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VAT Registration of Sole Establishments in UAE

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Starting a small business on your own in the UAE? As a sole establishment, you need to register for VAT if your sales exceed the minimum threshold. This easy guide explains everything about VAT registration for sole establishments in the UAE.

What is a Sole Establishment?

A sole establishment is a business set up and owned by one person. It does not have a separate legal entity. The business and owner are considered one and the same.

Examples of sole establishments:

  • Freelance consultant
  • Home-based tutor
  • Self-employed electrician
  • Online retail store run by one owner

Sole establishments are popular among entrepreneurs who want to start small businesses on their own in the UAE.

VAT Registration Rules for Sole Establishments

As per UAE law, you must register your sole establishment for VAT if:

Your total sales are more than AED 375,000 in the past 12 months


You expect to cross this AED 375,000 threshold within the next 30 days
This is known as the mandatory VAT registration limit.

You can also opt to register voluntarily if your sales exceed AED 187,500 in the last 12 months.

Registering voluntarily allows you to charge VAT and recover input tax.

Step 1: Prepare the Required Documents

To register your sole establishment for VAT, keep these documents ready:

  • Emirates ID: The original and valid Emirates ID card of the business owner
  • License: The business license of the sole establishment
  • Bank account: A business account with a UAE bank
  • Activity details: Information about your business activities, revenue, expenses, etc.
  • Contact details: Email address and mobile number

Make sure all the details you provided are correct. Any errors can lead to rejection or delays.

Step 2: Pick a Unique TRN

Every VAT registered business gets a Tax Registration Number (TRN).

For sole establishments, the TRN is:

Your Emirates ID number + 0001
For example, if your Emirates ID is 784-1976-376589-1, your TRN will be

Step 3: Fill the VAT Registration Form

Go to the FTA website and start the VAT registration process. You will need to provide details like:

  • Business activity
  • Contact information
  • Owner’s details
  • Bank account details
  • Projected revenue

Take your time to fill the form correctly. The FTA will approve or reject your application based on the form. 

Step 4: Pay VAT Registration Fee

To pay the VAT registration fee of AED 4,000:

  • Check your email for payment instructions after submitting the registration form online.
  • Note the deadline for payment is 7 days from form submission. Make sure to pay on time.
  • For online payment, login to your e-Dirham account and select “Pay VAT Registration Fee. Enter the amount and make payment. You will receive an instant email receipt.
  • Alternatively, visit any of the accepted bank branches in person with your Emirates ID. Inform them you need to make the VAT registration fee payment.
  • The bank executive will guide you through the payment process which takes 5-10 minutes to complete.
  • Get a printed receipt from the bank as your proof of payment of AED 4,000.
  • Within 7 days, upload the scanned copy of the receipt on the FTA portal to confirm your successful fee submission.

Step 5: Get Your VAT Registration Certificate

The FTA will verify your application and documents. If everything is accurate, you will get your VAT registration certificate within 1-2 days.

This certificate will have your:

  • TRN
  • Effective VAT registration date

Step 6: Meet VAT Compliance Rules

As a VAT registered business, you must follow all VAT laws in the UAE:

Legal Compliance

  • Registering for VAT is a legal requirement under UAE law after crossing the mandatory VAT registration threshold.
  • It keeps your business compliant and helps avoid penalties of up to AED 20,000 for non-registration.  

Benefits of VAT Registration

Registering for VAT has many benefits:

Recovery of Input VAT

Business Credibility

Up-to-date Accounting

Increased Revenue

  • You can charge 5% VAT on top of your sales prices after registration.
  • This directly adds to your revenues. Customers are used to paying VAT.
  • Competitors who are not VAT registered cannot charge VAT.

Access to VAT Refunds

  • VAT registration opens the door to reclaim VAT on business expenses from the government.
  • The refund process allows you to recover input tax on a periodic basis.
  • Eligible VAT refunds improve cash flow and reduce costs.

Preparedness for Growth


VAT registration is essential for sole establishments once their taxable sales exceed AED 375,000. Follow this step-by-step VAT registration guide for smooth compliance. Consider hiring a tax consultant to assist with VAT obligations. With some care and planning, you can leverage VAT for better cash flows and profits.


How long does VAT registration take for a sole establishment?

It takes 1-2 days if all documents are accurate.

Can I register voluntarily?

Yes, you can opt for voluntary VAT registration if your sales exceed AED 187,500.

Do I need to show an office address?

No, sole establishments don’t need to provide an office address for VAT registration.

What are the penalties for non-registration?

You may have to pay a penalty of up to AED 20,000 for not registering when mandatory.

Can I recover VAT expenses before registration?

No, you can only recover input VAT after your VAT registration is approved.



Ms. Vibha Modi, CA, is supported by 13+ Years of Corporate Tax, International Taxation and Accounting Expertise.

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