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Getting VAT for UK business while located in the US

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by theive, Sep 7, 2015.

  1. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    I have a business in the UK I'm looking to get a VAT for. I'm not sure if this is possible to do as I'm located in the US.

    Does anyone know if this is possible, even better if you'd be able to guide me through everything.
     
  2. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    It's a 2 min process to become VAT registered on the HMRC website.

    The pure fact you have had to ask this question says to me you are just not smart enough to understand the responsibilities of being VAT registered.

    I would speak to an accountant and make sure you know what you are getting yourself into as there are very important steps you need to take to avoid trouble.
     
  3. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    Instead of just insulting me, you could answer the question. I realize getting a VAT is super easy to do, but does it matter if I'm physically located in the U.S., but my business only sells to those in the UK and ships to/from the UK?

    I've spoke to people in the U.S. before that have no idea about the legalities for the U.K., which is why I'm asking this forum for help to get pointed in the right direction. But I appreciate your incredibly useful reply.
     
  4. davids355

    davids355 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Has the business got a registered address in the UK? If so I can't see why it couldn't be VAT registered.

    might be worth a post here maybe:
    http://www.ukbusinessforums.co.uk
     
  5. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    It doesn't have a registered address in the UK. Any idea if this is something I could do with a P.O. box or virtual location?

     
  6. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    The fact you do not know that says it all.

    If its a registered UK business it is its own legal entity, it does not matter where you are based... London, Brazil, Panama, the fucking moon....

    You can register for VAT.

    Can I ask also, before you asked on the forum, what exactly did you do?

    Did you go on the HMRC website, where they have published all this information for you for example?

    Again, I advise you speak to an accountant.
     
  7. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    It's not a registered UK business at the moment. Okay, I'll speak to an accountant. What type of accountant would one look for in this situation?

    Edit: All of the legalities with owning a business are new to me. I understand both SEO and online marketing, and thought owning a small business would be a fun project. Just because I don't know anything about business, as of yet, doesn't necessarily mean I'm 'dumb.' I can rank websites in Google, I understand how to get the best bang for your buck with PPC ads, I can create websites, but I have yet to learn everything I need to about business. Feel free to belittle me as much as you'd like, I'm new to this area of expertise and every business owner was new to this at one point as well. I'm having a difficult time figuring out everything I need to do in order to get my feet on the ground in regards to this, and even business owners I've talked to seem to not be able to help much in the current position I'm in.

    Anyways, call me a moron, but hope your site is never in the same niche as me, as I will take it over in terms of SEO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  8. cataratas

    cataratas Junior Member

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    I'm a UK accountant but VAT isn't my area. If you find the HMRC page titled "VAT: what to do if you?re an overseas business selling goods in the UK" you get some good basics. Some business HAVE to register and some choose to because it is advantageous. Are you thinking of registering because you want to or because you think you might have to? Note what it says about the definition of "distance selling" under the law as well- something I didn't know about at all.

    By the way, the forum mentioned by someone above is a decent forum, though I have no idea if you will find the right help there for this matter.
     
  9. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    How on earth are you an accountant then?

    OP, if the business is not registered yet, have you considered registering it in whatever country you're currently in.

    Please do not view a business as a small project, get it wrong and you are bankrupt and without decent knowledge of the process you're going to get it wrong.

    If you view my posts as insults its because I am trying to protect you from fucking up.
     
  10. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    I appreciate your reply. I'm not sure whether or not I HAVE to register for a VAT, but I do know it'd be an advantage as I can greatly reduce the costs on the products I'm purchasing and then selling by having one.

    Distance selling seems to be about just countries in the EU area, and the U.S. is not part of this. I read it and found it interesting, I'm thinking as the sales of the site are so low right now, I'm not required to have a VAT.

     
  11. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    I'm going to be registering the business in the U.S. this Wednesday.

    I appreciate your concerns, I'm just a bit overwhelmed at the moment. I have a talent, which is SEO/online marketing, and figured I could benefit a lot more by having my own business(es) instead of working for someone who has one. I plan on registering it as a LLC, in order to protect my other assets.

    Can you recommend a book, or somewhere I can start reading more about what I need to learn to protect myself/my business(es)?

     
  12. longrun

    longrun Junior Member

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    Yes you can do it. First you need to form a Ltd company with a UK registered office. Since a Ltd company in the UK is a separate legal entity HMRC will allow the Ltd company to register for VAT as long as it is satisfied that the business is "OK". It is an easy thing to set up but you have to be an accountant with experience of how to do this kind of work to be able to accomplish the process. Hope that helps.
     
  13. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    For some reason, something being an "easy thing to do," yet requiring an accountant that has experience doing it doesn't make sense to me. Would this be something I could possibly achieve without an accountant?

     
  14. cataratas

    cataratas Junior Member

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    Be careful now because there's bad advice starting to creep in to the thread. You DO NOT have to be registere as a limited company. The benefits/disadvantages of that are entirely separate to whether you should or need to register for VAT. Don't be steered in the wrong direction by wrong advice here. Good luck and let us know how you go.
     
  15. cataratas

    cataratas Junior Member

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    To Not Ste Hughes- it's like with people thinking a lawyer can advise on every corner of the law. They can't. same with accountants. I have only ever worked in insolvency and corporate rescue and qualified there.
     
  16. BassTrackerBoats

    BassTrackerBoats Super Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP

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    This is exactly the reason it makes sense to spend a few dollars (£) to find out what is the correct thing to do. I've started a bunch of business in my day with all sorts of structures but have never felt that spending the money to get a professional to guide me was anything but a smart move.

    I also would never even venture a guess as to how to handle this although I did own an LTD based in London and live in the USA. I paid a guy to lead me so that all was on the up and up.

    Just spend the money on a professional, OP, you'll sleep better at night.
     
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  17. islandman1010

    islandman1010 Elite Member

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    What are you trying to achieve by registering for a VAT as you call it. Are you thinking that you can reclaim the VAT you are charged or something? Are you thinking about filing quarterly VAT returns on the UK and paying the VAT to the taxman? Also registering for a limited company in the UK is fairly straightforward, the rules and regulations on reporting profits, directors etc etc is a real pain without an accountant here. Also the costs of all of this is quite high (personal experience). Best thing is to post what you think you are trying to do then maybe you will get more useful answers.
     
  18. theive

    theive Registered Member

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    Okay. I have a company that resells items from a dropshipper located in the UK. I can pay the drop shipper a great deal less so long as I'm registered for a VAT. I figured by having a VAT number, I'd be able to increase my profits.

    But, as of now my business is maybe getting around £500 worth of sales every month and I'm profiting maybe £50. I want to keep doing this, as it's more just a fun project at the moment than anything else, but I'm not making enough to spend the money to talk to a specialist.

    Edit: I do think that down the line, I will be making more sales. I'm slowly creeping up from getting no organic searches, to an avg of about 30 a day (I know Ahrefs is terrible for this, I use Analytics, but Ahrefs shows the keywords I'm starting to grab). site.jpg I think by the end of this month, I can realistically be looking at ~50 relevant organic hit a day. So, it's steadily building, which is why I'm trying to figure some of this stuff out.

     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2015
  19. Not Ste Hughes

    Not Ste Hughes BANNED BANNED

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    I did my own VAT returns for over 3 years and the only 'accounting training' I had was a mornings lecture by some jumped up retard at a free event.

    VAT is not complicated.
     
  20. islandman1010

    islandman1010 Elite Member

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    If you registered for VAT then you will need to file VAT returns of your sales etc every 3 months and file them with the Inland Revenue here. The basic idea of the VAT or you could call it a sales tax is that the government makes money. If you are always claiming the VAT back and not paying them then they will call a halt to this anyway. From what you are saying is the turnover then I really doubt it will be worth you getting a VAT number. You might pay the dropshipper less by having a VAT number but you will have to charge VAT on your sales which you will give to the UK government.