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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Registration - general: principal place of business (PPOB)

The registered address should be the PPOB, this is where returns and other official correspondence will be sent. Normally, the PPOB is the place where orders are received and dealt with and the day to day running of the business takes place. VSME2700 and VSME2750 give details, including an agreement we have with The Consultative Committee of Accounting Bodies about PPOBs.

However, in some cases, the trader’s books and records may be kept at the office of, for example:

  • independent accountants
  • the trader’s private address
  • the registered office of a limited company.

None of these places would be treated as the PPOB except where there is difficulty in exercising control at the PPOB.

Alternatives to PPOB where there is difficulty in exercising control

Where there is a difficulty in exercising control at the PPOB, an alternative address may be treated as such for control purposes.

Examples of this are:

  • entertainers - may be touring the country and not have a PPOB
  • seasonal traders - may only work during specific periods - for example, ice cream vendors working in the summer months
  • itinerant workers
  • sports persons - for example, golfers who are on tour for the majority of the year
  • a trader who lives on a boat or in a mobile home
  • farms or similar rural locations where there are no offices or suitable buildings.