Business rates can be one of the largest outgoings when running a business, and it is wise to ensure that you are paying the correct amount.
Business rates are calculated using the property’s ‘rateable value’ (RV). A property’s rateable value is based on an estimate of open market rental value by the government’s Valuation Office Agency (VOA) on a set date in time, the Antecedent Valuation Date (AVD).
This is multiplied by a multiplier, set by the Government on the first of April each year. The multiplier is increased annually and the increase is capped at the same proportion as the increase in the Retail Prices Index for the month of September the preceding year.
The rateable value is calculated by assessing the physical properties of the property, such as size and location, together with any economic conditions.
For more information about calculating business rates, see our wiki article here.
How to get your business rates reduced
If the rateable value used in the above calculation is incorrect, and you think you are paying too much in business rates, you can ask for your property’s rateable value to be corrected by the VOA.
Business rates remain a complex area, and although it is possible for individual businesses to challenge their own rateable value, it is often advisable to engage with a reputable rating agent. The legislation and associated processes are complex, and engaging with a professional Surveying firm with clear experience and strong data capability will increase the likelihood of achieving the best possible outcome.
It is wise to ensure any commercial property consultant you choose is aligned with leading professional bodies for qualifications, standards and best practice in property and rating. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation or the Rating Surveyors’ Association.
Always ask for a clear breakdown of the fees you will be expected to pay and never pay any fees upfront. No win no fee business rates specialists’ interests are fully aligned with their client and where the fee is a percentage of the money saved, there is no business risk.