FAQ Guide: How to Get a VAT Number for Your Company

Author: Chris Neame BFP FCA CA(ANZ)


A VAT number is a crucial identifier provided by HMRC when businesses register for VAT (value-added tax). In the UK, VAT numbers consist of nine digits and start with ‘GB’. For companies within the EU, the VAT number includes unique country codes. This guide addresses the primary queries related to obtaining and using a VAT number for your company.


Why You Need a VAT Number

Q: Why do I need a VAT number?

A: Without a valid VAT number from your supplier, any VAT reclaim might be rejected by HMRC, potentially leaving you with significant expenses and administrative headaches. Furthermore, if your annual turnover exceeds £90,000, you are required to register for VAT and charge it on all VAT-taxable goods or services, avoiding any risk of penalties from HMRC.


Registering for VAT

Q: How can I register for VAT?

A: Registration can be completed online through the HMRC website, which is the quickest method. Alternatively, a postal form can be downloaded and submitted. You will need your National Insurance (NI) number or tax identifier, details of any businesses you’ve owned in the past two years, your business bank account details, and a record of the sale if you purchased the business.


Receiving Your VAT Number

Q: Where will I receive my VAT number?

A: Once registered, HMRC will issue a VAT registration certificate that includes your VAT number. This number will also appear on all future communications from HMRC, so it’s crucial to keep these documents safe. Additionally, you can view your VAT certificate in your HMRC business account online.


Checking VAT Number Validity

Q: How can I check if a VAT number is valid?

A: You can verify the validity of a VAT number by using HMRC’s online VAT Checker https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number 



Understanding and managing your VAT obligations is crucial for maintaining compliance and optimising your business’s financial strategy. For detailed guidance and more information on VAT registration and handling, visit the HMRC website or consult a tax professional.

For any further queries, please don’t hesitate to reach out via our Client Services email. We’re here to help!


About Neame & Co 

At Neame & Co we specialise in stress free company filing: the easy way to file your year end Company Accounts and Corporate Tax Return to Companies House and HMRC. Maximise tax efficiency, real human support throughout and 100% online and paperless service. Visit Neame & Co for more details on how we can help!

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Based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire and servicing the UK

Neame & Co is a trading name of Neame & Co Accountants Limited which is registered in England & Wales under Company Registration No. 14012065. Neame & Co is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office under registration No. ZB377959. VAT Registration No. 422891687.