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Tips for Quick VAT Registration

Newsletter issue - July 09.

There are a number of reasons why you would want to, or need to, register for VAT quite quickly. Once your turnover for the last 12 months exceeds £68,000 you must register for VAT within 30 days. If you start a new business, incorporate your current business (see above) or buy an existing business you may also need to register for VAT immediately.

The VAT office aims to issue a VAT number to 70% of businesses within 13 working days of receiving the application for VAT registration. However, the remaining 30% of businesses may suffer delays, which can damage the viability of the business. If you need to register for VAT follow these tips to speed up the process:

  • Use the correct form: VAT 1 – this form was revised about a year ago so make sure you use a new version.
  • Include the bank account number for the business that is registering for VAT. Do not include a bank account number for a different business. No bank account will delay the registration.
  • Show a contact telephone number for the business. Although it is not a legal requirement to have a telephone number, the VAT registration will be delayed if you don't include one.
  • If the business is a company you must include the date of incorporation and the company number.
  • The business address must be a UK address where the business will be carried on. A 'care of' or PO box address is not acceptable.
  • The business activity description must be clear and not generalised. Consultancy businesses need to state their area of expertise, such as 'business management' or 'information systems'.
  • You must include an estimate of the annual turnover. This gives the VAT office an idea of the risk profile of the business.
  • If any of the business owners have been involved in any other businesses in the last two years the full names of those businesses, including VAT numbers, must be given.
  • If you are registering for VAT on a voluntary basis complete box 13 and specify the date you require to be VAT registered from.
  • The VAT 1 form must be signed by an appropriate person, such as partner or director. Remember to state in what capacity that person is signing.
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