Matthew GoodmanPolicy representative, Forum of Private Business (FPB)Here in the waning months of 2009, many business owners are ramping up for the holidays, stocking their shelves, preparing for the change in the rate of VAT and trying to find the right turkey for Christmas dinner! So, I hate to dump some snow on the holiday fire, but I have to ask, have you thought about your business rates?The Valuation Office Agency has just finished its revaluation for 2010-2015, which will set each business premises’ rateable value for the next five years. You should have received your new valuation by post in October. For most businesses, the fall in property prices over the last year will mean a fall in their rateable value and a lower rates bill, but for some, there will be an increase in their valuation. For those businesses that will see a rise or substantial decrease in rates, the government has announced the transitional arrangements and the provisional multipliers to help you calculate your rate bill for 2010/2011.With the holiday season on the way, you might be tempted to leave your rates bill until after the New Year, but I think it is important you make sure that your rateable value is correct as soon as possible. Log on to www.voa.gov.uk/2010 and make sure that the value of your property is generally correct with regard to the others in your neighbourhood or on your street. After all, that valuation will determine your rates bill for the first half of the next decade.If you’re having problems understanding your bill or you think there’s a problem with your valuation, give us a call at the FPB, or talk to a surveyor or advisor you can trust and find out your options.When that’s done, you can get back to the really important things mince pies, mulled wine and, of course, friends and family.