VAT Registration in the UK

  • Last update: 23.02.2024
  • Published: 17.07.2023
  • Read in: 4 min

The UK attracts numerous job seekers and foreign companies seeking fresh markets to promote their goods and services. Nonetheless, it is crucial to acknowledge that in the latter situation, VAT registration might be obligatory.

Consequently, businesses registered for VAT must levy value-added tax on their goods and services and complete VAT returns. This article will center on the importance of VAT registration in the UK and delve into the process involved.

vat registration in the uk

From the following article you will find out:

  • What are the applicable VAT rates in the UK,
  • Who needs to register for VAT in the UK,
  • How does the VAT registration process look like in the UK,
  • What are the obligations of a UK VAT payer.

VAT in the UK

There are three applicable VAT rates in the UK. The first one is the standard rate, which is 20%, and it is levied on the majority of goods and services that don’t fall under reduced VAT rates. The reduced rates are either 5% or 0%, and they apply to certain specific items. 

For further information on VAT in the UK, you can refer to our article dedicated to this topic.

Who must register for VAT in the UK?

VAT registration in the UK is necessary in several situations.

The first scenario that calls for VAT registration by non-UK companies is when they sell goods and services to UK buyers. However, this obligation arises only if the total value of sales exceeds £70,000.

The second situation mandating VAT registration in the UK is if a company stores goods in the UK and dispatches them from there to its customers.

In addition, there are other situations in which VAT registration becomes compulsory in the UK:

  • Importing goods to Europe through the territory of the United Kingdom.
  • Organising events with ticketed admissions.
  • Receiving services within the UK that fall under the reverse charge principle. It is important to note that this condition applies to individuals or entities who are VAT taxpayers.

Please take note that in the aforementioned scenarios, VAT registration becomes a mandatory requirement. On the flip side, if the entrepreneur decides to, they also have the opportunity for voluntary VAT registration in the UK. Nonetheless, in both situations, it is imperative to have a registered business activity.

Do you need VAT registration in the UK?

Do you need VAT registration in the UK?

We can carry it out for you, as well as take care of your declarations, settlements, VAT OSS and EU VAT! Let us know what you need!

Schedule a consultation

VAT registration process in the UK

In the UK, VAT registration is primarily carried out online through the tax office, HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs), and the process commences by submitting an application.

Additionally, it is essential to note that foreign sole traders aiming to become part of the UK VAT system should be mindful of potential challenges they might face during the registration process. These challenges may involve difficulties with documentation, and officials may sometimes request unusual documents.

Documents required for VAT registration in the UK

During the VAT registration process in the UK, businesses must provide necessary documents that are also required for VAT registration in other EU countries like Austria, Germany, or France and they include :

  • the registration application,
  • identification,
  • bank account confirmation.

Furthermore, as previously mentioned, prospective VAT taxpayers may encounter requests from officials for additional, sometimes hard-to-obtain documents before commencing operations in the UK. These may include : 

  • contracts with transport operators,
  • invoices,
  • contracts with marketplace platforms.

If you wish to learn more about potential issues that may arise while registering for VAT in the UK, we invite you to explore the relevant information. Should you need assistance, our team is fully equipped to handle your UK VAT registration and address any other VAT-related matters. Simply book a free consultation, let us know your requirements, and our experienced VAT Compliance specialists will handle all the necessary tasks for you.

Contact points for businesses with UK officials

In case you need to register a business in the UK and have to get in touch with HMRC, there are various methods at your disposal to do so by:

  • Email,
  • Post,
  • a contact form,
  • Helpline.

UK tax office address (HMRC)

The address of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), is: 100 Parliament Street, London, SW1A 2BQ.

The website is:

Meanwhile, the office can be contacted by phone at: +44 135 535 9022.

Obligations of a UK VAT payer

After a successful VAT registration in the UK, the entrepreneur will receive a UK VAT number comprising nine digits, potentially with the prefix GB. This number must be included in all invoices issued thereafter.

Moreover, as a UK VAT payer, the entrepreneur is responsible for settling VAT in the UK. The deadline for filing VAT returns is one month and seven days after the accounting period, usually lasting three months and commencing after a successful registration.

Additionally, entrepreneurs must also file a return when selling goods and services subject to a zero VAT rate.

VAT registration in the UK - summary

VAT plays a crucial role in the UK’s economic system, and registering for VAT becomes obligatory in various situations, such as warehousing goods within the territory or when the total value of UK sales exceeds the £70,000 threshold.

Should you have any questions or require assistance, we are here to provide the support you need and manage your VAT registration in the UK. Additionally, we offer assistance with settlements, returns, VAT OSS, and VAT EU. Simply schedule a free consultation with us, tell us what you need, and our VAT Compliance specialists will take care of everything for you!

If you are looking for more information, check out our articles about VAT registrations in: Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, or on some other topics:

Michał Doruch Michał od ponad 10 lat zajmuje się rozliczaniem, rejestracjami i składaniem deklaracji VAT w krajach Unii Europejskiej oraz Wielkiej Brytanii. To jednak nie wszystko! W bagażu swoich doświadczeń ma także kwestie związane z VAT OSS, raportowanie Intrastat i bezpośrednie wsparcie klientów. Z Taxology Michał jest związany od marca 2021 roku.