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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

HM Revenue & Customs
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Entity to be registered: sole proprietors

A sole proprietor is a natural person and it is the sole proprietor who is the ‘person’.


The term ‘sole proprietors’ is used to describe individuals engaged in business on their own.

Business names and trading styles

Sole proprietors are registered for VAT in their own name but can include their business names or trading styles on the application. If they carry on a business under other names, they are subject to certain requirements to disclose them under the Business Names Act 1985.

Signatory to the VAT 1

The form must be signed by the sole proprietor, as provided by VAT Regulations 1995, regulation 5(1).