Applying for VAT registration involves two simple steps. In the first step, you need to create an e-Services account. In the next and last step, you login to your new e-Service Account and complete the VAT registration process.
1. Creation of e-Service Account
2. VAT Registration Process
Here’s a step by step guide to help the new taxpayers with successful completion of the VAT registration process:
Table of Contents
- Creation of e-Service Account
- VAT Registration Process
- Other Important Points in This Section
- Details of the Applicant
- Important Points to be Noted
- Identification of the Applicant
- Steps for filling details in the above section:
- Contact Details
- Banking details
- Important Points
- Business Relationships
- About the VAT registration
- Business activities of the Applicant:
- Actual or estimated financial transaction values:
- Imports and Exports:
- GCC activities
- Customs registration information:
- Exception from VAT Registration:
- Review And Submit
Creation of e-Service Account
An FTA approved e-Service account is the prerequisite for online VAT registration. FTA authorized e-Service account are as easy to set up as other online accounts like Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook. For opening an e-Service account visit ‘https://eservices.tax.gov.ae’ and follow the steps below:
- Click on Sign up and carefully fill in the details such as e-mail Id, password, security code and security question in the form on your device’s screen.
- After completing and submitting the form, an automatic email will be sent to your registered email id.
- Log in to your account with your credentials (User Name and password)
VAT Registration Process
The VAt registration process starts once you login to yours.The step by step details on how to complete the VAT registration process in UAE is as follows:
1. Login to your e-Service Account
After successfully logging in to your e-Service account, point your mouse on the Register for VAT ‘ option on your screen. We share a screenshot below which is exactly like the one you will have on your screen when you login to your e-Service Account.
Click on the ‘Register for VAT’ option visible on the left part of the webpage on your dashboard to start the VAT registration process.
2. VAT Getting Started Guide
On clicking the ‘Register for VAT’ button, you will be directed to the ‘Getting Started Guide’. The screenshot for the same has been shared below.
This is the important guide which covers the minutest of details for the VAT registration process. Go through the different sections of the guide. After you have read all the details, you need to tick the checkbox with the label ‘Click here to confirm you have read the getting started guide’.
Next, you need to click on the ‘Proceed’ button at the bottom left side of your screen.
Once you click on the ‘Proceed’ button, you will be directed to the VAT registration online form as shown below.
As seen above, the online VAT registration form comprises of 8 sections. You must furnish all the details under each section to complete your VAT registration process. Each section will have mandatory fields denoted by a red asterisk (*). It is compulsory to fill these fields to move to next section. The portal will allow you to move to next sections only when details are captured in all the mandatory fields.
There are different color indicators to track the progress of your VAT registration.
A section highlighted in Brown denotes the current section, the details of which are being currently filled by you. In case you miss out on any one or more of the mandatory fields, the portal is designed to alert you with a message indicating the relevant fields in which details must be captured.
A Green tick on the top of the section box denotes that you have completely filled the required for that particular section.
A Brown forward arrow points towards the next-in-line section whose details are yet to be filled.
To ensure that zero errors, we now discuss in depth about the mandatory details which have to be filled by the registrant during VAT registration:
About the applicant
- Details of the applicant
- Contact details
- Banking details
- Business relationships
- About the VAT registration
- Review & submit
The ‘About the Applicant’ section as the name suggests is for gathering Applicant information. The details required to be filled by the Applicant are as follows:
On what basis are you applying for registration: As seen in the screenshot below, on clicking on the drop-down list, a list of options will appear. Chose the option which best describes the basis of your application and your business:
A natural person is an individual operating in their personal capacity (i.e. they are not incorporated as a company). The definition covers individuals, individuals operating in the partnership where the partnership itself does not have a specific legal form (e.g. LLP’s) and similar businesses.
A legal person is an entity with legal personality formed under the relevant laws that are capable of entering into contracts in its own name. For VAT registration purposes, the definition can include companies and other incorporated corporate entities such as partnerships with legal form (e.g. LLP’s), clubs, charities or associations, Federal UAE Government entities, Emirate UAE Government entities, foreign government representations (e.g. diplomatic missions) and international organisations and other entities with similar characteristics.
Other Important Points in This Section
Branches are not legally distinct from the wider entity to which they belong. Registration must be made in the name of a parent and not in the name of a branch. A person carrying out business operations across more than one emirates requires having only one VAT registration.
Do you hold a Trade License in the UAE?: Trade licenses in UAE are synonymous with a business license, commercial license, professional license or any other similar license. In simple terms, any license issued by an authorized issuing body in the UAE, including those in a UAE Free Zone is a trade license.
Select ‘”Yes” to this question and complete the additional information requested if If you hold one or more Trade Licenses. Else please select “No” (this includes instances where a non-established business is required to register in the UAE).
Are you registering mandatorily or voluntarily?: Select whether you are mandatorily required to register or is it a voluntary registration. Voluntary Registration facilitates VAT registration for individuals whose yearly supplies are greater than the voluntary registration threshold but less than the mandatory registration threshold. The voluntary threshold is AED 187,500.
Are you also applying to create or join a Tax group?: Associates can form a tax group comprising of two or more legal persons (each of which must be resident in the UAE) if they meet certain specific control criteria as prescribed by law. Select ‘YES’ if you wish to create or join a Tax group. Else, select ‘No’ and proceed.
Once you have provided all the details in ‘About the Applicant’ section, click ‘Save and continue’ to proceed to the next section. In case you want to recheck later or fill some information after cross-checking, you must click on the “save as draft’ button. This will save a copy of the details filled by you which will include even those files which have been left blank.
Details of the Applicant
In this section the Applicant has to furnish the below details:
1. Name of the Applicant
2. Identification of the Applicant
3. Details of the Manager of the business (CEO or equivalent)
Name of the Applicant: The Applicant needs to provide the legal name of entity both in English as well as in Arabic as seen in the screenshot below. A natural person needs to provide his/her full name. A Legal Person, on the other hand, needs to provide the registered name of the Company he/she owns. Legal Names are listed in a person’s UAE Trade License if the person happens to own one.
In case the Trade Name and Legal Name of the entity are not same, the person must furnish the details of the trade name. A trade name other than the legal name is used by a person to conduct business. For example, a trade name may be the ‘Operating Name’ of the business.
Important Points to be Noted
- You must note that The legal name along with the trade name provided by you in this section will appear on your registration certificate. Hence, pay utmost attention while filling details about your legal entity name and trade name.
- Arabic Translator Services are not provided. Hence, make sure to arrange for an assistance of a recognized translator in case you need one while filling details of legal entity name and in Arabic and trade name in Arabic.
Identification of the Applicant
In this part of the section, the Applicant must provide the details of all the trade licenses which are registered under the legal entity name as shown in the screenshot below.
Steps to fill the details of trade license in VAT Registration Form
A. In the drop-down list labeled as ‘Select the name of the authority that issued the Trade License’, select the authority who had issued the trade license from the list of UAE Trade Licensing authorities provided as a drop-down list on the form.
B. In the text field with the label as Trade License number fill the number mentioned on your Trade License. Trade License number is also known as a registered number.
C. In the field labeled as ‘Select Trade License expiry date’, select the expiry date of your trade license by clicking on the calendar image button at the right end of the empty text box.
D. Applicants are required to ‘Upload scanned copy of Trade License’ as evidence which will be later verified by the FTA. The accepted file formats are PDF, JPG, PNG and JPEG and the maximum file size cannot be more than 2MB.
E. Applicant must Verify all the details furnished by him/her at least once before clicking “Save Trade License’ button.
F. On saving the details of Trade License, the Applicant will be asked to furnish the owner’s details as shown below:
To add the owner’s details, click on “Add Owner Details‘ and fill the information as can be seen in the screenshot below :
Applicants must ensure that they back the information regarding each and every owner with a scanned copy of trade license. The scanned documents will be used by FTA for evidence verification purpose. If case Applicant’s Trade License(s) do not include information of all the owners, he/she must submit additional supporting documents by providing the details as requested.
G. If applicable the Applicant must furnish details of Certificate of Incorporation. A Certificate of Incorporation is a legal document that grants an individual the license to form a corporation issued by a government or, in some jurisdictions, non-governmental entities. It is the information about an entity which has been incorporated.
The Applicant must select ‘YES’ under the field labeled as ‘DO you have a certificate of Incorporation’ and upload the scanned copy of the certificate for FTA Verification.
H. The option ‘Upload other relevant documents’ are applicable only in that case when the Applicant has not uploaded the scanned copy of Trade License or Certificate of Registration. This option is for those businesses who neither have a UAE Trade License nor a Certificate of Incorporation. In such a case, business owners need to upload other relevant documents that include:
- Articles of Association
- Partnership Agreement
- Any other Similar documents which show ownership information about the business
- Club, charity or association registration documents and supporting evidence (applicable if you selected “Legal person – Club, Charity or Association”)
- A copy of the Decree (applicable if you selected “Legal person – Federal UAE Government Entity” or “Legal person – Emirate UAE Government Entity”)
- Other relevant documents such as documents providing information about your organization, including its activities and size (applicable if you selected “Legal person – Other”)
- scanned copies of the Emirates ID of the owner or the passport of the owner (applicable if the applicant selects “Natural person Other”)
Points to be noted for furnishing the details in above section
- Applicants holding more than one Trade License under the legal entity name must add all the instances of theirs.
- In order to add details of more than one trade license, Applicants must add and save each trade license one at a time.
- Applicants must ensure that all relevant documents as applicable are uploaded for FTA verification.
Relevant Documents to be Uploaded
- Applicants holding more than one Trade License must upload all the instances of trade license.
- Details of the Manager of the business (CEO or equivalent)
- As can be seen in the screenshot below, the Applicant must provide the details of manager or CEO or any other person with equivalent authority and is in charge of the business.
Steps for filling details in the above section:
- In the text field labeled ‘Name of Manager’, mention the name of the manager of the business as indicated in the Trade License. In case of no listed manager in the Trade License, the Applicant must include details of the CEO or person with equivalent authority in charge of the organization. The details have to be filled in both English as well as Arabic.
- Applicants must select the nationality of the manager by clicking on the drop-down list labeled as ‘Nationality as shown on Passport’ as per the passport.
- Applicants then must mention the passport number, passport expiry date and upload the scanned copy of the passport of the manager.
- Select Yes or No depending on the fact whether the manager is a UAE National or not. If ‘Yes’, then Applicant must furnish details of the Manager’s Emirate ID number, the expiry date of Emirate ID and upload the scanned copy of Emirates ID as shown in the screenshot below:
- Once the Applicant has completely filled the Details of the Applicant’ section., he/ she must then click ‘Save and Continue’ button to proceed to the next section.
In the contact details section, applicants need to provide business contact details such as address and contact number as shown in the screenshot below:
Most of the points in the screenshot are self-explanatory. However, the applicant must pay heed to the following points before furnishing the business contact details:
Strictly refrain from furnishing details of third person’s address, for example, applicant’s accountant.
In case of multiple addresses, the applicant must provide address details of the place that witnesses almost all of the day-to-day activities of the business.
Foreign Businesses applying for VAT registration in the UAE need to hire the services of a tax agent in the UAE. In such cases, applicants must mention the contact details of the respective tax agent.
In this section, applicants need to furnish the details of their Bank Account which include details like IBAN (Account Number), BIC (Bank Identifier Code) name of the bank, bank branch name, account holders name, etc. The details in the screenshot below need to be furnished:
- Applicant’s Bank Account must belong to one of the established banks in UAE.
- The account holder’s name must match with the legal name of the entity you are registering with the FTA.
- Crosscheck that details like IBAN, BIC, Bank Name, and Account holder’s Name etc. have been entered accurately.
- If you are in the process of opening a bank account, make sure to furnish copies of any relevant correspondence between you and your potential bank.
- The online payment gateway is e-Dirham is selected by default during online form registration.
- Please ensure if your bank provides electronic payment facility.
The Business relationship section has to be filled if and only if the applicant has directors or partners, currently involved in (or in the past 5 years have been involved in) any other business resident in the UAE, either individually or as a director or partner in that business.
If not applicable Applicants must select ‘No’, and proceed to next section.
About the VAT registration
In this section, the Applicant needs to furnish details of their business activities, gross turnover, import and export details, etc. The section is further categorized into 6 sub-sections which are discussed below:
Business activities of the Applicant:
As per the screenshot is shown below, choose the correct option from the drop-down list that best describes your current or intended business activities.
In the adjacent field labeled as “Add any other activities (or proposed activities)”, Applicants must select the secondary business activities (other than main activity) or the proposed activities.
Actual or estimated financial transaction values:
In this subsection, the applicant needs to mention details of his/her business turnover as shown in the screenshot below:
In the field labeled as “Turnover for 12 Months(AED)”, the applicant must mention the value of turnover that must include details of zero-rated supplies, taxable supplies, deemed supplies and imported goods and services for 12 months. Applicants must remember that they need to report all the values in UAE Dirhams (AED) only.
In the adjacent field labeled as “Upload scanned copies of documentary proof”, the applicant must upload the document as an evidence to justify the claimed turnover value.
The documents accepted as an evidence for claimed turnover value include Audit reports, audited or unaudited financial statements, Self-prepared calculation sheets which may include details to calculate the taxable/zero-rated supplies based on financial records or Revenue forecasts.
In the field labeled as ‘Expected turnover in the next 30 days (AED)’, applicants must enter the projected turnover for next 30 days. The calculation of turnover is similar to the calculation of 12 months turnover.
For the question: ‘Do you expect the VAT on your expenses to regularly exceed the VAT in your taxable supplies?’ Applicant must select the ‘Yes’ Checkbox if tax paid on purchases by him/her is higher than the tax collected on sales.
Else, simply select ‘No’. The information shared by the applicant helps the government to understand whether the applicant will be in a position for VAT payment or VAT refund.
For the question labeled as ‘Do you also expect to make exempt supplies?’, Applicant must Select ‘Yes’ if making or planning to make exempt supplies.
Imports and Exports:
Applicants must also declare whether or not, they are engaged in imports and exports as per the screenshot below:
Applicants must Select ‘ Yes’, if they are either importing from or exporting to the GCC member countries i.e. from imports from or exports to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kingdom of Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, State of Qatar and the State of Kuwait.
Applicants who are registered for VAT in any GCC member states, as well as import from or export to GCC members states, need to fill this subsection. Applicants must provide details for the information sought by the government as per the screenshot below:
The details to be provided are self-explanatory. But the applicants must be careful while providing the following details:
Ensure that you do not include the value of any services unless they are directly related to moving goods (e.g. commission, and freight insurance etc.) while estimating the value of imports for 12 months.
Applicants must click on the “Add GCC Activities” button if they intend to import from and/or export to more than once GCC Member State.
Customs registration information:
For applicants who are registered with the Customs departments in the UAE should furnish details as per the procedure discussed below. In case the applicant is not registered, the applicant must select ‘No’ and proceed to the next section.
As per the above screenshot, the applicant must select the respective Emirates whose customs registration and customs number he/she holds. The respective emirate can be selected from the drop-down list labeled as “ Emirates in which you have a custom registration?*. The applicant must also upload the scanned copy of customs number issued by customs department for FTA verification.
This information will enable frictionless import and export of goods. The FTA and the relevant Customs department can easily and accurately identify the owner at the time of importing and exporting goods into or from the UAE. This will check any unwanted delays on the part of the authorities.
Exception from VAT Registration:
The new VAT law in the UAE exempts zero-rated supplies from VAT registration. In case the applicant is making only Zero-rated supplies, he/she must select the ‘Yes’ option under the question labeled as “Do you wish to apply for an exception from VAT Registration on the above”
- Applicants must remember that zero-rated supplies along with standard rated supplies are not exempted under the new VAT system. In case the applicants dealing zero-rated supplies, then he/she is required to complete the remaining information on the VAT registration application form. The following supplies are eligible for zero-rated supplies in UAE:
- Certain health care services
- Certain investment in precious metals
- Certain international transportation services
- First supply of certain buildings
- Crude oil and natural gas
- Certain educational services and
- Certain aircraft or vessels
In the second last section of the VAT registration process, the applicant must furnish authorized signatory details as well as preferred mode of communication and language. The section is very aptly divided further into two sub-section: A. Authorized Signatory and B. Communication Preference.
A. Authorized Signatory
In this subsection, the application must furnish details of the Authorized Signatory in individual text fields labeled as Job Title, Name, Passport details, Emirates ID, Contact details etc. as shown in the screenshot shared below:
Most details in the above screenshot are self-explanatory. However, the applicant must keep the following key points in mind while furnishing the mandatory details:
Only that person who is authorized to legally bind the entity can be The Authorized Signatory. In most cases, The Authorized Signatory is the director of a company. Whereas for a natural person, The Authorized Signatory is the individual itself.
Legal Persons can include a Power of Attorney or similar documents as evidence/proof of authorization.
B. Communication Preferences
In this subsection, the applicant must select the preferred mode of communication (email or Phone) and the language (English or Arabic) as shown in the screenshot shared below:
The above screenshot is self-explanatory. Applicant must make the preference choice from a drop-down list.
Next, the applicant must acknowledge and agree to the declarations available under ‘Checklist for Completion’.
As can be seen in the screenshot above, the applicant must tick the declarations by clicking on the checkboxes. The applicant then must click ‘Save and review’ button to move out of the current section and proceed towards the last section.
Review And Submit
This is the last section of the VAT Registration Process. Details furnished in previous sections are made available for the APPLICANTS REVIEW in this section. Applicants must verify the details and submit for FTA approval.
Applicant must, at last, Click on the “Submit for Approval’ button to complete his/her VAT registration process.