How to get a grip on rising business rates

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Local authority business rates in Britain seem to always be on the rise. It’s believed that over 50,000 small businesses are set to experience a rate rise in the coming year, and the bill can sometimes mean the difference between commercial success and failure.

So if you’re a local business looking to manage business rates obligations and save more of your hard-earned profits, here are some handy hints on how to get the process started.

Save up in advance

Often, one of the common problems faced by businesses that find themselves crippled by rates is the way it seems to hit them all at once. Sometimes, it’s not clear until the bills are released in March how much your rates are going to be, and this means a shock can sometimes occur. If you’re concerned about whether or not you’ll be able to cover the rates, it’s definitely worth speaking to someone at your local authority about the impact that this obligation might have on your business and how you can mitigate it.

Another alternative is to set aside a separate pot within your businessbudget to cover the annual rates bill, and then overpay into it so that you have enough when next March rolls around. A good rule of thumb is to take last year’s total, add on 5% to cover any possible rises, and then divide it by 12 to get a monthly savings figure. If you end up not needing to spend it as a result of a lower than expected bill or the granting of an exemption, it can then be designated as profit or re-invested into the business.

Get them reduced

Some businesses will, sadly, not be able to get a rate reduction, and the only method of managing the annual business rates hit is simply to save up. For other businesses, though, it’s more than possible to take advantage of a variety of government schemes designed to help those who are struggling. In some cases, you won’t even need to apply: if you’re eligible for transitional relief in the event that your business is revalued and you’re suddenly hit with new rates, for example, your local authority will adjust it on your behalf.

Other cases, though, are more complex. Enterprise zone relief, which applies if you’re opening a business in one of the government’s designated enterprise zones, would need to be applied for, as would hardship relief for those who would otherwise experience financial difficulties if they didn’t get help. In these scenarios, it’s wise to hire the services of an expert provider in order to ensure that all goes smoothly. RVA Surveyors offer a “no reduction, no fee” service, so if they aren’t successful in re-adjusting your rates, you won’t have to pay for their services.

Business rates are essential for local authorities, yet they can be crippling for a small business. Moreover,with a whole host of red tape for entrepreneurs to jump through to get relief, it’s sometimes simply not worth the hassle of applying for an exemption. Nonetheless, by enlisting the services of an expert, it’s possible to get the help you need in an affordable and convenient way.

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