The majority of businesses, including limited companies, can register for VAT online via HMRC’s website. Certain businesses must register by post using form VAT1. You can submit the online or paper application yourself, or you can appoint an agent or accountant to register your business for VAT. Within approximately 30 days of registration, HMRC will issue a VAT registration certificate, which will include your unique 9-digit company VAT number, or ‘VAT Registration Number’ (VRN)
How to register a company for VAT
You can register your company for VAT online on HMRC’s website. As part of the process, you will first create a VAT online account, which is often referred to as a ‘Government Gateway Account’. You will use this account to submit your company’s VAT returns to HMRC.
To create your VAT online account, you must:
- Provide an email address
- Enter the confirmation code that HMRC sends to your email address
- Provide your full name
- Create a password between 8 and 12 characters
- Set up a recovery password
- Take a note of your new Government Gateway user ID that is displayed on the screen (you will need this user ID and your password every time you sign into your account)
- Choose which type of account you need – select ‘Organisation’ if you are setting up a limited company, partnership, or charity
- On the home page of your new account, select ‘add tax’ then choose ‘VAT’
- You will be asked 6 questions to ensure that you are eligible to register for VAT online
- You will then be taken to the online VAT registration form
To complete the VAT registration form (VAT1), you must provide the following company details:
- Registered company name
- Trading name (if different from registered name)
- Company registration number
- Date of company incorporation
- Country of incorporation (England & Wales, Wales only, Scotland, or Northern Ireland)
- Principal business address (i.e. registered office address)
- Telephone number
- Company email address and website
- Main business activities
- Business bank account details
- Whether VAT registration is compulsory or voluntary
- Information about estimated VAT-taxable purchases, sales, and turnover
- Applicant details – name, address, phone number, DOB, NI Number, connection to company
You should receive your VAT registration certificate, which will include your company VAT number, within 30 working days of registration, though it can sometimes take longer. If you complete the registration online yourself, your certificate and company VAT number will be sent to your VAT online account.
If you register by post or use an accountant or agent, HMRC will send the certificate to you by post. However, your agent will receive your company VAT number online, which they should forward on to you prior to receiving your certificate by post.
Registering for VAT by post
There are a few instances when it is not possible to register a business for VAT online. You will be required to register by post using form VAT1 if:
- You wish to apply for a VAT registration exemption
- Your business is joining the Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme
- You need to register the divisions or business units of a corporation under separate VAT numbers
HMRC will post your VAT registration certificate to you within approximately 30 working days. You will then be able to create a VAT online account.
When to register a company for VAT
Whether your UK business is set up as a limited company, a partnership, a sole trader enterprise, or some other legal structure, you must register for VAT when your VAT-taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 (2020/21 threshold) within a 12-month period, or if you expect it to exceed the threshold within the next 30 days.
It is also possible to voluntarily register for VAT if your turnover is below the current threshold, unless your business sells only VAT-exempt goods and services. Voluntary VAT registration offers a number of benefits to many small businesses, including boosting your corporate image, reclaiming VAT on goods and services that your company purchases, facilitating dealings with other VAT registered businesses, and avoiding financial penalties.
VAT registration services from Quality Company Formations
At Quality Company Formations, our highly trained staff are able to handle the formalities of VAT registration for new and existing limited companies. Here are several ways you can purchase our VAT registration service:
- If you wish to form a limited company, you can purchase the Complete Package which includes VAT registration. Alternatively, you can select any other company formation package and then pick up our VAT registration service as an extra item on our checkout page.
- If you are one of our customers, you can log in to your Online Customer Portal, go to the SHOP area and purchase our VAT Registration Service at a cost of £29.99.
- If you are not yet a customer of Quality Company Formations, you can use the log in facility (on our website menu bar) and create an account or you can use this link – Create Account. Once you have created an account, you can navigate to the SHOP area and purchase the VAT Registration Service at a cost of £29.99.