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HMRC internal manual

VAT Registration

Variation of trader’s details: changes involving deregistration

The following changes may involve deregistration

  • Sale of business: the seller is responsible for letting us know whether the sale of the business requires it to be deregistered or, if trading is to continue, whether the existing details need to be amended.
  • Death, insolvency or incapacity of a taxable person.
  • The business ceases to supply taxable goods or services.

VAT 68 Action may be used to transfer a VAT registration number as an alternative to deregistration in these scenarios

  • Conversion of a business into an incorporated company.

This is, in effect, a sale of the business by its previous owners (sole proprietor, or partners) to the company. The limited company is a separate legal person.

  • Conversion of an incorporated company into a partnership or a sole proprietorship.
  • A sole proprietor takes one or more persons into partnership.

When a person who has been registered as a sole proprietor takes one or more persons into partnership, there is a transfer of ownership of the business from the sole proprietor to the partnership.

  • A partnership ceases to exist, but one of the former partners becomes the sole proprietor of the business.
  • Changes in the name or status of an unincorporated company.
  • Transfer of business from one incorporated company to another.

When one company is wound up (for example, for reorganisation purposes) and another company is incorporated to carry on the business, you should cancel the old company’s registration and effect the registration of the new company in accordance with the normal rules about TOGC in VATREG29000. You will need to allocate a new registration number even where the old and new companies have the same name.


* a new company may wish to bear the same name as the old company, or
* an existing new company taking over may apply to change its name to that of the old company
the DTI requires that the old company must be in liquidation before its name can be used for the new company. Where this condition is not met, the new company will often adopt a name which is similar to that of the old company, for example, Jones Products Ltd and Jones Products (2011) Ltd.
  • There is a complete change in the composition of a partnership at any one time.
  • The business is otherwise disposed of.