Register for VAT by post

Find out when and how to use the VAT1 paper form to register a new or existing business or one you're taking over.

Most businesses should register for VAT online, including partnerships and a group of companies registering under one VAT number.

However, there are certain circumstances where a business may need to register using a VAT1 form.

When to register by post

If you cannot register online, you can do so by post using paper form VAT1 Application for registration. There may be some instances where this is required, including if you’re:

  • a limited liability partnership (LLP) registering as a representative member of a VAT group
  • registering the divisions or business units of a body corporate under separate VAT numbers
  • applying to register an overseas partnership
  • a local authority, parish or district council
  • applying for a registration exception

You can also register by post if it’s not reasonable or practical to use the online service because:

  • of your age, health condition, disability or location
  • you object to using computers on religious grounds
  • you do not have access to the internet

There may be other reasons you cannot register online and HMRC will still consider your application.

How to register by post

You must:

  1. Contact HMRC using the helpline number on the VAT: general enquiries page to request a paper form VAT1 Application for registration.

  2. If you phone HMRC, an adviser will ask you questions to confirm your reasons for requesting a paper form.

  3. If your reason for requiring a paper form is accepted, we will send one out to you. If not, you’ll be directed to the digital service.

  4. Complete the paper form when it arrives.

  5. Print out and complete any necessary forms mentioned in the Additional forms section of this page.

  6. Send the completed forms to HMRC using the postal address shown on the form.

You should only apply using a form that HMRC has sent you.

Use these notes to complete the VAT1 paper form.

Notes to help complete VAT1 form

Request an accessible format.
If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Additional forms

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

If you’re:

  • registering for VAT and joining the Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme — complete the VAT98 form
  • registering a group of companies with separate VAT numbers — complete the VAT50/51 form
  • an EU business distance selling to Northern Ireland — complete the VAT 1A form
  • importing goods worth more than £90,000 into Northern Ireland from an EU country — complete the VAT 1B form
  • disposing of assets and you have claimed directive refunds on them — complete the VAT1C form

The VAT1 form will tell you if you need to complete one of these forms.

What happens next

Applications by post usually take longer to process than online applications.

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

You can check when to expect a reply from HMRC.

After you are registered

Once your application has been approved, you’ll get a 9-digit VAT number and other information you need.

Updates to this page

Published 2 October 2014
Last updated 19 June 2024 + show all updates
  1. The VAT1 Notes have been updated in both English and Welsh.

  2. VAT threshold for importing goods into Northern Ireland has been updated.

  3. The page has been updated because the process for applying for a paper VAT1 Application for registration form has changed.

  4. The VAT1 Notes have been updated in both English and Welsh, the only change is to question 25 on page 11.

  5. The VAT1 form has been updated so applicants only need to complete questions which apply to them.

  6. Information about including a VAT 50-51 with your application has been added to the VAT1 help notes.

  7. The information about completing the VAT2 form alongside your VAT1 application has been updated. Guidance and forms have also been updated with information about completing the VAT1.

  8. Information about how to register for VAT by post using the VAT1 form has been updated.

  9. The VAT1 form has been updated to include the VAT50/51 form with your application.

  10. To register a VAT group you now only need to include the VAT50/51 form with your application.

  11. 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.

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

  13. English VAT1 form and notes have been updated

  14. Added translation

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