Just a quick check of my understanding.
Client is the director of a newly-formed consultancy company which has not yet started trading and not yet registered for VAT. It will be beneficial for the company to join the flat rate scheme.
All pre-VAT-registration expenses for business purposes (e.g. ipad, printer, marketing etc) can have the VAT reclaimed on the first VAT return even if the company opts to join the flat rate scheme from the date of registration.
(The HMRC guidance reads "You reclaim VAT on goods bought before registration by including their value in box 4 of your first VAT Return. Note that you can do this even if you are on the Flat Rate Scheme" so I am confident that this is correct.)
Once the company has joined the flat rate scheme however, it will no longer be able to reclaim the VAT on any inputs to the business apart from capital items with a VAT-inclusive value of >£2,000.
Bearing in mind the above, I plan to suggest to the client that they buy things such as printer, ipad etc (which won't come to more than £2,000) prior to the date of VAT registration, to ensure that the VAT can be reclaimed.
Just checking I have not missed anything obvious!