Are your overheads holding you back? Is your city centre location crippling you financially? It may be time to move. There are a number of areas up and down the country where business rate relief applies. These areas are designed to make doing business more affordable, supporting growth in the local area involved. If you’re considering a move and would like to learn more about how to use these special rates to your business’s advantage, read on. We do more than just provide a top notch direct debit facility here at L&Z, you know!
What is a business rate?
Unless you’re very new to business ownership, you’ll already know all about business rates. These are charges applied to non-domestic and commercial properties and will be billed by your local council each year in February or March. There are a number of businesses and areas which are exempt from these charges, or which enjoy discounts on these yearly rates.
Some of these discounts and exemptions are applied automatically however, if you’re not sure you’re getting a discount you’re entitled too, or if you’d like to move to a lower business rate area, it’s worth knowing where (and in what circumstances) these relief rates are found.
Where can I get business rate relief?
Before we start exploring areas where business rate relief is in place, please bear in mind that these rates only apply to England. Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have their own (similar but distinct) approach.
• Rural rate relief
50-100% of your business rate could be discounted if you are located in a rural area with a population lower than 3000. If you think you may apply for a discount, talk to your local council. You can also get relief if:
• You’re the only local post office or village shop with a rateable value up to £8,500
• You’re the only local pub or petrol station with a rateable value you to £12,500
• Relief in enterprise zones
Relocate to or start up in an enterprise zone by March 2018 and you can enjoy a maximum of 100% relief for 5 years (up to £275,000). There are 24 different enterprise zones across England and many in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Here’s a helpful map of English sites.
• Non-geographic relief
There are lots of other businesses entitled to business rate relief irrespective of their location. These reliefs include:
• Retail relief
• Charitable rate relief
• Small business rate relief
• Transitional rate relief
• Empty buildings relief
You can find out more on the .gov website.
Would you consider relocating to an enterprise zone to enjoy an up to 100% business rate relief for 5 years? Are you already based in an enterprise zone? How it is working out for your company? Share your thoughts and experiences with our readers below.