You must register for VAT with HMRC if your business VAT taxable turnover is more than £82,000. Alternatively you can apply for voluntary VAT registration if your turnover is below £82,000.
When you register. you will be sent a VAT registration certificate. Which will confirm your VAT number, when to submit your first VAT return and payment as well as your “effective date of registration”.
As an VAT registered company your responsibilities will be to charge the right amount of VAT, pay any VAT due to HMRC, submit VAT returns, keep VAT records and a VAT account.
Please note, while you wait for VAT registration to be approved by HMRC, you can not charge or show VAT on your invoices until you get your VAT number. Nonetheless, you will still have to pay the VAT to HMRC for this period and once you have got your VAT number you can then reissue the invoices showing the VAT.
Most business can register for VAT online or appoint an agent to do it on their behalf. However, in certain circumstances VAT registration must be done by post if : you want to apply for a “registration exception”; you are an EU business “distance selling” to the UK; you import goods from another EU country; your are joining the Agricultural Flat Rate Scheme; you are registering the division or business units of a body corporate under separate VAT numbers or your are disposing of assets on which 8th or 13th Directive refunds have been claimed.
In most of case VAT registration certificate is issued within 14 working days, though it can take sometimes longer.
For businesses whose turnover goes over the threshold only temporary an exception may be granted. Provided your write to HMRC with evidence showing why you believe your VAT taxable turnover will not go over de-registration threshold of £80,000 in the next 12 month.
For further advice or assistance, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org