Business Rates Hardship Relief
Important Notes to read before you complete your application for relief. You will also be required to submit the relevant State Aid Declaration Form after reading the guidance notes.
In very exceptional circumstances the Council can use its discretion to award a reduction in your business rates bill on the grounds of hardship. It is important to note that when deciding whether to award relief, the elected members of the Council take many factors into account. It is not sufficient that your business is not profitable.
Sefton Council recognises that the voluntary and community sector makes a major contribution to the economy, health and well-being of the people who live and work in Sefton. However, Discretionary Rate Relief granted by Sefton Council is paid for by the Council Tax payers and the Council has a duty to ensure that public funds are spent wisely and there is due transparency and accountability.
Therefore, you should please note that all decisions to be taken in respect of applications for Hardship relief will be published together with the application forms and supporting information which are considered in reaching the decision.
State Aid
State Aid law is the means by which the European Union regulates state funded support to businesses. Providing discretionary relief to ratepayers is likely to amount to State Aid. However Hardship Relief will be State Aid compliant where it is provided in accordance with the De Minimis Regulations (1407/2013)2.
The De Minimis Regulations allow an undertaking to receive up to €200,000 of De Minimis aid in a three year period (consisting of the current financial year and the two previous financial years).
Ratepayers will be required to return a State Aid declaration confirming whether they have received any other De Minimis State Aid, which might include for example the £1000 Retail Relief and to confirm that the award of the Hardship Relief would not cause the ratepayer to exceed the €200,000 of State Aid an undertaking can receive under the De Minimis Regulations EC 1407/2013.
Further guidance on State Aid
The De Minimis Regulations 1407/2013 (as published in the Official Journal of the European Union L352 24.12.2013) can be downloaded at
WARNING: If you knowingly submit the form and it is found to be false, you could be subject to prosecution.
You must notify Sefton Council immediately if there are any changes in circumstances that may affect a discount or a relief.
To complete a Hardship Relief Application you will need:
- your Business Rates Account Number
- details of all State Aid received in the last two financial years or due in this financial year, where appropriate, including amounts, date received, the organisation providing the aid and the nature of the aid.
- Names, addresses and dates of birth of all directors, partners, senior managers and trustees
- Details of other properties you occupy including amounts of Business Rate Relief you receive
- To provide statements detailing;
How the granting of relief will benefit the residents of Sefton
What the impact of not awarding relief would be on the business
How the awarding of relief will maintain or help grow a viable business that contributes to the growth or regeneration of Sefton’s economy
* This indicates mandatory fields