If the rateable value of your commercial property is less than £18,000 (or £25,000 in Greater London), you should definitely consider applying for business rates relief. Stuart Thornhill, Partner at Jonathan Cornes Associates, Chartered Building Surveyors explains;
Small businesses are experiencing steep out-going costs in staffing, rent and the rates that are intertwined with this and most business owners haven’t considered that saving can in fact be made on the business rates that are paid on the property.
Is Your Property Exempt?
Some properties are exempt from paying business rates altogether, the Valuation Office will not assess these for rateable value. The following properties are exempt:
- Agricultural Properties: This includes land and buildings as well as fish farms and associated dwellings. Market gardens and parks are also included as being exempt.
- Places of Worship: Buildings that are registered as a place of public worship shouldn’t have to pay business rates. This also includes associated buildings such as church halls. A property that exists to conduct the administration duties of a place of worship will also avoid these fees.
- Buildings for the Disabled: This includes any building that is used for the training or promoting the welfare of the disabled. Facilities that cater for the care of the disabled, whether this is a mental or physical illness may avoid paying business rates for the property that they are occupied in.
Applying For Relief
The majority of small businesses however will not be exempt from paying, although these costs can be significantly reduced through the application of business rates relief. The rateable value of your property is calculated by the Valuation Office, which is usually the rent you will pay for one year. For small businesses, this is then multiplied by 42.6 pence (43.3 pence for large businesses) – this is the Uniform Business Rate (URB) which can often fluctuate over time, and this is what makes your business rates hard to calculate.
The value of rent for your property is open to interpretation as opinions and circumstances may change. It is suggested that the rateable value alters around every five years, so it is well worth seeking assistance for your application. Circumstantial factors such as road works, partial occupancy and competitors in the surrounding areas can all influence the valuation of your rateable value.
For more information about Business Rate Relief, contact Stuart at Jonathan Cornes Associates