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Selling without VAT: Is it possible? How to do it online?

Do you want to start selling without VAT, but you don’t know how to do it? With our guide, you will be able to discover all the requirements to sell online and offline.

Selling without VAT: Is it possible? How to do it online?

When you do not need a VAT number to sell products or services

The ‘ VAT (value-added tax) is a tax that applies to transfers of goods and services. This is a consumption tax applied to all ongoing or customary sales activities. The subjects who carry out these activities must have a VAT number. For example, the owner of a clothing store carries out an ongoing commercial activity and must therefore open a VAT number. Another example is the trader who sells only on weekends but is subject to the same obligation because he carries out a periodic and habitual activity, even if not continuous.

It is possible to sell without a VAT number only if the sales activity is carried out on an occasional basis. In particular, when the sale is made sporadically and occasionally. For example, a university student who decides to sell his used computer to a friend does not have to register for VAT. The same is true, for example, for the occasional trader who sells some products during the year, totally randomly and without any regularity.

The requirement of occasionally is often linked to the limit of 5,000 euros of annual income. However, this amount is only relevant for social security purposes. Above this threshold, it is in fact necessary to register with INPS, exactly as in the case of a self-employed worker who performs an occasional service for a client. The obligation to register for VAT, on the other hand, does not depend on the annual income, but by the ways in which the activity is carried out (occasional or habitual). For example, the owner of a shop who earns from his business only € 3,500 in a year is still obliged to open a VAT number because he carries out the activity of a commercial enterprise in a stable way. If, on the other hand, a single painting worth € 50,000 is sold, it will not be necessary to open a VAT number.

How to sell without VAT

If the sale is occasional, the seller does not need to issue an invoice. It is, in fact, a tax obligation envisaged only for holders of a VAT number. However, the occasional seller should issue a document certifying the receipt of the sale.

In particular, the document to be issued to the buyer is the occasional receipt. The receipt must contain the details of the parties, the description of the products or services sold and their price. In addition, the occasional receipt must contain information on the VAT exemption, any withholding tax and the revenue stamp. The actual content of the receipt may vary according to the tax regime of the seller and buyer. If you have any doubts, ask us for advice on tax matters.

How to sell on the internet without a VAT number

We often ask ourselves how to sell online without a VAT number, respecting the occasional requirements established by law. If the online sale is carried out on an occasional or one-off basis, it does not require VAT obligations. To sell on the internet, in fact, the same general rules apply as those established for the occasional seller.

For example, the student who sells his smartphone to a private individual on an ad site (eg eBay or Facebook) is not required to register for VAT. On the other hand, anyone who wants to open a seller account on an e-marketplace (eg Amazon) or on a social network (eg Instagram), is qualified as a regular seller and must open a VAT number.

When you must have a VAT number and the advantages of opening it

To carry out sales activities on a regular and professional way, it is necessary to VAT. In particular, to open a shop of any type, even to open an online shop, a series of tax obligations are required.

Furthermore, even when you don’t want to open a shop, distinguishing between occasional and habitual activity may not be easy. In fact, depending on the activity carried out, it may still be necessary to open a VAT number. With the latest regulatory changes, in the presence of the requirements, you can access subsidized tax regimes (eg flat-rate regime), benefiting from a lower tax rate than the ordinary one. You can find out all the expenses to be incurred in our article on how much the VAT number costs.

With our VAT registration service, you can request a preliminary consultation to understand the necessary requirements for your case and to find out the most convenient tax regime for you in a simple way. The service costs € 99 + VAT and includes the assistance of an experienced accountant and legal support for 1 year to create contracts and speak to a lawyer whenever you want. In addition, you can request the annual accounting service at a cost of € 299 + VAT.

Our documents for sale

With the complete online legal service of, it is possible to create tailor-made contracts in a few minutes and request advice from expert lawyers on any subject. Some of the documents available for physical and online sale are:

  • Contract for the sale and purchase of movable goods: to transfer the ownership of any movable property to a buyer
  • General conditions of e-commerce sales: to regulate online sales relations between the user and the owner/seller of a site or application (mobile or desktop)
  • Estimation Contract or Sales Account: to deliver products to a reseller who will pay the price only after having sold them to the end customer
  • Contract for the Periodic Supply of Goods: to regulate the supply of goods between suppliers and their customers