Warning over ‘VAT registration’ mailshot

Businesses in Worcestershire are being warned against responding to a mailshot that could result in a bill of almost £2400.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services is advising businesses to ignore the letter which is headed "Publication of Companies and VAT Registration Numbers in the UK Corporate Portal 2014".
The letter claims that a requirement for all companies to provide their VAT registration number on various documents since 2010 means that companies' business data must also be updated on the "UK Corporate Portal" as a "basic entry".
Sent by a German firm, the letter includes a form for businesses to check and sign to say their details are correct if they wish their entry to be a "non-basic entry". However the small print indicates that the service will cost £797 a year for a minimum of three years.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services Joint Committee Chairman Cllr Lucy Hodgson said: "We are concerned that local businesses may believe the letter to be from an official source, which is not the case.
"If businesses sign and return the form to confirm their details are correct they could end up tied in to the high costs of an entry in this publication.
"Businesses should be aware that they are not obliged to provide any information to the company and entries do not have to appear on the website referred to in the letter."
For further information or advice, please contact the Worcestershire Regulatory Services business advice team on 01905 822799.
Worcestershire Regulatory Services delivers services including Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing services throughout the county, hosted by Bromsgrove District Council.