43-250 Introduction to registration of intending traders
A person can register before making taxable supplies as an ‘intending trader’.
HMRC need to be satisfied that a person intends to trade in the future and is setting up a bona fide business (Notice 700/1/2017, para. 3.9).
Many persons incur significant amounts of input tax on start-up costs (preparatory act such as renovation of buildings, research, feasibility studies, etc.) before they make any taxable supplies. If such a person waits until the start of taxable supplies to reclaim such input tax, the VAT can be lost because of the four-year cap on the recovery of pre-registration input tax: