Getting VAT registered in the UK

VAT registration is the process of letting the government know that your company is active and trading.

VAT, also known as Value Added Tax is levied on goods and services provided by registered businesses in the UK, including goods or services imported from outside the UK.

All VAT registered companies will be issued a unique number called as VAT registration number. This registration number should be included on all sales invoices and is required for sales and tax procedures.

Do I need to register my business for VAT?

You must register for VAT if your taxable turnover goes past £85,000 in 12 months. This has to be done within 30 days of passing the threshold.

Within the UK, VAT is 20% on most goods so if you are selling on Amazon and eBay for example, you would need to apply this rate on your products as it’s the most common VAT rate in the UK.

Certain products have different VAT rates which could be at a reduced rate of 5% such as children’s clothes, or 0% if you’re selling books etc.

You can find VAT rates here.

What are the benefits of being VAT registered?

The benefits of getting VAT registered include:

  • You can reclaim input VAT for any purchases made for the business
  • You can boost your business profile as it makes your business seem more established and professional
  • You can display the VAT number on the websites and forms/documents making it look trustworthy

What are my duties and responsibilities?

As a VAT registered business you become responsible for:

  • Charging VAT for any products or service that you deliver
  • Maintaining an accurate VAT record
  • Submitting VAT returns to HMRC (monthly or quarterly)
  • Paying VAT dues to HMRC (if any)

How do I register for VAT?

You can register for VAT through an accountant or you can go for getting VAT registered online.

If you are looking to register VAT online, you can successfully complete the registration process by following the step by step procedure.

Step 1

  • First you should login to HMRC website and create a Government Gateway Account
  • Once the account is created, you will be given a Government Gateway Account – user ID. ( This account number has to be kept safe)
  • The next screen will then ask you to select the type of business. You should carefully select your answer from the dropdown
  • Next you will have to select specific reasons as to why you are registering your business for VAT (In most cases it will be “making or intending to make taxable supplies”)

Step 2

  • After completing the first section, the website will prompt you to enter your details and your business information as per the document - in order to fully submit your application
  • If the details you have provided are correct, you will see a registration summary of all the sections completed
  • Finally you will be given a reference number which you will have to note down for future reference

Step 3

  • In some cases, HMRC might require you to send certain validation documents directly to their address (Ex: non-residents)
  • Once all documents have been updated your registration will then be processed. You will receive your VAT number within 3-4 weeks

If you fail to do this you could face a fine so its recommended to voluntarily register for VAT before you hit that mark. By voluntarily registering for VAT it shows that you are ready to grow as business that creates a positive impression.

If you want help with getting VAT registered in the UK contact us, and we will do what is best for your business.