UK VAT Registration

You might not realise that as a foreign business trading in the UK, you’re required to register for VAT, regardless of your turnover. This process can seem daunting and complex, especially if you’re already grappling with VAT, GST, or tax registration in your home state.

Yet, it’s a crucial step, allowing you to legally trade, charge UK VAT, and ensure your compliance with UK VAT laws.

But what exactly does the registration process involve, and what happens once you’ve submitted your application?

Let’s explore this further.

Key Takeaways

  • Foreign businesses trading in the UK that are registered for VAT/GST/Tax in their home state do not have a VAT registration threshold.
  • Non-established businesses supplying taxable goods or services in the UK must register for VAT regardless of their turnover.
  • Foreign businesses need to complete Form VAT 1 for the supply of taxable goods and/or services to the UK, and Form VAT 1A for distance selling into the UK.
  • Once registration is granted, a unique UK VAT number is allocated to the company, with the format GB followed by 9 digits.


As you navigate the process of UK VAT registration, it’s crucial to grasp key details and follow appropriate guidance. Understanding the thresholds, submission process, and compliance requirements is essential for smooth operations.

Let’s begin our overview by shedding light on these critical aspects.

Key Registration Details

You’ll need to register for VAT if your total VAT taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 in the last 12 months or is expected to do so in the next 30 days.

But even if your turnover is less, you still have the option to register voluntarily.

Once registered for VAT, you’ll receive a unique VAT number.

VAT Registration Guidance

Having understood the key details about VAT registration, let’s now explore some guidance on the process.

If your turnover exceeds the £85,000 threshold, you must register for VAT. Even if based overseas, you need to register if you supply goods or services to the UK.

After your effective date of registration, you’re obligated to submit VAT returns.

You can also choose to register voluntarily.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is VAT Registration Mandatory in Uk?

Yes, VAT registration is mandatory in the UK if your taxable turnover exceeds £85,000 in the last 12 months or is expected to in the next 30 days. If you’re based outside the UK, you must register regardless of turnover.

How Much Does VAT Registration Cost Uk?

You’re probably wondering about the cost of VAT registration in the UK. Good news! It doesn’t cost anything to register for VAT, regardless of whether you register online, through an accountant, or by post.

How Do I Register for VAT in England?

To register for VAT in England, you’ll complete and submit Form VAT 1 or VAT 1A to HMRC. If you’re a foreign business, submit to HMRC’s NETPU in Aberdeen, Scotland. Once approved, you’ll receive a unique VAT number.

How Do I Get a VAT Registration Certificate Uk?

To get a VAT registration certificate in the UK, you’ll need to apply online through the HMRC website. Once approved, you’ll receive your VAT number and can then download your VAT registration certificate.


Navigating the UK VAT registration process can seem daunting, but it’s crucial for your business success. Whether you’re supplying goods or services, you need to register for VAT. Remember, it’s not just about getting your unique VAT number, but also ensuring compliance with UK VAT rules and filing returns regularly.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Avalara solutions are here to help you overcome VAT challenges, tailored to your specific trading location and method.

Barry Caldwell

Barry Caldwell

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