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How To Register For VAT

    If you’re a small business VAT will be impacting your business in one way or another. Chances are you may not be charging VAT but you may be paying it to your suppliers. It can quickly become a complicated area so in this article we’ll break down what VAT is and how you can register for VAT if you need to.

    How do I register for VAT?

    The easiest and most common way to register for VAT is online. To register online just follow this link.

    By doing this you’ll register for VAT and create a VAT online account (sometimes known as a ‘Government Gateway account’). 

    You may need to register via post if you meet set exemptions. If you do need to register via post simply download the VAT1 form. It will also be worth downloading the guidance forms to make sure you fill this in correctly. There may also be some additional forms you need to complete and send to Companies House depending on your exemption. The VAT1 form will remind you to do this.

    Register For VAT Online

    There are two options available if you wish to register for VAT online. First, you can register directly with HMRC on their website. Secondly, you can use an agent to do this for you. It will also be worth checking with your accountant as they may be able to help your register for VAT as well

    Do you have to register for VAT?

    VAT registration comes in two forms – voluntary and mandatory. 

    If your company has a turnover that exceeds £85,000 or is forecasted to do so in the future, then you’ll need to register. This is a mandatory registration requirement.

    You can still register for VAT if your turnover is below that figure, and is forecasted to stay below the threshold. This would be registering on a voluntary basis.

    VAT Returns

    If you decide to register for VAT you will now need to submit quarterly VAT returns to HMRC. This is known as your accounting period and will span 3 months. 

    VAT return covers things such as:

    • Total sales and purchase value
    • the amount of VAT you are able to reclaim on purchases
    • the amount of VAT you owe from sales
    • the amount, if any, of VAT refunded by HMRC

    Keeping track of everything can get complicated so it’s best to invest in some online accounting software or use an accountant to ensure you stay on top of everything.


    There’s not much to registering for VAT, it’s a pretty straightforward process. However, the concept of VAT itself and what comes after registering requires a bit more thought and management. Once you are registered it’s vital to stay on top of your returns and understand what you can begin to claim back.

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