Post-Brexit UK Vat Registration and Compliance for Non-UK Businesses

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Even before Brexit, VAT was one of the United Kingdom´s most complex taxes with a lot of detailed rules and procedures. Now the UK is no longer part of the EU or the EU VAT regime, many of those regulations have changed.

If you´re a foreign business importing, buying or selling goods in the UK, you have to register for UK VAT. The penalties for getting VAT wrong can be expensive and are often rigorously imposed.

At St Matthew, we can register your foreign company for UK VAT and ensure you stay compliant as you grow your business.

Our flexible solutions to all overseas business types are designed to reduce the burden of dealing with VAT and improve tax efficiency.

When Do Overseas Companies Need to Register for UK VAT?

Foreign companies must register for UK VAT in several circumstances.

The most common include:

  • If you are selling digital products or services to British customers (remote B2B sellers of digital products do not need to register)
  • If you´re buying and selling goods in the UK
  • If you´re importing goods into the EU via the UK
  • If you´re holding stocks or goods on consignment in the UK before selling to businesses in the UK or abroad
Selling Digital Products and Services to the UK

Selling Digital Products and Services to the UK

If you are a foreign seller of digital products and services, you have to register for UK VAT and charge a VAT rate of 20%.

You can’t sell digital products to UK consumers without UK VAT registration. However, there is one exception. You don’t have to apply for UK VAT registration if you’re a remote seller that only sells digital products to other companies and/or professionals.

If you sell digital products across Europe and were previously registered with the EU VAT MOSS scheme in the UK, you will need to register with the non-union scheme. You’ll have to pick a new home country and can choose any of the 27 member states to serve as your base in the European Union.

Selling Physical Products to the UK

If you are selling physical goods to the UK after Brexit, you must register for UK VAT. Any product shipped into the UK is classed as an import and is subject to import VAT.

Before Brexit, foreign companies selling goods to private individuals (known as distance selling) had to apply for UK VAT registration once the distance selling threshold of £70,000 was reached. This threshold has now been abolished. Even if you only import one item to the UK, you must register for VAT.

  • The standard rate of VAT for goods worth less than £135 is 20% at the point of sale.
  • Packages worth more than £135 are subject to import VAT rules. This means paying the import and VAT duties on clearance and reclaiming them with your UK VAT number.
Selling Physical Products to the UK

Our Services

Whether you have a new company or have been in business for several years, we’ll help you meet your VAT responsibilities and navigate any complexities. Our services include:

VAT Registration

Ongoing VAT Compliance

Advice on VAT Planning

VAT Registration

Ongoing VAT Compliance

Advice on VAT Planning

VAT Control and Reconciliation

EORI Number

Advising on VAT inspections from HMRC

VAT Control and Reconciliation

EORI Number

Advising on VAT inspections from HMRC

How Long Does It Take to Register for UK VAT?

The VAT registration process for non-UK companies usually takes between three and six weeks, although it can be longer if your application is subject to additional HMRC checks.

We guarantee we will send your application as soon as we have received and checked all your documents.

VAT Registration Requirements: What We Need from You

For a successful VAT registration, HMRC requires detailed information about your business, where it trades, business activities, reasons for registering for VAT, turnover, bank details and your company’s VAT history.