Transfer registration

You can transfer a VAT registration from one business to another, or if the status of your business changes.

For example, if:

  • you take over a company and want to keep using its VAT number
  • your business changes from a partnership to a sole trader

If you’re taking over a company, the previous owner must cancel their VAT registration before you can apply to transfer the VAT number.

If the status of your business changes, you must cancel your existing VAT registration and re-register.

You can apply to cancel or transfer a VAT registration:

What happens next

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

If you’re selling your business:

  • cancel your accountant’s access to your VAT online account - for example if you authorised them to deal with your VAT
  • cancel any direct debits on your VAT online account

You must also give your records to the buyer if you’re passing on your VAT number.

If you’re buying a business:

  • contact HMRC within 21 days of the transfer application if you want to keep the seller’s accountant
  • replace any self-billing arrangements with new ones
  • set up new direct debits on your VAT online account