Apply for business rates relief

If you pay business rates, your property may be eligible for business rates relief.

There are various reliefs and exemptions available which can reduce your business rates liability.

You can apply online for the reliefs shown below.

Covid-19 retail, hospitality and leisure relief

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament on 16 February 2021, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, confirmed that 100% non-domestic rates relief for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be extended beyond the three-month commitment already made in the Scottish Budget 2021-22, and will cover all of the 2021-22 financial year. 

This will include all the property uses that were eligible for relief in 2020/21.  

In order to qualify for this relief, local businesses need to operate within one of those business sectors and occupy a suitable property class.  

Apply for retail, hospitality & leisure relief

Small business bonus scheme

You can get business rates relief through the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) if the combined rateable value of all your business premises in Scotland is £35,000 or less.

Apply for small business bonus scheme

Empty property relief

All empty properties can get 50% relief from business rates for the first 3 months they are empty. They can then get a 10% discount after that.

Empty industrial properties can get full relief from business rates for the first 3 months they are empty. They can then get a 10% discount after that.

Listed buildings and properties with a rateable value under £1,700 don't have to pay business rates at all.

Apply for empty property relief

Charities, sports clubs and recreation clubs

Charities and amateur community sports clubs can apply for relief of up to 80% if a property is used for charitable purposes. You may also be eligible for a discretionary award from the council (up to 100%).

If you run a non-profit recreation club, you're not automatically entitled to relief, but you may be eligible for a discretionary award of up to 100%

Apply for charitable relief

Rural rates relief

You may be eligible for rural rates relief.

You won’t pay business rates if your business is in an eligible area with a population below 3,000 and either:

  • the only village shop or post office, with a rateable value of up to £8,500
  • the only public house or petrol station, with a rateable value of up to £12,500
  • public libraries and public conveniences

East Lothian rural villages with a population less than 3,000

Qualifying conditions apply, however to find out more, or to apply, contact the Business Rates team.

Business Growth Accelerator Relief

You may be able to qualify for Business Growth Accelerator Relief if

  • your premises are a new build property
  • your rateable value has increased following an expansion or improvement to your property

New build premises

If your property is a new build, you may not have to pay Business Rates until 12 months after the building was completed.

New build properties are only charged from the date they are occupied. New occupants may then qualify for Business Growth Accelerator Relief for 12 months.

Expanding or making improvements to your property

If you have expanded or improved your property, and your rateable value has increased as a result of those changes, your Business Rates charge may be based on your old rateable value for 12 months.

Apply for business growth accelerator relief

Other business rates reliefs

There are a number of other reliefs available to help reduce your business rates bill.

  • Fresh start relief
  • New start relief
  • Renewable energy generation relief

Visit for more information

For all relief, eligibility criteria applies and applications will be subject to qualifying criteria.

If you have any questions, or would like to discuss your circumstances, contact our business rates team and we will make sure you get the help and advice you need.

Important information -  cost of living

With the cost of living increasing, many people are finding it difficult to cover essential daily living costs.

A range of measures are available to help people boost their income. Don't assume you're receiving everything you're entitled to, always check, and if you're still struggling or in doubt, get in touch.

Find out more: