David Franks
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vat registration for overseas director

vat registration for overseas director

I have a business colleague who lives in USA and owns several businesses there. He is now exporting to uk and has formed a uk registered ltd co. He will then be selling through that to people in the UK. When I called the vat helpline i got contradictory advice. I do not want to be jointly liable for his vat as an agent. I was told he would need a uk trading address. We are his reg office. His warehouse has an address but will not have any staff there working in the office. Can we use our address as that is where his paperwork is going.


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07th Aug 2012 11:00

Overseas Trader

An overseas trader who is required or entitled to be registered in the UK can normally choose between 3 registration options;

1 He may appoint a VAT representative who will be jointly liable for any VAT debts. The overseas trader must still complete a VAT registration form

2 He may appoint an agent to deal with his VAT affairs. The agent cannot be held responsible to HMRC for any VAT debts and HMRC reserve the right not to deal with the agent. The overseas trader must still complete a VAT registration form. In addition HMRC will require a letter of authority to appoint the agent.

3 The overseas trader may deal with all the VAT obligations personally (including registration, returns and record keeping). To register the overseas trader should contact Aberdeen VAT office - tel 01224 404807/818.

Obviously options 2 and 3 are the safer bets for you

Malcolm McFarlin



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08th Aug 2012 20:55


Hi, I have seen that legislation but I was told by HMRC that if he had a UK reg company and a UK trading address that it was ok to register in the usual way. He is genuinely running a UK company that is trading out of the UK to UK clients. The only issue is we wanted his VAT registration to be registered to our address as his trading address will just have warehouse operatives and no office staff. I have applied now so we will see what happens.

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