Whilst business rates can be a huge cost for small businesses, there is currently small business rates relief which ok could be withdrawn at any time, but if a business occupies less than I think under 200 sq/m, it is exempt from paying business rates. Local authorities do not directly gain from this which is set and collected by central government.
It is quite permissable to use a room in your house for business purposes and not have to pay business rates on that room. If you have a large shed in the garden "for your hobby" then it's a shed for your hobby. Providing you haven't got 40 tonne lorries coming and going every day who is to know? We had 2 40'x40' sheds built in the garden to house our collection of vintage buses as part of "our hobby".
Maybe if any of us lives in the area where C&L is now based would like to offer to help on a voluntary basis that may be appreciated by the new owner?
You are quite correct that you can work from home in most cases and you can employ family, but as soon as you employ non family members you have to obtain planning permission, how do I know my previous employer fell foul of these rules,
Edited by hayfield, 12 December 2017 - 10:28 .