Guidance

Register for VAT

Use the online service or postal forms to register a new or existing business or one you're taking over.

Who should register

Register for VAT if you’re starting a new business, registering your existing business or taking over an existing business in the UK.

Businesses with a taxable turnover of more than £85,000 must register for VAT and keep digital records. Find out more about when to register for VAT.

How to register

Most businesses can register online. This includes partnerships and a group of companies registering under one VAT number.

You will not be able to register online and must register by post if you’re:

  • applying for the Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme
  • an EU business distance selling into Northern Ireland
  • registering a group of companies with separate VAT numbers
  • importing goods worth more than £85,000 into Northern Ireland from an EU country
  • disposing of assets and you have claimed Directive refunds on them

Register online

To use the online service, you need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you do not have a user ID, you can create one when you use the service.

Register by post

All businesses registering by post must complete and post the VAT1 print and post form (PDF, 731KB, 14 pages).

Use the notes to help (PDF, 133KB, 15 pages) complete the VAT1 registration form.

Fill in the print and post form and send it to HMRC.

Email HMRC to ask for this form in Welsh (Cymraeg).

You will also have to complete an additional form to attach to your VAT1 registration form.

Additional forms

You will have to complete an additional form for some business activities and post it with the VAT1 form.

If you’re:

  • joining the Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme, also complete form VAT98
  • registering a group of companies with separate VAT numbers, also complete forms VAT50 and VAT 51
  • an EU business distance selling into Northern Ireland, also complete form VAT1A
  • importing goods worth more than £85,000 into Northern Ireland from an EU country, also complete form VAT1B
  • disposing of assets and you have claimed Directive refunds on them, also complete form VAT1C

The VAT1 form will remind you to complete one of these forms.

What happens next

Online applications take around 20 days.

Print and post application take up to 30 days.

If we need more information, we’ll ask for it whilst we’re processing your form but it may cause delay.

Once you’re registered

After we approve your application you’ll get a 9-digit VAT number and other information you need.

Published 2 October 2014
Last updated 30 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Information has been updated about registering for VAT by post. Guidance and forms have also been updated with information about registering for VAT if you're moving goods into Northern Ireland from 1 January 2021.

  2. We have added an updated VAT1 Welsh form and notes

  3. English VAT1 form and notes have been updated

  4. Added translation