How to register for VAT

If you start a business and your turnover reaches a certain figure (crosses the VAT threshold) you may need to register for VAT.

You can register for VAT online. When you register you will be sent a VAT registration certificate telling you:

  • Your VAT number (you can’t charge VAT until you have this number).
  • Your official date of VAT registration.
  • When you need to submit your first VAT return.

What happens when you are VAT registered?

After your official date of VAT registration you:

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  • Must charge the right amount of VAT.
  • Can reclaim any VAT you have paid on purchases.
  • Must keep VAT records and a VAT account.
  • Must submit quarterly VAT returns.
  • Must pay any VAT due to HMRC.

If anything changes in your company, for example if you move office, change bank or start providing a different service or products, you need to let HMRC know by submitting this form or logging onto your online account.

Flat rate VAT

If your VAT turnover is less than £150,000 you can choose to join the flat rate VAT scheme instead.

If you use an accountant they can explain how VAT works, and complete your VAT registration for you.