Retailers are able to discover how much they will be charged in business rates today after the Government revealed its revaluation rates.

The Valuation Office is letting businesses in England know their new rateable values ahead of bills being issued next March. The rates come into affect in April.

Property consultant GVA Grimley has warned businesses must prepare for a “major hike” in business rate bills.

It said occupiers will be “hit hard” as well as any landlords with vacant properties.

GVA Grimley director Denise Trollope said: “The impending business rate increases will have a major effect on businesses. For this reason it is essential all businesses react appropriately to avoid a painful blow to balance sheets.

“Our research suggests increases will range from a low of 5% for small properties or 12.5% for large properties in the first year (2010/11) to a high of 15% for small properties to 25% for large properties in the fifth year (2014/15).”

London Councils warned that the Government’s revaluation of business rates would prove “hugely damaging” to businesses in the capital as they tried to recover from the impact of the recession.

The revaluation has been slammed by retailers as unfair, as the agreed figure is based on property values in April 2008 – when they were at their peak. Since then they have plummeted.

Retailers can go to to check what rates they are due to pay.