Business rates are a tax levied on the occupation of property and ownership of empty buildings. All non-domestic properties need to pay business rates, similar to individuals paying council tax on private residences. The revenue raised is used as part of the funding for local services.
However, this system is out-dated, unfair and not related to the ability to pay, or changing economic circumstances. As a result, they are consistently the third highest cost for small businesses after staff and rent.
We believe UK small businesses should not be burdened by an expensive, inflexible and unfair tax. Our campaigning has seen the Chancellor announce a review of the current, outdated system. We want small firms to benefit from a fairer, more flexible system that doesn’t discourage growth and investment.
In Scotland the FSB has secured the most generous small business package (until 2016), benefiting almost 4,000 businesses.
In 2013 we successfully argued for the Small Business Bonus Scheme to remain in place. It’s the most generous business rates relief package in the UK, with small businesses saving an average of £1,700 a year.
In 2014 we won an extension to the business rate relief package, which will benefit 4,000 premises and place a cap on poundage rates. As a result, more than half of FSB members pay no rates at all.
In 2015 we continued lobbying for the retention of the Small Business Bonus and, as a consequence, the First Minister confirmed that it will be in place until 2020.
FSB members are entitled to a specially tailored bank account from the Co-operative Bank, giving you the freedom to focus on running your business.
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