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I don't have a company yet, but without being a registered VAT company, can I invoice a company outside the UK?

Some countries ask for the VAT number every time.

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They can ask, but if you do not have one then you do not have one. It is not mandatory for a company to be VAT registered if you are a small company. I think the limit is about 80k a year before you can be registered for VAT.

So yes, you can invoice all over the world without a VAT number.

If you were registered for VAT you would have to charge 20% VAT, and although you can then claim back any VAT you paid on invoices yourself, in the end it is money that you are collecting for the government. Avoid it for as long as you can.

  • VAT-ID number is important for trade within the EU, but not for the rest of the world. Some EU countries do not have the "small business" exemption and customers from there may insist that you have to produce a VAT-IT. (Here in Germany, you can always ask for VAT number and VAT-ID, even if you are small business - but then you have to do the full VAT declaration burocracy.) – cbeleites supports Monica Aug 28 '16 at 18:39

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