Worst places for business rates revealed

Business rates have long been the bane of retailers and small firms across the country and now a new survey has revealed the locations where companies get taxed the most.

The cost of running a business in England varies so wildly across the country that in some cases the average rateable values of commercial property can differ by as much as £114,000.

Online accountancy firm Crunch says data extracted from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) shows that London’s Westminster is the area facing the highest business rates on premises, while Tendring in Essex has the lowest.

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Average business rates in Westminster last year were £123,600 — more than 13 times that of Tendring, where the average was £9,300.

The East and South East of England each have five local authorities inside the top 20, while Solihull in the West Midlands is the only entry in the top 20 from outside the three dominant regions.

Overall,the average rateable value of business property in England currently stands at £32,800.

The findings show a significant increase compared to 2005, when the average value was £27,000.

“There are lots of different costs associated with setting up and running a business, and rates are important to consider, especially for those in need of a fixed business premises trading in an expensive part of the country,” said Darren Fell, founder of Crunch.

“Although local authorities take these figures set by the VOA and reduce them via reliefs that are applicable, the rates may also illustrate why a lot of small start-ups choose to run their businesses from home, with the option of employing virtual staff or freelancers if they’re unsure of committing to fixed costs of commercial office space,” he added.

Places with the most expensive business rates in England…

Westminster (£123,600)
City of London (£111,000)
Hillingdon (£100,600)
Crawley (£86,800)
Kensington and Chelsea (£80,300)

…And places with the lowest rates

Tendring (£9,300)
Torridge (£10,100)
Isle of Scilly (£10,400)
North Norfolk (£10,900)
Forest of Dean (£11,200)

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