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Choosing the Right Premises

Things to Consider
There are different things to consider when choosing business premises and your choices should be dependant on your requirements. Factors to take into consideration include:

  • Location and transport links
  • Size and layout
  • Type of premises including any specific requirements for your operation
  • Facilities including administrative support and meeting areas
  • Access times
  • Budget
  • Business rates & utilities
  • Car parking
  • Business Security

Safe as Houses, published by the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, provides a list of things to think about if you own or rent where you work or store items for your business.

This case study explains how one company selected the right business premises.

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Business Rates and Rates Relief

GOV.UK
Business rates are charged on most non-domestic properties. Information on business rates is available on the Government website as well as on individual local authority websites - you can check which authority you fall in through this postcode checker.

Properties may be eligible for business rate reliefdependent on factors such as size, location and type of building. You’ll get 100% relief (doubled from the usual rate of 50%) until 31 March 2017 for properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. This means you won’t pay business rates on properties with a rateable value of £6,000 or less. The rate of relief will gradually decrease from 100% to 0% for properties with a rateable value between £6,001 and £12,000.

In the Budget, March 2016 it was announced that "starting 1 April 2017,the government will permanently double Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) from 50% to 100% and
increase the thresholds to benefit a greater number of businesses. Businesses with a property with a rateable value of £12,000 and below will receive 100% relief. Businesses with a property with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief."

Exempted buildings and empty buildings relief - Certain properties are exempt from business rates. You don’t have to pay business rates on empty buildings for 3 months. After this time, most businesses must pay full business rates.

Retail relief - some local councils will give you up to £1,500 off your business rates if you occupy a retail property with a rateable value of £50,000 or less. To be eligible the property must mainly be used as a shop, restaurant, cafe or drinking establishment.

Contact your local council to discuss business rate relief schemes in more detail.

The rateable value can be queried through your local office of the Valuation Office Agency. The Valuation Office Agency website can be used to check the rateable value of the property and find out what to do if you think the value is wrong. Information will also be available on your local authority website.

If you decide to challenge the rateable value, choose a company that is a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Institute of Revenues Rating and Valuation or Rating Surveyors Association.

The RICS have a Business rate helpline - call 024 7686 8555 for a free 30-minute consultation.

Finding Property

There are a number of resources you can access to search for available property, listed in a separate section on finding property

Virtual Office Services
This example of Virtual Office Services can provide a low cost professional image for your business. Different organisations offer different services, but most will provide a mailing address, post handling and telephone answering service, if required, as well as access to meeting space.

Use the keyword virtual to identify a list of companies providing virtual office services.


Managed Workspaces
Managed workspace, often known as business, enterprise or innovation centres, provide business space along with additional facilities. These can include meeting room hire, administrative support, call handling, electrical equipment and furniture. Many centres will offer flexibility with no long term contract. Your local council may have information regarding business centres in your area.


Incubation Units
These are spaces often linked to Universities, Colleges or other organisations that may offer flexible ‘easy in-easy out’ lease agreements. Some offer shared work space or 'hotdesking' arrangements usually linked to specialist support or advice from the host organisation and shared spaces for networking and exchange of ideas.


Enterprise Zones
Enterprise Zones are areas that support both new and expanding businesses by offering incentives such as business rates relief, enhanced capital allowances and access to superfast broadband. Find out more about Nottingham Enterprise Zone and Markham Vale in Derbyshire.


Premises Law

Commercial property law is complex. Whether you own or rent premises, you can face substantial legal liabilities and potential costs. Additional information is available in a separate section on premises law

Premises Security

Crime is a concern to all businesses so it is important to ensure that you have appropriate security at your premises. The Business Watch Team at East Midlands Chamber can help identify problems and provide solutions.

A Code of practice to help CCTV users stay within the law has been produced by the Information Commissioners' Office. As well as providing details on how to comply with the Data Protection Act it includes a simple checklist for users of limited CCTV systems where the full provisions of the code would be too detailed.

A range of factsheets advising on business security are available from Derbyshire Police and Nottinghamshire Police


Fire Safety

Businesses are required to appoint a responsible person and to carry out regular fire risk assessments . The local fire and rescue authority provides advice for businesses on the level and appropriateness of fire protection measures as well as taking enforcement action to make sure firms meet their statutory and legal responsibilities.

More details are available at Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service or Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service.