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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Effective Date of Registration (EDR): trading prior to incorporation

At an assurance visit, you may discover that the EDR for a corporate body pre-dates its incorporation and/or commencement of trading. As a limited company has no legal existence prior to the date of its incorporation, it can only be registered from the date it started making taxable supplies and has been incorporated.

You will therefore have to consider whether retrospective VAT 68 action is appropriate in order to correct the register. Further information can be found in VATREG29000.

If VAT 68 action is not appropriate, ensure that the EDR is not set prior to the incorporation date and correct it if required.

Consider whether a separate registration is required if the earlier date covers trading by the promoters of the corporate body (for example the directors may have advertised and started some initial trading).