The debate will take place on the motion: “That this House has considered regulation of business rates reduction services.”

Government Guidance

The Government published guidance in July 2017 (updated July 2019) on council tax and business rates scams and the types of scams fraudulent agents may use.

Information on Business rates relief in England sets out the various rate reliefs that firms can apply for. Rates relief is handled differently in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Support is also available for businesses, including business rates grants or holidays, because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Commons Library Briefing Papers

Coronavirus: Support for businesses (8 April 2021) provides an overview of initiatives to support businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.

A brief guide to the system of non-domestic rating can be found in Business rates

Consumer protection: online scams considers the different types of scams, who are the targeted victims, and what is being done to combat them

Further reading

Trading Standards in Bristol and South Gloucestershire have issued the following warning:

Every five years, when the new rates are applied to business premises, we get complaints about rogue firms who deliberately target businesses whose rates have increased. They charge fees of around £500 to make an appeal against the revaluation.

Better Retailing warned retailers about a business rates relief scam   in early in 2019, that looked to exploit a new retail rates relief scheme that began in April 2019.

In April 2020, The Mirror highlighted a case of a company being charged for a securing a reduction in business rates although this was something available to all businesses under the Government’s Coronavirus rescue package.

External sources of support for businesses

National Trading Standards: Protecting Consumers; Safeguarding Businesses

Trading Standards fund national teams that are hosted within local authorities. These include the eCrime, Feed, Regional Investigations, Estate Agency, Intelligence and Scams Teams.

Find your local Trading Standards office – GOV.UK

Find your local Trading Standards office. Enter your postcode to find a Trading Standards office near you to complain about illegal sales activity.

Some legal firms have published advise on rate reduction firms:

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