If the business you are considering buying is VAT registered, then this is correct under special Transfer of a Going Concern (TOGC) VAT legislation.
You would probably be well advised to register for VAT, as you will not have to then fund the additional VAT on the purchase of the business. However when you register for VAT, you will have the option to continue trading with the sellers VAT number.
We usually recommend that you do not do this, as if there are any problems with unpaid VAT or other issues with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) relating to the previous owner, you could well be held responsible for them.
By Jo Nockels
Disclaimer: Advice shared in this blog is intended to inform rather than advise. Taxpayer's circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this forum, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.