how to check if a business is vat registered

How to check if a business is VAT registered: All you need to know

It is always essential to consider whether the business you are dealing with is VAT-registered. This can easily be checked using the VIES (VAT information exchange system, visiting the HMRC, or calling the VAT helpline. However, as you proceed, there are several things that you must know.

By using the services, you can not only check whether a specific is VAT registered but also obtain necessary information like the VAT registration number. You need to know the registration status of your buyer as sometimes a reverse charge mechanism may be applied, especially for B2B cross-border sales.

If you want to know all there is about how to check if a business is VAT registered or any other related information, then you are in the perfect spot. This blog explains everything from A to Z. So, buckle up as we begin our VAT journey.

Is Knowing The VAT Status Of A Company That Important?

Before going through how you can check if a company is VAT registered, it is important to know the VAT status of a company you are doing business with. If you are dealing with a business that is not VAT registered, you will not be able to claim back any VAT on the product. It is also possible that the business might be violating the law.

Knowing the VAT status of a business or its products ensures you can claim VAT on your invoices. It also saves you from any unwanted circumstances and from being charged an extra amount for the goods that you are buying or selling. In this way, you might be able to earn a handsome amount of profit.

If a business you are dealing with has a VAT registration number and properly complies with the HMRC rules and regulations, it will help you in many different ways. If you are paying someone who is not VAT registered, then you do not need to charge VAT on your payment.

You should note that if you are not VAT registered and issue an invoice showing VAT, then the laws would make you liable for a penalty of up to 100 per cent of the VAT written on the invoice.

How Can You Check If A Company Is VAT Registered?

This can be done easily if you want to know how to see if a company is VAT registered. For this purpose, you can try the European Commission's VAT Information Exchange System (VIES). This is an online service designed solely to assist a company in checking whether their suppliers and products are registered for VAT.

If you are looking for alternative ways to check whether the suppliers are registered for VAT, you can do so by checking the HMRC or the Company House Website. The HMRC provides "HMRC's check a VAT number service." This service helps you know how to check if a business is VAT registered even if no other option is working for you. These methods enable you to check if the company is VAT-registered. If you want to know why is my vat registration taking so long.

how can you check if a company is vat registered

How To Check If A Business Is VAT Registered Using The VAT Information Exchange System (VIES)

The European Commission's VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) is an online service that helps you verify the VAT number of a company or a business. It is very quick and easy to use. It provides all the information you need to know about your suppliers. The information you get is verified and accurate.

If you are wondering how to check if a business is VAT-registered using VIAS, all you have to do is visit the website. If you visit for the first time, you will be asked to register for an account. For that, some basic instructions will be given, and you can easily create an account.

After you have set up your account, you will be asked to log in. Log in using the details you provided while registering yourself. Then, you will be able to use the search system. You must provide the company name and address, and its VAT number and VAT status will be revealed to you.

Why Should I Prefer VIAS?

You should prefer the European Commission's VAT Information Exchange System because of the following reasons:

  • VIAS is very easy and safe to use.
  • It provides accurate and up-to-date information about a specific business's VAT status.
  • It helps you verify whether a VAT number is valid
  • It helps you get more information about a potential supplier.
  • VIAS helps you to confirm if your suppliers are registered with the HMRC.
  • You should use VIAS if you can charge VAT on an invoice from a supplier.

Other Ways To Know How To Check If A Business Is VAT Registered

As mentioned above, there are other ways to find out and confirm a business or company's VAT number and status. This can be done by checking the company house website or the HMRC.

The VAT number can also be verified using the special service provided by the HMRC, known as the HMRC VAT number checking service. HMRC can be contacted directly using their phone number, email, web chat or event via post. The post-service is available from Monday to Friday. This free service is available to all the companies in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Their helpline can inform you about the VAT registration status of a company and even let you know the company's CAT registration number. Here are some more websites that can help you check if a business is VAT-registered:

  • DNS Associates: The DNA Associates provide an in-depth guide on how to check if a business is VAT registered.

  • FreeAgent: This website also provides a detailed description of the process.

  • Business Financing: This is also a good website for checking VAT status.

You can also go through these websites if you are eager to get more information; however, after going through this blog, you will know almost everything there is to know.

How To Register Limited Company For VAT

If you are looking to register your company for VAT, you can follow the following simple steps:

  • Visit the GOV.UK website and click on "Register for VAT".
  • Follow the on-screen given instructions. The documents or information you need for the registration include your company registration number, business bank account details, Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR), and details of your annual turnover.
  • Once you have registered for VAT, you will receive a unique VAT number that you can use on all your invoices and company paperwork.

Also read about: Is VAT On Client Entertainment Reclaimable- All You Need To Know

VAT Registration Date: When Should You Register For VAT?

If you are wondering when the right time to register your business for VAT is, then there are some important things that you definitely need to consider. The date of registration for VAT in the UK depends on whether you have exceeded the VAT threshold in a given time.

If your total VAT taxable turnover was over £85,000 in the last 12 months, then you must register within 30 days. Your effective registration date, in this case, would be the first day of the second month after you go over the threshold.

VAT Registration Number

Businesses registered for VAT have a specific VAT number that can be used to confirm their VAT status by other companies. In the UK, this number starts with GB. The prefix GB is then followed by nine numbers. In Ireland, instead of GB, the prefix used is XI. The prefix might change from country to country, but the VAT registration number follows a definite pattern.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being VAT Registered?

If your company or business is VAT registered, you can not only charge VAT on the goods you supply but also claim back the VAT you have paid on your purchases. To put it simply, it might provide a source of revenue for your business and help it grow faster than ever.

Like the opposite side of a coin, the VAT registration also has some downsides. It can be a very complicated process that might make tracking difficult. It might waste a lot of your time with things completely irrelevant to your business's nature. To deal with this problem, you can hire an expert. It would prove to be a very useful investment in the long run.

One noticeable downside is that you would have to include the VAT in your product, which might make the price unattractive and more expensive than it should look. So, whether you should register for VAT or not depends upon a lot of factors. It is a decision that must be taken very carefully.

Final Verdict

Being VAT registered provides a company many benefits, like reclaiming VAT. But on the other hand, it is a very complicated process. You can learn how to check if a business is VAT registered by several methods. You can use the online VIES service or call the HMRC helpline.

The HMRC offers a special service called the HMRC VAT number checking service. This service can provide accurate information about whether a company or business is VAT-registered. To benefit from VAT, you can consider registering for VAT once the threshold for VAT registration has been reached in a year. If this process seems complicated and you are holding the business on a large scale, consider hiring an expert. It will save your time and prove fruitful in the long run.

Rían Doyle

I'm a VAT professional with years of experience helping businesses with compliance and reporting. My goal is to simplify VAT calculation and provide valuable insights through my engaging writing style and clear explanations of complex concepts.