rates, also known as non-domestic rates, your property may be eligible for non-domestic rates relief.

These discounts only apply to your business rates bill and will not directly reduce your rent, water charges or other bills.

Full details about the reliefs available in Scotland can be found at Scottish Government: Non-domestic rates guidance.

How to apply

You can apply online for any of the reliefs below. Please select a relief to find out more before making your application.

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, the property must have been empty for at least the previous six months before your occupation and was previously in receipt of Empty Property Relief.

The rateable value must be under £100,000.

Apply for Fresh Start Relief

Business growth accelerator

For new entry or new build properties, relief is available for properties that have been entered on the valuation roll on or after 1 April 2018.

Such properties will receive 100% relief whilst vacant, with a further 100% relief continuing for 12 months following first occupation. This will not apply where one or more buildings, or parts of a building, forming part of the new entry were shown in any entry on the roll on the day immediately prior to the day the new entry takes effect.

Improved properties relief is available for existing properties that have had their rateable value increased on or after 1 April 2018 as a result of improvements, such as refurbishment or expansion to, or the erection of one or more buildings to, or by the change of use of, the existing lands and heritages.

However, this excludes increases caused by the combination, division or reorganisation of lands and heritages shown in a different entry in the Roll on the day before the change takes effect.

This relief will apply for 12 months from the date of increase, regardless of whether the property is vacant or occupied.

Apply for Business Growth Accelerator Relief

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 six 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.

Apply for Empty Property Relief

Transitional relief

General transitional relief in 2023/24

A general Revaluation Transitional Relief to cap bill increases for properties seeing increases in their rateable values at revaluation.

The caps (in cash terms) in 2023/24 will be:

  • 12.5% for small properties
  • 25% for medium-sized properties
  • 37.5% for large properties
  • rising in subsequent years
Year-on-year Scottish 2023 Revaluation Transitional Relief caps
Rateable value2023/242024/252025/26
Small (up to £20,000) 12.5% 25% 37.5%
Medium (£20,001 to £100,001) 25% 50% 75%
Large (over £100,000) 37.5% 75% 112.5%

Small business transitional relief

This is a scheme to cap bill increases for properties losing eligibility for, or seeing a reduction in, Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural rates relief.

The maximum increase in the rates liability relative to 31 March 2023 will be capped at:

  • £600 in 2023/24
  • rising to £1,200 in 2024/25
  • £1,800 in 2025/26

Parks transitional relief

Parks, or parts of parks, added to the valuation roll for the first time on 1 April 2023, including properties located within parks added as a result of the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Act 2020, to cap bills at:

  • 33% of the gross liability in 2023/24
  • 66% in 2024/25
  • reaching 100% in 2025/26

Where the entry in a roll in relation to lands and heritages is split or reorganised on or after 1 April 2023, the gross rates liability of each part of the lands and heritages which is the subject of an entry is reduced by 67%.

Apply for Transitional Relief

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: 

Small business bonus scheme relief
Rateable valueRelief
£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 of £15,001 to £20,000 relief percentage =

25 x (20,000 - rateable value) /

5000

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

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

Apply for Small Business Bonus Scheme

Mandatory and discretionary relief

Registered charities and other organisations of social benefit  such as sports, theatre, arts and clubs may qualify for both Mandatory and Discretionary Relief of up to 100% of business rates liability.

Licensed clubs are not necessarily disqualified. If the applicant is deemed eligible then the relief may be awarded.  Evidence of eligibility must be provided in all cases.

Apply for Mandatory and Discretionary Relief

Other reliefs

Other reliefs are available for properties used under the following categories:

  • social benefit
  • day nursery relief
  • rural relief
  • disablement relief
  • renewable energy relief

Email collections@east-ayrshire.gov.uk to find out more.

Publication of businesses receiving rates relief

From 1 April 2021, all businesses that are in receipt of any form of Non-Domestic Rates relief will be published online. This publication is to increase transparency around the use of public funds through Non-Domestic relief awards.

For full details on how your information will be used, please read the Relief Recipients Privacy Notice.

Relief recipients

Download a list of the non-domestic rates relief recipients (Excel 344Kb).

Contact Information

Business Rates
PO BOX 13
John Dickie Street
Kilmarnock
East Ayrshire
KA1 1BY