How to Register for VAT

There are 2 main ways to register for VAT in the UK; Online or via the Post.

Applying online makes the process quicker, easier and more secure; and applying in this way also makes you eligible to submit your VAT returns via the web.

How to Register for VAT Online

Before using any of the HMRC online services, you will need to create a Government Gateway account. Bear in mind that a separate account is required for each business you wish to register. Once your username and password has been confirmed, you simply complete the VAT registration via the HMRC website and your application is processed.

When to Use a Paper Application for VAT Registration

There are certain circumstances when a company is not eligible for online VAT registration, and you will have to send your application via the post. This is primarily for companies who:

  • Want to apply for exemption from paying VAT once the compulsory registration level, (currently set at £70,000 in any given 12 month period) has been reached.
  • Have a business based inside the EU but ‘distance sells’ to the UK or acquires goods from the EU above the minimum registration level.
  • Are involved in the disposal of assets used to support an 8th or 13th Directive refunds.
  • Want to register any business unit or division for VAT separately.
  • Are eligible for the Agricultural Flat Scheme.

In these cases, contact HMRC directly and the relevant forms will be sent to you for completion.


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