A business that does not have a business or fixed establishment in the UK is known as a non-established taxable person (NETP). It is required to register for VAT if it trades or intends to trade in the UK.

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to non-established taxable persons.

A Non-Established Taxable Person (NETP) is any person who is not normally resident in the UK, does not have a UK establishment and, in the case of a company, is not incorporated in the UK.

A UK establishment exists if either the:

  • Place where essential management decisions are made and the business’s central administration is carried out is in the UK.
  • Business has a permanent physical presence with the human and technical resources to make or receive taxable supplies in the UK.

HMRC normally consider a company which is incorporated in the UK to have an establishment in the UK as long as is it also able to make or receive business supplies at its registered business address. A registered, serviced or virtual office alone is not enough to create a business establishment.

A NETP must register for VAT as soon as it makes its first taxable supply in the UK, or when it expects to make taxable supplies here within the next 30 days, whatever happens first.


Supershiny-makeup Inc has service office address in London, the business is based in China, it intends to sells beauty therapy products online to UK customers. It has no staff in the UK, it can only accept correspondence at its service office, all its business is conducted from China. It must register for VAT in the UK as soon at it intends to trade here.

Jean has a catering business in France and he travels over to the French markets in Kent each month where he sells hot tartiflette and croque monsieur to take-away. As his supplies are standard rated he will be required to register for VAT for his next visit to the UK and charge it on his catering supplies in the UK.

Distance selling: post Brexit

There are special rules for distance selling is when a taxable person based in Northern Ireland or an EU member state supplies and delivers goods to a customer in Northern Ireland or an EU member state and the customer is not registered for VAT or liable to be registered for VAT.

VAT and Furnished Holiday letting landlords

  • Foreign landlords will have to register for VAT unless they are letting via an agent in the UK, see Furnished Holiday Letting (FHL).
  • There is no requirement to register for VAT for property which does not qualify for FHL status.

Further information: See HMRC Notice 700/1