Understanding and Utilising Business Rates Relief

Blog post contributed by Eddisons – experts in commercial property and business rates relief

Business property rates can quickly become an expensive prospect, especially as we continue to endure the current economic climate. As we attempt to make savings and cut costs in areas such as staffing, property rent and business rates in order to be able to compete with our competitors, many companies forget or sometimes don’t even realise that they in fact are eligible for business rates relief, allowing them to cut their spending overheads significantly.

The hardest part is sitting down and conducting a small amount of research on how you can receive assistance to submit your application. There are various companies on hand to provide you with the help you need to cut down your rates and save a great deal of money in the meantime.

Calculating Your Business Rates

Before you begin the calculation of the rates that you should be paying, you first need to know the rateable value of the property in which you are, or wish to rent. This is usually measured by the valuation office, and will be estimated at a rough cost for one year. This is then multiplied by 43.3 pence (42.6 pence for small businesses) – this is the UBR (Uniform Business Rate) which often changes, but up and down over set periods of time – often known as Transitional Relief.

This therefore makes your business rates harder to calculate, with the rateable value also changing roughly every five years.

Appealing: Do You Qualify?

Business rates rely on a valuation carried out by the valuation office; however this is very much open to interpretation, and can therefore be challenged to ensure you receive a lower rate. Various things can affect the valuation too including an unexpected dip in property prices, or a difference in opinion of different valuation office representatives.

Other aspects that can influence its rateable value as if the building is partially occupied, if there is various competition in the surrounding areas, and even smaller, seemingly insignificant factors such as road works.

Various chartered surveyor companies can offer expert advice on whether or not you are paying too much on your rates, and offer great business rates relief schemes to assist you every step of the way when appealing.

All businesses qualify for rates relief, from universities right through to the local newspaper shop. If you’re unsure on whether or not you will benefit from Business Rates Relief, feel free to contact Eddisons for more information.

Julie Hanson

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