how to register for vat in uae for new company (2)

Comprehensive Guide to VAT in the UAE

Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on January 1, 2018, as part of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) agreement to diversify revenue sources and reduce dependency on oil. VAT is a consumption tax levied on goods and services at each stage of production and distribution. It is ultimately borne by the end consumer and collected by businesses on behalf of the government.


The Significance of VAT Registration

VAT registration is a legal requirement for businesses in the UAE that meet specific criteria. Beyond compliance, VAT registration allows businesses to:

Claim input tax credits on VAT paid on business expenses, reducing overall costs.

Enhance transparency and credibility in the market by demonstrating adherence to tax regulations.

Avoid the penalties and legal consequences associated with non-compliance.


Who needs to register for VAT in the UAE?

Understanding the criteria for mandatory VAT registration is essential:

Mandatory Registration: Businesses with taxable turnover exceeding AED 375,000 per year must register for VAT.

Voluntary Registration: Businesses with turnover below the threshold can opt for voluntary registration to reclaim VAT on expenses or to improve business credibility.


VAT Exemption and Special Cases in the UAE

Certain goods and services are exempt from VAT in the UAE to alleviate the tax burden on essential items and services:

Exempt Supplies: Healthcare, education, local transport, residential property leases, and certain financial services are exempt from VAT.

Designated Zones: Special economic zones designated by the UAE government may have specific VAT treatments or exemptions.

Zero-Rated Supplies: Some supplies, such as exports of goods and international services, are subject to VAT at 0%, allowing businesses to claim input tax credits.


Understanding VAT Penalties in the UAE

Compliance with VAT regulations is critical to avoid penalties:

Late Registration: A penalty of AED 20,000 is imposed for late VAT registration.

Late Submission: Failure to submit VAT returns on time results in penalties ranging from AED 1,000 to AED 50,000, depending on the delay.

Non-Submission: Persistent non-submission of VAT returns can lead to suspension of VAT registration and further legal actions.


How to Register for VAT in the UAE as a New Company

Registering for VAT in the UAE involves several steps:

Create an e-Services Account: Visit the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) website and create an e-Services account.

Fill Out the Registration Form: Provide detailed information about your company, business activities, turnover, and upload required documents.

Submit the Application: Review all information for accuracy and submit the VAT registration form electronically through the FTA portal.

Receive VAT Certificate: Upon approval, receive your VAT registration certificate electronically, confirming your registration and providing your VAT registration number.


Documents Required for VAT Registration in the UAE

To complete VAT registration, prepare the following documents:

Trade License: Copy of the company’s trade license issued by the relevant UAE authority.

Identification Documents: Passport copies and Emirates ID of all business partners, shareholders, and directors.

Financial Statements: Recent financial statements detailing turnover and projected revenues for the next 30 days.


Maintaining Compliance Post-Registration

After VAT registration, ensure ongoing compliance with VAT regulations:

Issuing VAT Invoices: Issue compliant VAT invoices for all taxable supplies made to customers.

Record-Keeping: Maintain accurate records of all transactions, invoices, and VAT-related documents for at least 5 years.

Filing VAT Returns: Submit VAT returns on time, typically on a quarterly basis, and pay any VAT liabilities promptly to the FTA.

Regular Audits: Prepare for potential VAT audits by ensuring all records are up-to-date and accurate.



Navigating VAT registration and compliance in the UAE is crucial for new companies to establish a strong foundation in the market. By understanding the requirements, completing registration accurately, and maintaining compliance post-registration, businesses can operate efficiently and avoid penalties. For further guidance, consult with tax advisors or utilize resources available on the FTA website to stay updated on VAT regulations and obligations. Compliance with VAT ensures transparency, enhances business reputation, and supports sustainable growth in the UAE’s evolving economic landscape.