How to register for VAT

How to register for VAT

The value added to goods and services is subject to an indirect tax known as the value-added tax (VAT). For governments all over the world, VAT is a sizable source of revenue and is crucial for funding public services. We will give you a thorough overview of how to register for VAT in this blog post, covering its significance, the registration procedure, and post-registration requirements.

Determine if you need to register for VAT

Identifying whether you must register for VAT is the first step in the VAT registration process. We'll talk about VAT registration thresholds, exemptions, special circumstances, and the negative effects of not registering.

Did you know?

A report by the European Commission estimates that VAT fraud and evasion cost the EU €140 billion annually.

Required information

You must gather and submit specific information about your business when applying for VAT. This comprises

Business information

  • Trademark and company name (if different)
  • company address (principal place of business)
  • Contact details (phone number, email address)
  • business organization (e.g., sole trader, partnership, limited company)

Financial details

  • Turnover (total sales or income generated by the business)
  • Expenses (e.g., rent, wages, supplies, etc.)
  • Any details regarding zero-rated or exempt sales 

VAT-specific information

    • VAT reference (if you already have one)
    • Date by which you must begin collecting VAT (this may depend on your turnover and registration threshold)
    • Information about any products or services you offer that are subject to additional VAT regulations, such as the reverse charge for VAT or the place of supply requirements for services

    How to register for VAT

    For VAT, there are three different registration options:

    1. Online registration: This is the most popular and simple method of VAT registration. Through the government's 24/7 VAT registration service, you can register.
    2. By using an accountant or agent to register, you can get advice on the procedure and make sure all the required information is supplied.
    3. Postal registration: This option entails filling out and sending a paper VAT registration form, but it's less popular, and processing times may be longer.

    Registering for VAT

    You can start the registration process after selecting your preferred method of registration. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for online VAT registration:

      1. Visit the website for the government's VAT registration service.
      2. Select the option to register for VAT, and then follow the instructions in section III to enter your company's information, financial details, and VAT-specific information.
      3. Send your application in.
      4. Within a few weeks, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) will confirm your VAT registration. Your VAT number and the deadline for when you must begin collecting VAT are both included in the confirmation.
      5. Create your VAT record-keeping system, and begin adding VAT to your sales as of the HMRC-specified date. Also Read: VAT On Services In Ireland: Understanding the Regulations and Requirements.

      Did you know?

      According to a study by Sage UK, 27% of small businesses in the UK had to pay penalties due to mistakes in their VAT returns.

      Post VAT registration

      Following your VAT registration, you must:

      • Maintain accurate records: Keep a record of every business transaction, including sales, costs, and any applicable VAT.
      • Submit quarterly VAT returns and payments: Pay any outstanding VAT to HMRC by the due date.
      • Be ready for audits and inspections: HMRC may audit your records to verify compliance with VAT regulations, so it's critical to keep accurate records and be ready for audits or inspections.

      Did you know?

      VAT was only recently implemented in some nations, like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, in 2018.

      Common in VAT issues & how to avoid them

      When registering for VAT, businesses frequently run into the following problems:

      • Giving false or insufficient information
      • missing the deadlines for VAT registration
      • requesting the incorrect VAT scheme
      • failing to apply the correct VAT rate
      • not maintaining precise VAT records

      To avoid these problems, make sure you:

      • Before submitting your application for VAT registration, double-check all of the information.
      • Recognize the threshold for VAT registration and register on time.
      • If you're unsure about which VAT scheme is best for your company, seek professional advice.
      • Knowing the VAT rate that applies to your goods or services will help you charge the correct amount of VAT.
      • Keep detailed records of your business transactions and information pertaining to VAT.


      Running a business requires that you register for VAT. It can be a difficult task, but if you follow the instructions in this blog post, you can make sure the registration process goes smoothly. Keep thorough records, send in your VAT payments and returns on time, and be ready for VAT inspections and audits. If you require assistance, consult a professional. You can avoid fines and support the economy of the nation by adhering to VAT regulations.

      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.