Business Rates are an integral cost of running a business and need to be considered when calculating the costs for any non-residential property you are looking to rent or buy.
Your annual business rates bill is calculated and collected by your local council who multiply the rateable value set by the Valuation Office Agency with a multiplier which is often know as the Uniform Business Rate or UBR which is set by central government.
The multiplier, set by Communities and Local Government in England or the Welsh Assembly Government, represents the number of pence in each pound of rateable value that will be payable in business rates before any reliefs or discounts are applied. It is reviewed each year in April to reflect changes in inflation.
There are several rate relief schemes available in England & Wales. You will need to discuss your eligibility for these with your local council.
You may be eligible for small business rate relief if your rateable value is below a certain level. Small business rate relief is administered by your local council and the system varies between England and Wales.
In England (and outside London) you may be eligible for small business rate relief if your rateable value is below £51,000.
When you get a second property, you will 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 the following apply:
Transitional relief in England is designed to reduce the impact of any large changes in the rateable value, whether the change is up or down. Your local council will automatically include transitional relief when they calculate your bill. There is no transitional relief in Wales.
If you are starting up or relocating to an enterprise zone you could qualify for business rates relief.The council works out how the relief is applied. You could get up to £55,000 a year over 5 years. Find your local enterprise zone to check whether it offers business rates relief, and how and when to apply.
Charities and amateur community sports clubs can apply for charitable relief. This can reduce the bill by 80 per cent. In some areas, this could be reduced even further. Contact your local council to find out more.
Non-profit organisations can apply for discretionary relief. This can reduce the bill by 100 per cent. Contact your local council to find out more. Are you a rural business like a village shop or petrol station? You may be eligible to apply for discretionary relief. Contact your local council to find out more.
In England, councils can reduce your business rates bill with hardship relief. To be eligible, you must satisfy your council that both:
Contact your local council and explain your situation if you think you are eligible.
You will get £1,000 off your business rates bill if you are a pub in England with a rateable value of less than £100,000. The relief will be applied from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. The government is currently developing this scheme and will confirm how you get the relief.
All empty properties are exempt from paying business rates for three months after they become vacant. There are additional exemptions for certain types of property, or for properties under a set rateable value. You should contact your local council to let them know if your property becomes vacant:
After the exemption period ends, you will be liable for the full business rate bill.