Fife Council launches Guide to Business Rates

Monday 9 June 2014

Do you run a local business, want to know more about rates but don’t know where to find the information you need?

Fife Council has produced an online guide, bringing all the information together into one place and answering commonly asked questions.

Depute Council Leader Lesley Laird, spokesperson for Economy and Planning, joined Eric Byiers from Fife Chamber of Commerce to launch the guide this week. It includes information on how business rates are calculated, what to do if your business premises are empty, what reliefs are available and how to claim them.

The Guide to Business or Non Domestic Rates is available online HERE and from Fife Chamber of Commerce.

Councillors will also be given a copy to help them answer any questions a local business has for them about rates. Councillor Lesley Laird said: “We’re working together with the business community and other partners to ensure Fife is the best place to do businesses.

“Part of that is listening to and addressing the concerns of the business community. “When I speak to businesses, I am frequently asked questions about rates.  “There is a lot of misunderstanding about business rates, particularly for new businesses, where it is so important that they get their set up costs right from the start – and rates are a big part of that.  There is now valuable information available on the website, and this guide also brings it all together for the business community.  The council has worked with the Assessor and the Chamber of Commerce to make sure that it is relevant to businesses.

“It’s also important local companies know there’s help available to them and find out if they are eligible for any rates relief and who to contact for help. “Last year, 5,800 businesses received Small Business Bonus relief, saving £10.3 million in total.  “So we want all businesses to apply for any relief available to them. We’d also like them to know Business Gateway Fife will also help businesses work on their financial planning if they are making material changes to their premises or moving premises.”

Eric Byiers, Chief Executive of Fife Chamber of Commerce added: “Business rates are an issue that our members feel strongly about.  We believe that there are some fundamental issues on business rates which require to be addressed – including the empty property relief scheme. However, until these aspects are reviewed, we have to work within the existing system and we welcome the council’s approach to make it easier for business to understand the reliefs available to them and who to contact for advice.”