Every business with property should during October 2009 have received their new business rates valuation. This valuation will form the basis of business rates for the next five years.

It is very important to check the detail of the new valuation to make sure that the rateable value applied to your property is correct. The rateable value is determined by a number of factors primarily the open market rental value on the valuation date. The valuation date for the 2010 changes is 1 April 2008. We are aware of cases where business rates have been reduced, following appeals on the basis that rental values have fallen.

Appeals against the new valuations should be submitted before the 30 November 2009. If you want to appeal your business rates, please feel free to phone for advice.

Business clients should also be aware that there are a number of specific reliefs that you may be able to claim to reduce your business rates – these include small business rate relief (England and Wales) and transitional relief. This isnt given automatically, so you must complete the form and claim it.

If you would like our assistance checking the valuation please call. The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) website can be accessed at www.2010.voa.gov.uk/rli/en/basic and has a number of useful FAQ sections.