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Place of registration of the payer - important information for tax purposes

How to apply for vat registration in UAE

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The introduction of Value-Added Tax (VAT) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) signaled a pivotal change to the country’s economic fabric. Since January 1, 2018, the implementation of VAT, or in short ‘VAT what is it?’ – it’s an indirect tax on the consumption of goods and services, has caused businesses to reassess their tax obligations. Figuring out how to register for vat in uae for new company is a crucial step that involves understanding the registration process, checking your business’s eligibility, and correctly completing the application through the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Whether you’re a seasoned enterprise or considering VAT registration for a new company in UAE, understanding the nuances of VAT registration is essential for compliance and successful business operations in the UAE.

Introduction to VAT in the UAE

Understanding VAT

VAT is a critical component of the UAE’s tax framework, impacting the costs of goods and services and businesses’ financial responsibilities. The UAE introduced VAT at a standard rate of 5%, requiring a comprehensive understanding of ‘VAT what is it?’ for businesses. Clarity on VAT is foundational to ensuring compliant and smooth business operations.

Benefits of VAT Registration

The benefits of VAT registration are significant, especially for a new business. Understanding how to register for VAT in UAE for a new company allows startups to reclaim VAT, thus improving the company’s cash flow and establishing credibility with partners and customers who value adherence to tax laws.

Registration as a VAT payer - step-by-step guide to becoming a registered VAT entity

Eligibility Criteria for VAT Registration

  1. Mandatory Registration Threshold:
  2. Voluntary Registration Threshold:

Exempt Supplies and Exceptions

Some products and services are exempt from VAT. Firms providing these supplies might not need to register for VAT, and it is critical to determine if their operations qualify as exempt under VAT legislation.

The VAT Registration Process

Preparing to Apply

A successful VAT registration process begins with comprehensive preparation, informed understanding of the requirements, and compilation of essential data. This diligence ensures an efficient and trouble-free application experience.

Required Documents

The documents required for VAT registration in UAE are an important part of the application process, and assembling these documents in advance helps ensure a seamless registration process.

  • Trade license copy
  • Passport copies of the owner or partners
  • Copies of the owner’s Emirates ID (if applicable)
  • Company’s memorandum article or articles of association
  • Bank account details
  • An income statement for the last 12 months
  • If applicable, the Customs Authority Registration for trading firms

Necessary Business Information

Businesses must also be ready to provide detailed company information, which has to be accurate and up-to-date.

  • The legal and trade names of the business
  • Physical address and contact information
  • Detailed description of business activities
  • Detailed financial records demonstrating turnover for the last year

Navigating the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) Website

The next step in how to register for VAT in UAE for a new company involves visiting the FTA website. It is user-friendly and encompasses all resources needed for an informed application process.

Step-by-Step Guide to Completing the Application

  1. Start by creating an account on the FTA’s online portal.
  2. Log into your FTA account and initiate the VAT registration process.
  3. Carefully complete the application form with the required details, making sure all information matches the documents provided. Pay particular attention to providing accurate details in every section of the online form.
Section of the Application FormDetails to Provide
Business DetailsLegal structure, trade license number
Contact DetailsAddress, phone, email
Banking DetailsAccount number, bank name
Business RelationshipsSubsidiaries, branches
DeclarationApplicant details, declaration of accuracy

Continuing with the VAT registration journey, the subsequent section of the article will walk through what happens after submitting your application and the best practices for maintaining VAT compliance, especially for newcomers eager to understand VAT registration for a new company in UAE. It’s crucial to remain patient while the application is being processed and to prepare for the responsibilities that come with VAT registration, including record-keeping and timely VAT returns submission.

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After Submission: What to Expect

After you submit your application for VAT registration in the UAE, it’s important to be prepared for the next steps of the process. Patience is key here, as the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) may take some time to review and process your application.

Processing Times and Communication

After submission, you should expect a response from the FTA within 20 business days. However, this timeline can be extended during periods of high demand or if additional information is required to process your application. Keep an eye on your email and the FTA portal for updates or requests for further documentation.

Receiving your VAT Registration Number

Once your application is processed and approved, you will receive your VAT registration number (TRN). This number is significant as it legally recognizes your business as a taxable entity in the UAE. With the TRN, you can now issue VAT invoices and claim input tax credits.

Next Steps Post-Registration

  1. Update your business systems to ensure they are capable of recording VAT transactions accurately.
  2. Communicate your TRN to your customers and suppliers, as it should be prominently displayed on all tax invoices and related documents.

Best Practices for Maintaining VAT Compliance

To ensure adherence to VAT laws and regulations in the UAE, implementing best practices is essential for every VAT-registered business. VAT compliance is not merely about on-time filings; it’s also about accurate computations and proper record-keeping.

Record Keeping and Invoicing

Ensure all financial transactions are accurately recorded in compliance with VAT regulations. A thorough record-keeping practice should include:

  • Invoices issued and received
  • Import and export records
  • Accounting books and ledgers
  • Credit notes and debit notes
  • All other relevant documents concerning business transactions

Filing VAT Returns

Filing VAT returns is a periodic activity that typically occurs quarterly. Be mindful of the deadlines stipulated by the FTA to avoid late submission penalties. Consider the following when filing your VAT returns:

  1. Accurately report your sales and purchases, and calculate the VAT owed or reclaimable.
  2. Maintain a diligent approach throughout the year to avoid rushing during filing periods.

Paying Due VAT

Being prompt with your VAT payments is just as critical as timely submissions of VAT returns. You can make VAT payments electronically through the FTA portal, using various payment methods such as e-Dirham, credit cards, or direct bank transfers.

State duty payment for registration of transport payer status

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Successfully navigating the VAT registration process in the UAE establishes a solid foundation for legal and financial business conduct. From understanding the need for VAT to preparing and submitting your application, every step contributes to the smooth operation and sustainability of your business. As you adjust and adapt to the VAT system, remain vigilant with your compliance practices, and don’t hesitate to consult tax professionals for help with complexities that may arise.


  • How long does it take to receive my VAT registration number after applying? After submitting your VAT registration application, you should typically receive your TRN within 20 business days. However, this period can vary if the FTA requires additional information or during times of high demand.
  • What are the penalties for late VAT registration in the UAE? Late registration can result in a fine of AED 20,000. It is critical to apply on time if your business meets the mandatory registration threshold or if you opt for voluntary registration.
  • Can I de-register for VAT if my turnover falls below the voluntary registration threshold? Yes, a business can apply for VAT de-registration if its taxable turnover falls below the voluntary registration threshold or if it stops making taxable supplies.
  • Are there any exemptions to VAT registration? Yes, certain goods and services such as bare land and local passenger transport are exempt from VAT, and businesses dealing solely in these may not be required to register for VAT.
  • Do I need to charge VAT for international transactions? The VAT treatment of international transactions can be complex. Generally, exports of goods and services outside the GCC are zero-rated. However, you need to maintain proper documentation and meet certain conditions to apply the zero rate.

Maintaining a vigilant approach to VAT compliance is an ongoing responsibility that businesses should integrate into their operational protocols. Regularly updating yourself with the latest VAT guidance from the FTA and seeking advice from tax professionals can help you stay compliant and avoid penalties. With a bit of effort and diligence, VAT registration can become a routine part of doing business in the UAE.