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How to Quickly Register for VAT Online in the UK

Jul 8, 2021 | Business

Register for VAT Online: How to Quickly Register for VAT Online in the UK

If you’re a business entity and organization or start-up, it is necessary to register for a VAT number. It is important to have a VAT number for a variety of reasons, such as benefiting from tax incentives and rebates. You must register for VAT if your yearly VATable sales surpass the VAT threshold set by HMRC in 12 months or if you intend to exceed the level in the next 30 days. The registration threshold is now £85,000 in VATable sales and this number changes every year. 

While the VATable sales limit is the most important criteria in determining eligibility for VAT registration, HMRC’s advice on whether to register includes other considerations.

Even if your VATable sales are below the threshold, you can typically register for VAT. However, if your company only performs VAT-free sales, there is no need for you to register for a VAT number. 

In this article, we outline how to register for VAT quickly, provide a step-by-step guide to the registration process and give updates from HMRC to ensure you can create and access your account anywhere.

It concludes with a few questions related to voluntary registrations and what to do if you exceed the Vat threshold. 

Register For Vat Online
How to Quickly Register for VAT Online in the UK 4

How to Register for Vat quickly

Most enterprises, including partnerships and groups of corporations filing under one VAT number, can register online.

You’ll be able to register for VAT and create a VAT online account (also known as a “Government Gateway account”) by doing so. This is required to submit VAT returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Register for VAT Online: A step-by-step guide to registering for your VAT

To register for a VAT number, click on this link from Gov.UK. You will then reach the landing page, with an option to log- in if you are a returning user. However, under the green sign-in button, you can create an account and register your details if this is your first time on this website. 

In order to keep your information secure, HMRC recently announced that businesses and organisations using its services will be required to use an access code to sign in.

As a business owner, you are not required to do anything until HMRC asks you to add your device. This change is quite recent and was introduced on June, 15th 2021. 

Use an Agent

Registering via an agent is costly and time-consuming. However, there are a million time-saving reasons why some people will resort to using an agent.

You can hire an accountant (or agent) to handle your VAT returns and dealings with HMRC. You can sign up for a VAT online account and choose the option “VAT submit returns” once you have received your VAT number from HMRC.

Speak to one of our Accounting and VAT specialists at Sterlinx Global for your E-commerce business, if you are struggling to keep up with the HMRC guidelines. 

Vat Specialists
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Registering by Post

This is by far the slowest and least efficient way to sign-up for a VAT number. Even as businesses across the country try to cut their carbon footprint, there are several reasons why you may prefer to register by post. 

  • If you are an EU business that sells to Ireland without a physical presence or location, use the VAT1A. 
  • If you import goods into Northern Ireland of over £85,000 from any EU country, use the VAT1B.
  • if you’re disposing of any assets of which the 8th and 13th directive refunds have been claimed, use the VAT1C. 

Don’t forget that when you receive your VAT number from HMRC, you may sign up for a VAT online account and select the option “VAT submit returns”.

Registering by post is a lengthy way to obtain a VAT number, but it remains a viable option if all else fails. However, HMRC has been digitizing over the years, to the point of enabling businesses to link and pay their VAT directly. 

Things you need to know

Before you set out to register for a VAT number, there are several requirements that you must fulfil. You must provide information or details on things such as your annual revenue or turnover, bank account details, and business activity.

The ‘effective date of registration’ is the day on which you registered. From this date forward, you must pay any VAT payable to HMRC. You don’t have to give an agent permission to register you for VAT, which is why it is advisable to do it online. 

Getting your VAT registration certificate

A VAT registration certificate should arrive within 30 working days, but it may take longer. It’s sent either to your VAT online account or by mail if you’re registered by an agency/agent or can’t register online.

However, registering online for a VAT account as well as a VAT number is by far the easiest and quickest way to receive a response from HMRC. 

Vat Online Account
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is VAT registration compulsory?

    You are only ever required to apply for VAT if your Vat taxable turnover is greater than £85,000, if you plan to exceed this threshold in the coming 12 months or did so in the past 12 months. You could also choose to do voluntary registration before meeting the VAT thresholds. Depending on the types of goods or services you sell and where you sell them, you may equally need to register for a Vat number. 

  • What should I do if I exceeded the VAT threshold in the past 12 months?

    When you reach the threshold, you must register within 30 days of the end of the month. The first day of the second month after you cross the threshold is the effective date of your registration.

  • What if you sell a product that is VAT exempt and resides in Northern Ireland?

    If you only sell exempt or ‘out of scope’ goods or services but buy goods for more than £85,000 from EU VAT-registered suppliers to use in your business, you are required to register for a VAT number.


Not all businesses are required to register for Vat, but it is important to register if you are a business whose turnover exceeds £85,000. Registering for a VAT number is simple and straightforward.

To complete your registration, ensure you have all the necessary documentation ready. This article is a guide to enable you to register quickly and make the most informed decisions. 

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