How to apply for VAT registration

A company selling goods or services in the conduct of business is usually liable to pay VAT and has to be entered in the VAT register. In some cases, for example if the company’s turnover is small, VAT registration is voluntary. In addition, some operations are exempt from VAT. A company conducting VAT-exempt operations cannot be entered in the VAT register. 

The VAT register is maintained by the Tax Administration. The register is a list of businesses that must pay VAT. 

You can register for VAT as soon as you start making purchases for the purposes of your VAT-liable operations.If you register voluntarily, you can do it at the same time as you start your business, or later. 

Registration takes approximately 3 weeks. See more detailed processing times.

If the company already has a Business ID, register in MyTax

You can register for VAT in MyTax.

Go to MyTax

MyTax instructions: How to request entry in the Tax Administration’s registers

Alternatively, you can register in the Business Information System (BIS) at ytj.fi. Select a notification of changes according to your company form (BIS).

How to register when you start up a business

You can start business operations and register for VAT. When you have established your business, you are issued a Business ID.

If you also enter your business in the trade register, remember to register the business name and line of business in the Business Information System by submitting a notification of changes (BIS Form Y6).

If you want, you can file the start-up notification on paper (BIS Form Y3) and simultaneously register for VAT.

Limited liability companies (and cooperatives) can register for VAT either electronically or on paper as they submit the start-up notification. File the start-up notification at ytj.fi.

General partnerships and limited partnerships can register for VAT by filing the start-up notification (BIS Form Y2) on paper. The start-up notification form is available at ytj.fi.

You can register for VAT as a primary producer, as a business operator or both. Primary production refers to operations such as agriculture, forestry, horticulture, fur farming and reindeer husbandry.

If you conduct other business operations in addition to primary production, register for VAT both as a business operator and as a primary producer.

A non-profit organisation must register for VAT if it conducts business operations that are taxable under the act on income tax (Tuloverolaki 1535/1992).

The organisation can register for VAT voluntarily even if it is not liable to pay VAT for its business operations.

Frequently asked questions

All companies that sell goods or services for more than €15,000 per accounting period (12 months) must be entered in the VAT register. Note: In 2020, the threshold was €10,000.

In addition, businesses whose turnover is less than €15,000 can request entry in the VAT register voluntarily. This may be beneficial, for example, if you buy a lot of goods or services subject to VAT for your company’s taxable business operations. When the company is VAT-registered, you can usually deduct the VAT included in the goods or services you buy.

There are also some exceptions to VAT liability: read more about how to register for VAT

When a company is in the VAT register

  • the company can deduct the VAT included in the purchases made for the company’s taxable business operations
  • the company adds VAT to the prices of the goods and services it sells
  • the company must report and pay VAT for every tax period. The VAT return must be filed even if the company has not had any activity during the period. The tax period is usually one month. In other words, VAT must be reported and paid on a monthly basis.

When a company is not in the VAT register

  • the company cannot deduct the VAT included in its purchases
  • the company does not add VAT to the prices of the goods and services it sells
  • the company does not file VAT returns or pay VAT.

When your business has been registered for VAT, do the following:

  • Always add VAT to the prices of the goods and services you sell.
  • When you issue an invoice to the buyer, include all the details required by the Value Added Tax Act. See detailed guidance on invoice requirements.
  • Deduct the VAT on the goods and services you have bought for your VAT-liable business operations from the VAT total on your sales.
  • If your turnover for the accounting period (12 months) is less than €30,000, you can request a VAT relief for small businesses.
  • File and pay VAT to the Tax Administration regularly according to your tax period (usually once a month).
    • Start filing VAT returns immediately as you register your company for VAT.
    • File a return for every tax period, even if you have not started your operations yet or have not had any sales during the period. Instructions for filing and payment.

When you estimate your company’s turnover, include the following items:

  • sales of goods and services subject to VAT
  • certain VAT-exempt sales of goods and services under the Value Added Tax Act, such as export sales and intra-Community supply.

Do not include the following:

  • proceeds from fixed assets sold by the company. In other words, do not include selling of any assets bought for business operations. For example, if an earth moving company sells one of its excavators, the proceeds are not included in the turnover because excavators are the company’s fixed assets.
  • certain sales of financial and insurance services in situations where the sales are related to other sales 
  • most sales not subject to VAT, such as social, health and medical services.

Calculate the turnover for an accounting period of 12 months. If the actual accounting period is shorter or longer than 12 months, the turnover must be adjusted to represent 12 months of business activity.

First make an estimate of your turnover for the accounting period, then multiply it by 12 and divide the result by the number of full months of business activity.

Example: The company’s first accounting period is 14 September 2021−31 December 2021. During the period, the company’s turnover is €4,200. Because the first accounting period is shorter than 12 months, the turnover must be adjusted to represent 12 months of business activity:

Turnover for the accounting period: €4,200

Full months of activity during the period: 3 (October, November and December – September is not a full month).

Adjusted turnover representing 12 months of activity: €4,200 × 12 months / 3 months = €16,800.

This means that your company’s adjusted turnover exceeds the €15,000 threshold for small-scale business. The company must be registered for VAT as from the first day of business activity (14 September 2021).

If the company has not been registered for VAT and its turnover exceeds €15,000 during the accounting period, you will have to pay VAT retroactively for the entire period. You may also have to pay late-payment charges.

Note: If the accounting period started before 2021, the threshold is €10,000.

If you notice that the turnover exceeds the €15,000 threshold during the accounting period:

  • Sign up for the VAT register immediately.
  • File VAT returns for the entire accounting period. 
  • Pay the VAT for the entire accounting period.

Read more about filing and paying VAT

When the Tax Administration enters a business in the VAT register retroactively, the start date of registration is usually the first day of the accounting period. Note that the first few VAT returns and payments for the accounting period may already be late if your company’s tax period is determined to be a month or a quarter but a longer period has already passed. You can take that into account when you register for VAT: if possible, select a longer tax period.

Example: The company started conducting business on 1 January 2021. Its turnover exceeds €15,000 on 1 May. The company registers for VAT, stating that its tax period is a quarter. The due date for the returns and payments for January–March is 12 May. The company files a VAT return for January–May and pays the VAT by the due date. It does not have to pay any late-payment charges.

If the company had selected a tax period of one month, the returns and payments for January and February would already have been late. The company would have had to pay late-payment charges for them.

You can check the company’s liability for VAT in the Business Information System (BIS). Go to the Business Information System.

The service shows you when the company’s registration became effective and what registers the company has been entered in.

Note: If you have started business operations, you will see your company’s details in the service after the Tax Administration has processed your registration request.