With all the bad publicity about business rates, it wouldn’t be surprising if rising entrepreneurs were put off renting an office. This is unfortunate because most of our clients don’t pay business rates.

The reason is Small Business Rates Relief. Introduced in the far off days of the last Labour government as a temporary response to the pain caused to small shopkeepers and others by the burden of business rates following the economic collapse, it became a permanent benefit to small businesses in 2016.

In essence, you don’t pay business rates on properties with a rateable value of £12,000 or less. And none of the rooms at Hampshire Workspace has anything like that rateable value.

It’s a big advantage that corridors, staircases, kitchens, the reception and all other common areas are part of Hampshire Workspace’s property so we pay the Business Rates on them.

There are exceptions to the receipt of business rates relief. If a business has offices in multiple sites, only the main property qualifies (for example, this can happen if a large company uses an office at Hampshire Workspace as a branch). Another is when a company has more than one office in our building. The rates apply to the combined rateable value.

So don’t be put off by all the headlines. Rateable values may be astronomically high in Winchester but, even so, very few of our clients pay business rates.

This is not legal or tax advice. Please consult an advisor or Winchester City Council before making a decision based on the above information.