Business Rates Consultancy

Our business rates consultancy team works with landlords and tenants to see if we can help you reduce your business costs.

Business Rates Consultancy services for the South West

Business rates are an unavoidable part of life for many businesses and our business rates consultancy team works with landlords and tenants to see if we can help you reduce your business costs. Checking your eligibility for business rates relief or assessing the accuracy of your business rates assessment is a sensible step in reducing your business overheads. 

The process of checking and challenging your business rates assessment can be complex and requires specialist expertise. Our business rates team are here to help occupiers of commercial properties with all aspects of their business rates liability across the South West. We recognise business rates are a major outgoing for all occupiers of commercial property and our priority is to provide you with the best advice throughout the life of the rating list, to help you save money.

We have business rates specialists covering Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and the Bristol area who can advise on a range of business rates related matters, including checking and challenging rating assessments on occupied, empty or partially vacant properties as well as reviewing historic billing errors. Our business rates consultancy specialists have the expertise to guide you through all the reliefs and opportunities available to minimise your business rates liability.

Whether you are looking for advice on an existing business premises or one you are looking to acquire, we are here to help. 

Business Rates Consultancy - Vickery Holman

Advice from regional experts​

The Vickery Holman business rates consultancy team act for owners and occupiers of commercial properties, checking, challenging and when necessary, appealing business rates assessments. We advise on a range of property types and sectors including industrial, retail, offices, leisure, and trade related, such as public houses and caravan and holiday parks. Our team of experts work closely with our Valuation and Agency services, who help to provide a wider source of market evidence to achieve successful appeals. Our team have a proven record in successfully appealing rateable values, advising on reliefs and exemptions, and uncovering historic billing errors.

We offer proactive advice to minimise rates liability on empty and partially vacant properties. Our rates mitigation strategies have successfully saved our clients thousands, helping to reduce the financial burden at a time where there is no income. Further, our investment in specialist rating software helps us to examine your historical business rates bills and identify any overpayments.

Our business rates experts include valuation specialists and Honours members of the Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation association. Our team are based across the region and would be pleased to talk to you about your commercial property matters.

Our consultants specialise in:

If you would like to discuss any of these services further, please do not hesitate to contact us using the details below.

Key Contacts

Business Rates Case Studies

Business Rates FAQs

Business rates are a tax on the occupation of non-domestic property such as pubs, hotels, holiday rentals, warehouses, and shops, with the occupier being liable for the cost. This is usually the owner or occupier. If a property is empty, the liability lies with the owner or leaseholder. Business rates can be the biggest overhead for a business after rent and staff costs, so it is worth using a professional firm to review your business rates and check your rateable value is correct.

Rateable Value (RV) is the estimated amount a property would let for on the open market, on a full repairing and insuring lease basis, on a set valuation date. A property’s RV is calculated by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). The RV is used by the local billing authority to calculate the business rates liability. The last revaluation conducted by the VOA came into effect on 1 April 2023 based on values as of 1 April 2021. It is possible your RV has been calculated incorrectly. A professional surveyor with expertise in business rates will be able to assess the accuracy of your assessment and in some cases, secure significant savings using the Check, Challenge, Appeal system on your behalf.

You can appeal your RV where there is evidence to show the RV is excessive or where other factors impact the rental value of a property. To do so, you must follow the Check, Challenge, Appeal (CCA) process. CCA is a three-stage online service, with incorrect factual details being dealt with at the check and the valuation at the challenge. You need to have completed the check stage first before you can submit a challenge. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) deals with checks and challenges, whilst the independent Valuation Tribunal for England handles appeals. 

Business rates are calculated using the property’s RV and Uniform Business Rates (UBR) multiplier. The UBR is set by the Government each April and usually increases in line with the CPI figure from the preceding September. The formula is RV x UBR. We can provide you with an estimate of your business rates liability over the duration of the Rating List and can check your business rates bill for accuracy, ensuring any reliefs you are eligible for have been correctly applied. You can also use the Government business rates calculator here

You can get Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) if your property’s RV is less than £15,000 and your business only uses one property. 100% Relief is available for properties with a RV of £12,000 or less and on a sliding scale between £12,001 and £14,999. If you use more than one property, you will qualify for SBRR on your main property, if the aggregate of the RVs is less than £20,000 and none of your other properties have a RV above £2,899. 

Most property types are exempt from business rates for the first three months they are vacant. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates, although there are some exceptions. Some properties can get extended empty property relief; for example, industrial and warehouse properties are exempt for a further three months, giving them six months before the owner or occupier must pay business rates.

The exceptions to the three-month initial period are:

  • Industrial premises (for example warehouses) are exempt for a further three months 
  • Listed buildings (until they are re-occupied) 
  • Buildings with a rateable value under £2,900 (until they are re-occupied) 
  • 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 

If you are the owner of a commercial property which is empty, or likely to become empty, please contact us to see how we can help you mitigate your liability for business rates.

You do not normally need to pay business rates if you work from home, assuming you are only using a small part of your home as an office, for example, or if you sell goods by post. If your property is part domestic and part commercial, for example if you live above your shop, you may need to pay both business rates and council tax. If you employ people at your home or if you sell goods or services to people who visit your property, you may be liable for business rates. Similarly, if you have converted part of your home to a workspace – a gym or salon, for example – you may be liable for business rates. 

Holiday lets will be valued for business rates if:

  • in the last 12 months the property has been available to let commercially for short periods of at least 140 nights; and
  • the property will be available to let commercially for short periods of at least 140 nights in the next 12 months; and
  • in the last 12 months the property has actually been let commercially as self-catering accommodation for short periods of 70 nights or more.

If you property is currently on the Council Tax list and you think it should be valued for business rates, we can advise you of the likely RV and make the application to the VOA on your behalf, to ensure the correct information is provided in the correct format.

Using specialist rating software, we can examine your historical business rates payments dating back to 1990 to identify any overpayments. Where we uncover historic billing errors, we recover those sums on your behalf and ensure a rebate is issued accordingly. 

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