Transfer of Going Concern

I am considering buying a business that is already trading and the current owner says he will have to charge me VAT on the sale, unless I am registered for VAT. Is this right?

1st October 2008

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

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