It can seem tough enough just finding the best electricity tariff for your private home use, let alone for commercial purposes with business electricity rates that are famously volatile.

Additionally, most business energy tends to be fixed price, tying you in for a set contract term. This makes it even more important to choose the right tariff first off. So your energy priorities will need to reflect your business' needs over the full contract term.

When it comes to comparing electricity suppliers it pays to play by two simple steps:

1. Assess your business and its needs

Pinpointing exactly what your business needs from its energy supply is vital to finding the best commercial energy deal, as even the cheapest business electric is irrelevant if the supplier can't meet those requirements.

First, look for the contract duration that suits your company best. You can base this on how much energy you currently use and whether you expect that consumption to increase.

Some providers restrict their best tariffs to small or medium-sized businesses while others specialise in companies with higher consumption, so look out for suppliers that can tailor their product for you.

Similarly, if your business is split across a number of different locations then you should check the number of meters at each site. This would not only affect your company's billing, but possibly incur additional surcharges with some suppliers.

Being able to manage your account effectively is almost as important as getting cheap electricity, so you should also assess the service and billing options available to your company.

Finally, use our business electricity comparison to view the services offered and decide what features you need, whether that's renewable energy, online billing, direct debit payment and/or dual fuel.

Some suppliers will assign dedicated energy consultants to you, so as to identify where you could cut energy wastage. Others might provide half-hourly meters that produce real time data on your consumption. You should consider the overall service offered before you decide what's best for your business.

2. Compare tariffs against your company's needs

According to 2011 Ofgem legislation, suppliers must now notify you at least 60 days prior to your existing contract ending, giving you ample opportunity to shop around.

To get the best electricity prices business users should start thinking about their options at the very least within that 60 day period, and begin comparing suppliers and prices.

Once you've prioritised your company's needs, use an electricity for business comparison to find which tariffs fit and compare their rates to get best business electricity prices available.