Policy & Compliance


behalf of the overseas company does not meet the criteria of UK establishment for an overseas company; neither does an occasional location such as a hotel where a director may conduct business during periodic visits to this country.

Conclusion BIFA’s standing message to the Members is ‘Know your customer’. This should start with their office address and

whether or not it is in the UK or wider EU. As stated above, Members should not make

an automatic assumption that a VAT and EORI registered business is established in the UK/EU. This particularly applies to e-commerce sellers

regularly registered for VAT purposes but having no physical presence in the country. One of the measures Members should apply when vetting their customers is to check the details available publicly on the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES). If the company in question is registered under

an HMRC NETP address in Aberdeen (Ruby House, 8 Ruby Place, Aberdeen, AB10 1ZP) that is a good indicator it is at least not established in the UK and further checks should apply. Similarly, a company registered under a VAT or tax advisor’s address should be checked more thoroughly on the grounds of establishment. Companies House registration, due to the set

of requirements imposed on companies, is generally a more reliable indicator of establishment status, but even here common sense and due diligence should apply. BIFA cannot recommend one standard

Companies House registration As previously stated, HMRC would also normally consider a company that is incorporated in the UK to have an establishment here as long as it is able to receive business supplies at its registered office. This is built on the premise that a registration requirement for overseas companies only exists

if a company has some degree of physical presence in the UK (such as a place of business or branch) through which it carries on business, and that registration is not required if there is no physical presence in the UK. It is, however, important to remember that an independent agent who conducts business on

solution to the establishment question, but we advise Members to be diligent and thorough when checking their customers.

Useful links: tenance_DDS2-EOS.html

Support your local Member group

BIFA holds Regional Member meetings around the UK and listed right are those due to occur soon. If you would like to attend and find out more about BIFA and what we do, then contact the appropriate Regional Consultant to BIFA. All BIFA Members are entitled and

encouraged to attend their regional meetings however pre-booking with the named contact is essential. Full contact details are shown on page 3 of this issue.

April 2019

Region Solent

Regional Members’ meeting Gatwick

Regional Members’ meeting Heathrow

Regional Members’ meeting Date Time Venue Tue 9 Apr 0800 Duke of Wellington

BIFA Contact Colin Young

Wed 24 Apr 1230 World Cargo Centre Colin Young Thu 25 Apr 1400 BIFA, Feltham Colin Young


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