Business rates have become one of the biggest overheads for businesses, often ranked as the second highest fixed costs for any business after rent. Business rates are payable for most businesses and are a product of a properties individually assessed Rateable Value and the national multiplier (currently 51.2p in the £).
Rateable Values are assessed periodically based on the rental value of the property. The last revaluation took place in 2017 based on Rental Values in 2015. In the last 24 months the economic impact of Brexit and Covid has seen rents in many sectors adjusted downwards, however, Business Rates potentially remain at historically high levels increasing the burden on new businesses. There is another revaluation planned by the government to commence in April 2023.
The government has introduced various rates reliefs and exemptions for small businesses – small business relief, retail relief, Covid relief, enterprise zone exemption, rural rate relief, charitable rate relief and transitional relief – however, these can be confusing and not automatically applied to accounts.
It is also possible that the Valuation Office (VOA) has made a mistake and has simply over-valued your property. In this case, you have the right to appeal to the VOA, with any overpayments in rates potentially backdated to 1st April 2017.
We recommend that you speak to a specialist rating surveyor and preferably an RICS Chartered surveyor signed up to the RICS code of conduct (the business rates industry is unfortunately plagued by unreliable companies). They can assess the true rateable value for your property and make necessary recommendations in order to reduce your liability and claim any reliefs applicable to your business.
If you require assistance, please contact our company and speak to one of our RICS Chartered Surveyors at De Villiers Commercial or visit our website www.dv-businessrates.co.uk email email@example.com or call 0207 637 7554.