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07 April 2017

Four steps to keep on top of business rates

working on budget

The Scottish business rate system can be confusing and complicated. To help Scottish firms, FSB in Scotland has today published an updated guide to this year’s rates revaluation.

Here are four steps every business with premises should consider:

1. Read all the paperwork carefully

The rates system is complicated. Read our guide in conjunction with correspondence from your council. The Scottish Government also has some advice here

2. Consider getting professional advice and lodging an appeal

It is vital that your property is valued accurately (broadly that your rateable value matches 2015 rental levels for similar premises). This is important even if you’re due for a 100% discount. Scotland - Business Rates Guidance - Title Page

You should lodge an appeal if you believe you’ve been valued inaccurately. You have until September 2017 to do so. You may also want to consider getting some professional advice. More in our guide. 

3. Apply and reapply for reliefs

Despite representations from FSB, most councils will make businesses apply and reapply for their rates reliefs at the point of revaluation – this includes the Small Business Bonus and the cap on hospitality businesses’ bills. In addition, some councils have their own local reliefs, while others plan to launch their own soon.

We know that this confusing. If in doubt, check out your local authority’s website and consider getting in touch.

4. Keep on top of business rates 

You should carefully consider what your rates liabilities will be for future years. Most rates bills will increase with inflation, while some rates reliefs are funded only for a single financial year.

The Barclay review is currently looking at reforms to the rates system. Businesses can get in contact with this review by emailing


The guidance provided above in relation to business rates is for general guidance on your rights and responsibilities only and is not financial advice. You are advised seek professional advice in relation to your business rates before taking any further action. FSB has tried to ensure that the information provided is accurate. However, FSB will not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience arising as a consequence of any use of or the inability to use any information provided. We are not responsible for claims brought by third parties arising from your use of this information.

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