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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

HM Revenue & Customs
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Special considerations for certain registrations: direct sellers: general

A number of companies concentrate on selling directly to the consumer rather than via the usual retail outlets, using methods generally referred to as ‘direct selling’. Their products are sold to the public through:

  • extensive use of ‘distributors’, ‘demonstrators’, ‘dealers’, and similar persons, who may, at first sight, appear to be independent
  • ‘representatives’ or ‘agents’, who may have paid for a franchise, or
  • employees.

For the purpose of this guidance, these will be referred to as the ‘salesperson’.

Typical examples of direct selling companies are@

  • Avon Cosmetics in the cosmetics/perfumery trade, and
  • Kleeneze in the household cleaning/appliance trade.

Their respective methods vary, however.