Three out of five business owners do not know how their business rate valuations are calculated, new research has shown.
A survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has revealed that many companies wrongly believe their premises' valuations are calculated by their local authority.
Small businesses also expressed their frustration that very similar premises seem to be valued differently, according to the FSB.
The body is calling for the system to be made more comprehensible and says that MSPs should regularly scrutinise the work of Scottish Assessors, the officials charged with working out business premises' notional market values.
Colin Borland, head of external affairs at the FSB in Scotland, said: "Business rates are here to stay but Scottish small enterprises want a system that's easier to understand and more accountable.
"The Scottish Government was bold when it removed the rates burden on many of the smallest firms. It was bold again when it chose to level the playing field by making the largest retailers pay a more proportionate amount.
"The FSB is asking them to be bold once more and design a 21st century business property taxation system which is fair and transparent.
"The majority of our members report that they find their rates calculations incomprehensible. At the very least, businesses should be given much clearer information about how their bills are calculated."
The FSB surveyed members' views on non-domestic rates between January 29 and February 5.