Key Information for UAE Business Owners About VAT

Applying VAT to most goods and services refers to a general consumption tax. There is still a lot more to know about what or how the VAT in the UAE is supposed to be. New businesses are encouraged to consult an expert who will give accurate VAT services in UAE.

This is the brief key information about the Value Added Tax here in the UAE, for the existing business owners and especially who want to start up a business in the United Arab Emirates

What is VAT?

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a general consumption of tax on goods and services levied at each stage of the supply chain where value is added. On January 1st, 2018, Value Added Tax (VAT) was imposed in the United Arab Emirates, with a VAT rate of 5% for most goods and services. Also, some goods and services are zero-rated or exempted. VAT may be varied in different countries. It is formed as an indirect tax as this is paid by the consumer, it is collected by the businesses and remitted to the government. Value Added Tax may differ in international trade such as imports and exports, organizations who are involved in this line of business should be aware of these rules.

VAT Registration in UAE

Business owners in the UAE are mandated for VAT registration in the UAE Federal Tax Authority if they meet or exceed the prescribed annual turnover. The process of this registration is completed online through the Federal Tax Authority portal of the United Arab Emirates.

Once the registration is done successfully, a VAT registration number will be issued. Typically, every quarter, the registered businesses must file their VAT returns regularly on time and accurately reporting to avoid fines.

For the new ones, there are lots of firms here in the UAE that are providing a VAT registration service. These firms will elaborate and will help to understand the process of the registration, they will also require documents needed to submit like your financial records, Identifications of the entities, and certificates. Once the registration is successful, a VAT registration number will be issued. Typically, every quarter, the registered businesses must file their VAT returns regularly on time and accurately reporting to avoid fines.

 VAT rates and categories

A standard rate of 5% is imposed for the VAT here in the United Arab Emirates. It is commonly applied to most goods, consumer goods, services, and other taxable supplies with some goods being zero-rated and exempted from VAT.

Classifying the supplies into correct VAT categories is essential to businesses operating in the UAE to ensure proper compliance with VAT regulations. As advised, always check with the UAE Federal Tax Authority or to any reliable and knowledgeable VAT consultants in UAE for the most detailed information if there’s any amendment on VAT rates and categories.

There are a lot of VAT exemptions given by the UAE, such as residential buildings, financial services, local passengers, and so on. To consider the services are exempted, there are specific conditions in the UAE VAT Act and regulations need to be fulfilled.

VAT invoices and record-keeping

In the UAE, businesses must comply with VAT regulations and issue invoices, in addition, the invoices are required to contain specific information such as registration of both parties (seller and consumer), an invoice number, and of course, the amount of VAT charged.

Tax authorities are conducting an audit in every business in the UAE therefore, it is a must to maintain accurate records of the VAT-related transactions including receipts and invoices. Rules and regulations in VAT are complex in the UAE because of its fast-changing new rules, every business in the UAE should seek advice from tax professionals, and experts or get a reliable VAT consultant in the UAE to optimize strategies and ensure compliance.

Business owners need to note all their financial transactions to ensure the up to date of your records. Not complying with their VAT obligations are subject to fines and penalties.

With this law of the United Arab Emirates with regards to the VAT, it is vitally important to collaborate with a firm providing a VAT service that would help the organization for its goals and future success.

Importance of VAT registration for your business

While the specifics can vary from one jurisdiction to another, VAT registration is a vital consideration in many countries. It is obligated the businesses to collect VAT from the consumers and remit it to the government with proper procedures and accuracy to avoid legal issues. It also enhances the credibility and professionalism of the businesses; it is a signal that your business is legal which can foster your brand.

In short, Failure to register on VAT may result in paying hefty fines, and worst will be legal consequences.


Businesses operating in the UAE with proper VAT registration and compliance are crucial as they allow for the recovery of input tax and ensure adherence to the country’s tax law. With the standard rate of 5% businesses with certain turnover thresholds are mandatory to register and services are subject to exempted or zero rates. To demonstrate compliance and facilitate tax reporting, it is essential to maintain accurate VAT invoices and records. Legal consequences, penalties, and losing the credibility of the business may be given to the entities that failed to register their business. Therefore, UAE business owners should prioritize VAT registration and file VAT returns to avoid potential pitfalls related to taxation.