The British Retail Consortium (BRC). said it hoped the proposals would stimulate debate on reform that "goes beyond tinkering with the existing system".
Business groups have long argued that the current framework of rates discourages investment and is desperately in need of modernisation.
The BRC proposals include: shifting the basis for taxing property by replacing the current system with a tax based on other measures, such as energy usage; and rewarding job creation by offering a discount on the rates bill.
A new business rates system that supports job creation and helps revive struggling high streets should be brought in to replace the current "outdated and cumbersome" framework, ministers were told.
The system could also be re-designed to encourage energy efficiency by basing payments on energy usage, according to the plans from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
They have been produced by members of the BRC together with accountants Ernst & Young ahead of a discussion document on business rates due to be published by the Government in the spring.