VAT Registration UAE

UAE VAT Registration in 2021 – A Step-by-Step Guide 

Value Added Tax (VAT) was introduced in the UAE on January 1st, 2018, marking a significant shift in the country's taxation landscape. For business owners, compliance with VAT regulations is essential to ensure smooth operations and avoid penalties. This guide provides a step-by-step overview of VAT registration, filing requirements, VAT liability, and essential documents needed for compliance.

What is VAT?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is an indirect tax applied to the exchange of goods and services at each stage of the supply chain. In the UAE, VAT is set at 5%, with certain essential goods and services like food, education, and healthcare being exempt from VAT.

VAT Registration in the UAE:

VAT registration in the UAE is mandatory for businesses meeting certain turnover thresholds. There are three categories:

Mandatory Registration: Turnover exceeding Dh375,000.

VAT Return Filing:

Registered businesses are required to submit VAT returns to the Federal Tax Authority (FTA). Returns summarize the VAT collected and paid during a specific period. Filing can be done online monthly or quarterly, depending on turnover thresholds.

VAT Liability:

VAT liability is the difference between output tax (VAT collected) and input tax (VAT paid on purchases). Businesses must pay any excess output tax to the FTA. Conversely, if the input tax exceeds the output tax, businesses can reclaim the difference or carry it forward.

Documents Required for VAT Registration:

Several documents are necessary for VAT registration in the UAE, including:

VAT Registration Process:

To initiate VAT registration, businesses must:

VAT Rates in UAE:

The standard VAT rate in the UAE is 5%, applicable to most goods and services. Certain items may qualify for zero-rated VAT, meaning VAT is charged at 0%, while others are exempt from VAT altogether.


Navigating VAT regulations in the UAE is crucial for business owners to maintain compliance and avoid penalties. By understanding the registration process, filing requirements, VAT liability, and necessary documentation, businesses can ensure seamless operations within the UAE's taxation framework. Stay informed and proactive to meet VAT obligations effectively.