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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Special considerations for certain registrations: persons using assumed names

Provided there is no intent to defraud or misrepresent, persons may use any name or style they choose. This applies to persons wishing to use a name which is not their usual name for VAT purposes, for example, a married woman who wishes to register in her maiden name or persons wishing to be known by their first name only.

If it is known that an application has been made in an assumed name, ask for the following information:

  • the person’s usual name
  • any other name(s) by which they are known
  • the title of their business bank account
  • the name in which VAT returns will be signed
  • the reason why they wish to use an assumed name

This information is kept on EF and the facts made known if the trader becomes subject to prosecution action.

Provided you are satisfied, the application will be processed in the normal way and a letter (below) will be sent to the trader.

Specimen letter: Person using assumed name

Dear [real name]

Your request for VAT registration in the name [assumed name] has been accepted.

Normally, documents relating to VAT will be addressed to you in this name.