We are about to open a 65 workstation space in Reading UK. We are a small business working in partnership with the University of Reading and will be opening this space in the first building on their new science park early in the new year.
Has anybody opening a new coworking space in the UK got experience of dealing with the ratings authority? We are a small business and would normally get 100% rate relief on our premises. All the businesses using the space will also be small businesses who would also get 100% rate relief. So logically there would be no business rates due for the space as all parties are eligible for 100% rate relief.
However because we are taking a lease for 3,600 sq ft of space we are no longer deemed to be a small business (despite there only being 3 FTE employees) by the rating authority and could be liable for full rates on the space which might be £40k. Our understanding that this is payable almost immediately irrespective of the level of use in the space.
Any experiences of this issue would be valuable information for us.