As a business you're allowed to pre-arrange your next gas supplier and tariff up to four months in advance, as long as you notify your current provider.

While this means you need to be organised in order to switch, there are still big savings to be had.

Some providers specialise in gas offers for small businesses; while others simply provide tailored products matched to the needs of small business.

To find the best small business gas supplier and deal for your company you'll need to consider a range of tariff features as well as the basic unit price:

How to get the cheapest gas tariff for small business

First, check which commercial gas suppliers operate in your area and exclude any that don't from your search.

The definition of a 'small business' will vary between providers so check the criteria each uses and make sure your business is eligible for the small business tariffs of any company that you're considering.

Most energy companies will define business size based on energy consumption and/or the number of sites you operate.

Once you've found suppliers and tariffs that are available to your business, you'll need to assess your current and anticipated energy needs to make sure you choose the right tariff.

If you expect your consumption to increase relatively soon, a short term contract might be your best option, giving you the flexibility to upgrade as when you need to.

Longer term contracts might be cheaper, but you might still be tied-in when you want to switch although if the price is fixed you could be buffered against possible future price increases.

Next, consider the price options available. There are generally two pricing structures: a fixed price per unit, or a daily 'standing charge' plus a reduced per unit gas price - the standard option.

Cost-efficient business gas tariffs

Being purely consumption-based, business gas tariffs with no standing charge can prove cost-effective for smaller business; however, standing charges can be as little as 5p per day so it's worth checking standard tariffs too to see which offers the cheapest gas prices for small businesses taking into account any standing charges.

Finally, compare how each supplier lets you manage your account and prioritise those that fit in with your company's practises.

Some providers offer online billing and payment by direct debit, others offer paper billing as well or instead of online, and some can offer dual fuel discounts too.

Once you've prioritised the features you need from your business utilities, compare small business gas prices to find the suppliers that offer those features so you can get cheap gas for small business along with the best possible service.

Read our guide How to Compare Business Gas Prices to find out more.