Businesses usually have to register for VAT if any of the following apply:
There are penalties for failing to register on time.
Goods and services liable to VAT are known as 'taxable supplies'. Once registered a business must charge VAT on all taxable supplies.
Supplies which are specifically not subject to VAT are referred to as VAT exempt supplies. This includes insurance, financial services, postal services, health and education, although there are exceptions in every category.
An application to register for VAT is made using a VAT1 form. The application form and accompanying notes have recently been updated.