If you are operating as a small business then you could be missing out on a significant amount of relief thanks to a government programme called the Small Business Rates Relief scheme.

If you pay business rates then this scheme could be relevant to you. It slashes the value of the business rates you have to pay and in some instances you may find you actually don’t have to pay anything. Plenty of business owners aren’t aware what’s available to them and below is a closer look at the different rates of relief which you and your business could be eligible.

Rateable Values less than £12,000

These guidelines relate specifically to businesses in England. You can get SBRR if you occupy only one business address that has a rateable value of below £12,000. To find out your rateable value you can visit the HMRC where there is more information to be found.

There is also further support until 31st March 2014 for business properties that have a rateable value of up to £6,000. Businesses with this rateable value will actually be eligible for 100% relief from business rates. This rate will gradually go down on a sliding scale for properties with a rateable value which lies between £6,001 and £12,000.

There is also scope for businesses where more than one property is owned. If you have a property with a rateable value of less than £12,000 and others which have a value of less than £2,600 then there is still a chance you may qualify for SBRR. Whether you qualify for small business rates relief is something you can check at your local council website too.

Rateable Values less than £25,500

It is still possible to qualify as a small business if you have a property of a higher value – up to £18,000 across England and up to £25,500 in Greater London.

In these instances your business rates are calculated using the small business multiplier. This is instead of the standard multiplier. This remains the case if you have multiple properties. Further information can once again be obtained by HMRC. The difference between the small business multiplier and the standard multiplier for 13/14 is 0.5p which can make a difference of the whole calculation.

Rural Relief

Some rural businesses may be able to qualify for specialised rural rate relief. Businesses that may qualify include a village shop which has a rateable value below £8,500. Other businesses that are eligible include petrol stations and pubs with rateable values of up to £12,500 and other businesses in rural areas with a rateable value of up to £16,000.

To qualify for rural rate relief need to feature in the local rural settlement list for a settlement of less than 3,000 people.

Enterprise Zone Relief

If your business is starting up in one of the many designated enterprise zones in England or plan to move to one by April 2015 then enterprise zone relief may be relevant. You could get up to 100% business rate relief for up to five years and here is a list of the enterprise zones that are included.

You can find out more about how to calculate your business rates and what’s payable, as well as your possible relief options, by visiting this gov.uk page.

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