CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

At the discretion of the local authority, CICs can qualify for discretionary business rate relief. 


We are going to message all local authorities asking them:


1. Have they granted business rate relief to any CICs so far

2. Would they consider granting relief to CLG CICs? (company limited by guarantee)

3. Would they consider granting relief to CLS CICs ( company limited by shares)

4. Would they like to have a discussion about who and what CICs are?


We anticipate most declining CLS CICs outright, but hope a lot of local authorities will confirm they will look at CLG CICs, as they are clearly not for profit in the same way charities are. We hope to explain how CIC could bring new diversity and entrepreneurship into their boroughs, and with some planning could help regenerate chosen areas etc etc.


This will help us build a map that CICs might find useful when deciding to start a business/expand location etc.


I'll also use this discussion to add links to other resources/ info as it comes in. So far we know the following Local Authorities have granted relief to CICs, and we expect many more have but we havent confirmed the facts yet :




Aylesbury Vale



Parts of Bedfordshire 



Kettering Borough




PS. With certain caveats smaller CICs can also apply for small business relief, make sure you check the criteria in your area as it may well suit.

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Replies to This Discussion

here's a link to a good thread, a CIC with a successful appeal and relief from two different boroughs



there's also some useful stuff on discrentionary rate relief generally on this site:

nice one Adrian, unfortunately the Make a Claim link doesnt work (have mailed them) Do you have any other resources about DBR? It'll be good to start collating things here as a point of reference. I started the mapping exercise yesterday, doing London first.  

No new info yet, a couple even got shirty and said it wasnt the type of thing they made available! obviously junior scroats.....looks like the template freedom of information act template is coming out......cohesive planning with the community eh? 

Hi all


Re rate relief:


1. Great if some local authorities will grant discretionary rate relief to some or all local CICs.


2. Remember there are some special local temporary schemes to help fill empty town centre properties (some of those involve temporary business rate "holidays" granted by the relevant LA) and other business encouragement initiatives that include some help re costs, reduction of administrative burdens (easier planning process etc) - like Local Enterprise Zones. Some CICs may get some help, at least temporarily, from those schemes.


3. For charities (but not for CICs) there is 80% mandatory rate relief and 20% dscretionary top up under a specific statutory relief. Conditions have to be met and the relief is only available to a charity's premises that are used wholly or mainly for the charitable activities (so it is not available to partner organisations, such as an associated CIC, nor to a charity's trading subsidiary).




Cecile Gillard, Charities Dept Legal Manager, Burton Sweet 

More and more of them are thankfully, it is vital the CIC has early contact with the LA to see if they will grant relief before committing to premises. Company Limited by Guarantee CICs dont seem to present too much of an issue to LAs but so far I havent found many cases of a Company limited by share CIC getting relief.

Does anyone know of any CICs that have had applied to the London Borough of Greenwich for Discretionary Rates Relief. I am fighting an uphill battle at the moment and would like to hear of anyone else's experiences of dealing with this council.

Can I suggest sending in a freedom of information request to your LA, it might end up being the quickest way as they have to respond to that.

Good idea.

In the meantime, I have a booked with the CEO of our local CVS (Greenwich Action for Voluntary Services) on Monday to help me craft a complelling response to Greenwich Council in our 3rd round of battle in trying to persuade them of our worthiness for DRR.

The London Borough of Lewisham is reviewing their Discretionary Rates Relief Policy. The consultation is open for comment until 6th October 2013.

Comment here:

Hi Lorraine

Just looked at the consultation.......i didnt reply as I didnt like the framework of the discussions. It looks like whatever happens all the choices are for less.

They are proposing excluding all non charity community groups, Id suggest the only way you are going to influence them is to raise the campaigning locally, and campaign hard. 

If they take the DRR away, it will mean 100% loss of benefit to non charity groups. There are 11 non charity community groups who are receiving 100% DRR, I suggest you all get together to co-campaign. Their names should be publicly available through your LA.

I mentioned on the phone to call your councillor, after reading the survey id recommend asking all of them for their comments, and try it get it discussed via local papers.

This is a budget decision for them, i'll turn up and make a case for supporting community business by provision of rate relief, and will be happy to support an open letter if you want to develop one but im not going to respond to the survey as it already presumes too much.

Hi John

Thanks for your considered reply and offer of support. I have alerted the Lewisham Borough Rep of the Federation of Small Businesses to look into this consultation and raise the alert with relevant stakeholders.



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