Business Rates on my garden workshop

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Going South

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Hello All

I'm newly registered although I have lurked for a while and not entirely sure which part of the forum I should use.
I am a commercial woodworker making specialist components for a hobby/interest group. Im not giving too much away at this point because

I have just been asked by the council to have my workshop assessed for business rates. No idea where they found me

The workshop is just a large garden shed in my back garden but it does have electricity. I don't receive any customers to it. Most of my work is done at the customers premises but I will do prep work in the shed or occasionally bring things back that need extra care. I also store things in a small separate shed along with the usual domestic junk, lawnmower etc

Although I pay and NI as a self employed person it did not occur to me that my shed could be rateable.

Does anyone have any thought or experience on this please?
Thanks
 

oakfield

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Edited cos my information wasn’t correct!

The rateable value is based on a percentage of what the property would be worth if it was rented out.
You can also get small business relief.
I would be surprised if you had any rates to pay.

I pay £6000 per year to rent my workshop and I don’t have to pay any rates.
 

Going South

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Thanks

I wondered if they would take into account the value of my whole house.

I cant seem to find anything on line about people earning a living in their sheds!
 

powertools

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If you have described your business correctly my advice would be to tell them that the building concerned is not a business premises.
What you describe is no different to many thousands of self employed people who mainly work away from home but use their home as an office and storage space.
If you accept their assessment that you have a business premises at your house you will open up a can of worms that could cause all sorts of problems.
 

Lons

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They work through lists looking for easy targets which is what you are. Business rates income has decreased as high street shops and industrial units become empty and taken over by charity shops so they have to look elsewhere to redress that.

I'd challenge it and tell them it's your hobby workshop and as you said your work is carried out on customer premises. They share lists with other organisations so the next call you could get would be from the environment agency demanding registration and payment as a waste carrier / handler if you dare to have transported or handled any waste. That includes offcuts, excess materials, fittings even if they are to be recycled or used again.

My battle was a few years ago and they can be pretty stroppy in their attitude, doesn't mean they're right and they back down when you dig in your heels.
 

Doug71

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If you pay business rates on it would you then need planning for change of use from domestic to commercial?
 

powertools

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Going South":zhk5txu6 said:
Thanks

I wondered if they would take into account the value of my whole house.

I cant seem to find anything on line about people earning a living in their sheds!


You have now changed what you originally said.
You said that most of your work was done away from home but now you seem to be saying that you are earning a living from your shed.
To get the advice you need you need to be specific about what you are doing my guess would be is that you are doing more noisy work in the shed than you have told us and your local council has had a complaint from one of your neighbours and they have put the ball in your court to explain what is going on.
 

Going South

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I'm reasonably convinced its not the neighbours having lived here for 15 years. Next door run a business from one of their barns. We get along well. And we are fairly rural.

Most of the work is off site but nonetheless without the shed I couldn't do the work I do. I need to do small things in the shed or sometimes things that are too complicated to do at a customers.
If the council come and look they will see a planer, mitre saw pillar drill etc and racks of handtools. They will also see the usual domestic stuff and my daughters exercise bike etc
Another shed is used for wood storage but that has domestic stuff in it too.
 

Rorschach

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I would do my utmost to prevent the council sticking their noses in, nothing good will come of it.
 

AJB Temple

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Hobbyists have all that gear. If they ask to visit fill it with bikes, lawnmowers and junk.

Never admit to doing any business work from there.
 

mr rusty

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Definitely say your workshop is a domestic hobby room as the implication of it being a business are huge. Rubbish collection for one - as soon as it's a business I'm sure they will charge for collection. Then there's insurance etc etc.

You have no visitors to your property and do not sell from it. As others have said dig your heels in hard or I think you will regret it.
 

Doug71

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I hear of this coming up a lot and am conflicted about my views on it.

Part of me thinks poor chap trying to make a living why should all the bureaucracy get in his way.

Part of me thinks hang on a minute, why should he get away with it, keeping his costs down and undercutting people like myself who do it all officially.

I guess it depends how your business grows, for example at some point you might want to insure your workshop and machinery properly because you couldn't manage without them.

Grey area.
 
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