Business Rates Loopholes – Mitigate Costs

Paying business rates can make all the difference when it comes to the viability of your business. With the past few years turning life that we knew upside down and on its head, many businesses both small and large greatly suffered. So why should you have to pay unnecessary costs on your property? Discover our legal workarounds and business rates loopholes.

How to Avoid Paying Unnecessary Costs with Business Rates Loopholes

If you are starting out or own a relatively small business (in particular), business rates can put a large burden on your plans which can ultimately impact and prevent profitability and possible investments. However, with the correct management solutions, you can save a significant amount of money.

Vacant property business rates are slightly different compared to occupied buildings. If a commercial property has suddenly become empty, you are entitled to business rates relief for up to 3 months. After which, expenses return in full – however, there are in fact some business rates loopholes that can prolong this time period or reduce/mitigate a large percentage of the costs.

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1. Short-term Occupancy

If the property is occupied for a duration of 6 weeks or less, then you can continue to qualify for rates relief and the exemption period (of 3 months) will carry on over this time. If the occupation time exceeds 6 weeks, you are no longer permitted for business rate relief. Renting out your property during the 3 month period won’t extend this time but can help you to earn some more money in the process.

2. Exempted Buildings & Empty Buildings

There are a number of different types of buildings and empty buildings that do not have to pay business rates. For example, you may not have to pay business rates on:

  • Agricultural land and buildings
  • Buildings used for the training or welfare of disabled people
  • Buildings registered for public religious worship or church halls

If you own an empty building, you do not have to pay business rates for 3 months, but after this most businesses will have to pay full business rates. Some properties may be eligible for extended empty property relief, which is where The LOWE Group can help. The following buildings can get extended rates relief:

  • Industrial premises (e.g. warehouses) are exempt for a further 3 months
  • Listed buildings – until they’re reoccupied
  • Buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 – until they’re reoccupied
  • Properties owned by charities – if the property’s next use will be mostly for charitable purposes
  • Community amateur sports clubs buildings – if the next use will be mostly as a sports club

3. Industrial Property Solutions

For an empty industrial property or warehouse, you can qualify for business rate relief for up to 6 months. Again, the same occupation rules apply and a short-term letting of 6 weeks or less will not affect your rate exemption. A business rates ‘loophole’ you can employ, is that the 6 month period, in some cases, renews every time the premises becomes once again unoccupied. This means that, as a property owner, if you look for occupants who are happy to stay over short durations, you may be able to claim relief each time the premises becomes empty.

4. Charitable Occupation

To save up to 100% on business rates on your empty property, charitable occupation entitles you a mandatory 80% exemption from these costs whilst additionally contributing and supporting the local community. Charitable Occupation can provide guaranteed savings of between 80% – 100%. We work with a curated selection of registered charities who use the opportunities brought by vacant properties to drive positive social impact. It is our job to manage all aspects of the relationship and ensure that business rates relief are successfully applied for.

commercial building - small business rate relief

Business Rates Loopholes with The LOWE Group

At The LOWE Group, we understand the hardship of unnecessary extra costs and we pride ourselves on supporting businesses, property owners and their local communities through our services. We identify the best solutions suited to each client we work with and take on that responsibility to mitigate any stress or financial concerns.

We can help by:

– Saving you a minimum of 80% on your business rates.

– Introducing you to our property guardians scheme who provide protection and security for your property, as well as a source of income.

– Actively contributing to the local community through charitable or workplace occupation.

– Managing your property and taking some of the responsibilities off of you.

If you would like any more information about the kind of legal business rates loopholes that we can provide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We are always happy to help.

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