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Many firms hit by questionable deals on business rate savings

An increasing number of small businesses are being stung with unexpected and unfair bills from companies that claim to deliver savings on business rates.

The companies offer to negotiate reductions to business rates, but require a cut in whatever savings they can achieve. However, following the Government decision to delay the next update of business rate assessments by two years, some small firms say they have been receiving unexpected bills for the extra two years of fixed rates.

Business owners are calling the actions blatantly unfair, accusing these organisations of trying to benefit from the Government’s decision to delay rate reviews. Some say they have been billed upwards of £10,000, followed by threatening legal letters if they refuse to pay up.

Given the controversy, FSB is warning small business owners to think carefully before entering into any deal that could leave them exposed to unexpected costs. Martin McTague, FSB Business Rate Policy chairman, commented: “If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”