Business Ratepayers who occupy a property with a rateable value that does not exceed £50,999, have their bills calculated using the lower small business non-domestic rating multiplier (49.9p in 2024/25), rather than the national non-domestic rating multiplier (54.6p in 2024/25).

In the majority of cases, if the sole or main property is shown on the rating list with a rateable value that does not exceed £15,000, the ratepayer will receive a percentage reduction in their rates bill for this property of up to a maximum of 100%.

For a property with a rateable value of not more than £12,000, the ratepayer will receive a 100% reduction in their rates bill.


Applying for Small Business Rate Relief

Rateable value approximate percentage reductions


Rateable value

Percentage reduction

£12,000 and under    












£15,000 and above   


If you use more than one property

When you get a second property, you’ll keep getting any existing relief on your main property for 12 months.

You can still get small business rate relief on your main property after this, if both of the following apply:

  • none of your other properties have a rateable value above £2,899
  • the total rateable value of all your properties is less than £20,000

The Government has introduced additional support to small businesses. For those businesses that take on an additional property which would normally have meant the loss of small business rate relief, the Government has confirmed that they will be allowed to keep that relief for a period of 12 months.

Where a ratepayer meets the eligibility criteria and has not received the relief, they should contact Oldham Council’s Business Rates Department. Provided the ratepayer continues to satisfy the conditions for relief which apply at the relevant time as regards the property and the ratepayer, they will automatically continue to receive relief in each new valuation period.

Certain changes in circumstances will need to be notified to Oldham Councils Business Rates Department (other changes will be picked up by the council).

The changes which should be notified are:

  • the ratepayer taking up occupation of an additional property, and
  • an increase in the rateable value of a property occupied by the ratepayer in an area other than the area of the local council which granted the relief.

Unoccupied relief

Non-Domestic Rates will not be payable in the first three months that a property is empty. This is extended to six months in the case of certain industrial properties.

After this period, rates are payable in full unless the unoccupied property rate has been reduced by the Government by order. In most cases, the unoccupied property rate is zero for properties owned by charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs.

In addition, there are a number of exemptions from the empty property rate. These are properties:

  • whose rateable value is less than £2,900
  • that are listed buildings
  • whose owner is prohibited by law from occupying it or allowing it to be occupied
  • kept vacant by reason of action taken by or on behalf of the Crown or any local or public authority with a view to prohibiting the occupation or to acquiring it
  • which are classed as an ancient or historic monument
  • where the owner is entitled to possession only in his capacity as the personal representative of a deceased person
  • where the owner is subject to a bankruptcy order
  • where the owner is entitled to possession in his capacity as trustee under a deed of arrangement
  • where the owner is a company which is subject to a winding-up order, or is being wound up voluntarily
  • where the owner is a company in administration
  • where the owner is entitled to possession of the property in the capacity of a liquidator

To claim unoccupied property relief, you must inform Oldham Councils Business Rates Department as soon as the property becomes vacant.

Public lavatories relief.The Public Lavatories Act 2021 provides 100% business rates relief for separately assessed public toilets and applies retrospectively from 1 April 2020.

Apply for unoccupied relief - Apply4 online website 

Partly occupied property relief

Partly occupied properties are not exempt from paying non-domestic rates.

If a property is partly occupied for a short period of time, Oldham Council has discretion to give non-domestic rate relief on the part of the property that is unoccupied.

For example, this could apply if your business is moving, due to practical reasons, into a property, in stages.

If discretionary relief is granted, the rateable value will be recalculated. If applicable, empty property rates will be payable on the unoccupied part and full rates will be payable on the occupied part of the property.

It is not intended that all properties which temporarily become partly occupied should have their liability reduced.

When applying, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Address of the property.
  • Name of the current owner or leaseholder.
  • Date from when it was or will be partly occupied.
  • A plan of the property which identifies the unoccupied area (if available).
  • Reasons for the application.

Relief for charities

Charity shops are entitled to 80% mandatory rate relief provided they are selling goods that are wholly or mainly donated. Oldham Council has the discretion to provide further relief on the remaining bill.

Registered charities are entitled to relief from rates on any non-domestic property that is wholly or mainly used for charitable purposes:

Mandatory Relief is given at 80% of the bill.

Oldham Council has the discretion to provide further relief on the remaining bill. The criteria are included in the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief policy:

Relief for Non-Profit Organisations

Non-profit making organisations have no automatic entitlement to rate relief, but the Council can decide to grant discretionary relief to non-profit organisations that are philanthropic or religious in nature or are concerned with education or social welfare.

Relief for Community Amateur Sports Clubs

Registered community amateur sports clubs (CASC) are entitled to 80% Mandatory rate relief.

Where the property is occupied by the charity or the club and is wholly or mainly used for the charitable purposes of the charity (or of that and other charities), or for the purposes of the club (or of that and other clubs).

Oldham Council has the discretion to provide further relief on the remaining bill. The criteria are included in the Council’s Discretionary Rate Relief policy:

To qualify as a CASC, a sports club must:

  • Be open to the whole community
  • Be run as an amateur club
  • Be a non-profit-making organisation
  • Aim to provide facilities for, and encourage people to take part in, eligible sport.

You can find more information about CASCs on the HMRC website:

Relief for Local Newspapers

The Government is providing funding to Local Councils so that they can provide a discount worth up to £1,500 a year on office space occupied by local newspapers.

The discount will apply until 31 March 2025.

This scheme provides up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per property.

Please contact the Business Rates Team if you would like to apply for this relief.

Hardship Relief

The Council has discretion to award rate relief where a business is experiencing hardship.

This relief will only be awarded if it is believed to be in the interest of the Oldham Council’s taxpayers.

If your business is suffering hardship that has been caused through exceptional circumstances, you may be entitled to relief up to 100%.

Please contact the Business Rates Team if you would like to apply for this relief.

Rural Rate Relief

Certain types of business in rural settlements, with a population below 3,000 may qualify for rate relief of 50%.

Businesses that qualify for this relief are:

  • The sole general store or food shop (if it has a rateable value of less than £8,500)
  • The sole post office (if it has a rateable value of less than £8,500)
  • The sole public house (if it has a rateable value of less than £12,500)
  • The sole petrol station (if it has a rateable value of less than £12,500)

A "food shop" means a trade or business consisting wholly or mainly for the sale by retail of food for human consumption (excluding confectionery and catering).

Catering means any supply of food for consumption on the premises on which it is supplied and any supply of hot food for consumption off the premises.

The 2016 Autumn Statement confirmed the doubling of rural rate relief from 50% to 100% from 1 April 2017.

Oldham Council will continue to grant 100% rural rate relief to eligible ratepayers from 1 April 2021.

For Oldham, the rural settlements are:

  • Denshaw
  • Delph
  • Diggle
  • Dobcross
  • Grasscroft
  • Grotton
  • Scouthead
  • Woodhouses

Discretionary rate relief policy

Voluntary, charity or non-profit making organisations

Discretionary rate relief can be applied for by any voluntary, charity or non-profit making organisation which operates within Oldham, is liable for business rates, and provides services which meet the eligibility criteria.

Heat network relief

At the Spring Statement 2022, the Chancellor announced that the heat network relief will apply from 1 April 2022.

The qualifying criteria are that a property: -

  • Must be a separate assessment.
  • Be wholly or mainly used for the purpose of a heat network; and
  • The heat (for the next 12 months) is expected to be generated from a low-carbon source.

Local Discounts to support business

The Council also has a general power under the Localism Act 2011 to grant discretionary local discounts to support local business

This document sets out the Council’s policy on the granting and administering of discretionary rate relief.

Supporting small business relief (SSBR)

The Supporting Small Business Relief (SSBR) scheme will apply for the financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25.

It will cap bill increases at £600 per year for any business losing eligibility for some or all Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief at the 2023 revaluation for occupied properties.

Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs, who are entitled to 80% mandatory relief, are not eligible for SSBR.

Those businesses whose rateable value is £51,000 or more will not be liable to pay the supplement (1.3p) to fund Small Business Rate Relief while they are eligible for SSBR.

The scheme also provides support for those previously eligible for the 2022/23 SSB scheme and facing large increases in 2023/24 but in those cases for one further year only.

The relief will be awarded automatically to eligible businesses, and you do not need to apply for it.

Retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief

The 2024/25 retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief scheme provides eligible, occupied, retail, hospitality and leisure properties with a 75% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business per year.

Hereditaments that meet the eligibility for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure scheme, will be occupied hereditaments which meet all of the following conditions for the chargeable day:

They are wholly or mainly being used:

  • as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas or live music venues
  • for assembly and leisure, or
  • as hotels, guest and boarding premises or self-catering accommodation

Where a ratepayer has a qualifying connection with another ratepayer then those ratepayers should be considered as one ratepayer for the purposes of the cash caps.

Furthermore, the retail hospitality and leisure scheme is likely to amount to subsidy.

Please see retail, hospitality and leisure business rates relief – detailed information for full eligibility criteria, cash cap and subsidy information.

Cash Cap Declaration 23/24 - Apply4 online website

Cash Cap Declaration 24/25 - Apply4 online website