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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Entity to be registered: registering incorporated companies and other corporate bodies: what evidence can be obtained to identify a body corporate?

When you receive an application for registration from a person claiming to be a body corporate, they should normally include a copy of the certificate of incorporation. If the applicant hasn’t included one with the application, you may call for a copy or some other form of proof of incorporation if you are unable to verify, or are not satisfied with, the declared details.

Bodies incorporated should provide  
under the Companies Acts a certificate of incorporation  
under other Acts of Parliament a legal reference and a copy of the relevant Act of Parliament  
by Act of Parliament a copy of the relevant Act of Parliament  
by Royal Charter a copy of the Royal Charter  

All bodies corporate should be registered in their corporate names as it is the body corporate which is the person making the supplies (not the directors, who are merely officers of the company or the shareholders, who are just members of the corporation).

An officer of the company, that is, a director or company secretary or a person authorised to act on behalf of the company must sign the VAT 1. Evidence of this authorisation must be provided to us with the application.

The Companies Act 1985, section 27 permits the use of Ltd and Plc (and their Welsh equivalents) in substitution for the longer Limited etc.

Companies incorporated overseas

An overseas company must register at Companies House if it has a business establishment in the UK and must supply us with its UK company registration number and the date of its registration at Companies House. If it is not registered at Companies House, then it should supply the details of its registration in its home country.