8. Transfer registration

You can transfer a VAT registration from one business to another. For example, if you take over a company and want to keep using its VAT number.

You can apply to transfer a VAT registration:

The buyer and seller both need to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The seller should cancel any Direct Debits on their VAT online account, and the buyer should set up new ones.

What happens next

It usually takes 3 weeks for HMRC to confirm the transfer.

If necessary:

  • the seller should cancel their accountant’s access to their VAT online account - eg if they had authorised them to deal with their VAT
  • the seller must give their records to the buyer if they’re passing on their VAT number
  • the buyer should contact HMRC within 21 days of the transfer application if they want to keep the seller’s accountant
  • the buyer should replace any self-billing arrangements with new ones
  • the buyer may have to register for VAT from the day the business is transferred