Understanding the Benefits of the VAT Flat Rate Scheme for Mobile Caterers


If you’re a mobile caterer in the UK, you may be wondering if the VAT Flat Rate Scheme (FRS) can benefit your business. In this blog post, we’ll explore the advantages of the FRS for mobile caterers, helping you understand if it’s the right option for you.

Simplified VAT Calculations

The FRS offers a simplified method for calculating VAT liabilities. Instead of dealing with individual sales and purchases, mobile caterers can apply a fixed percentage to their gross turnover. This streamlines VAT accounting and reduces administrative burdens, which is especially helpful for busy mobile caterers with limited resources.

Cash Flow Advantages

One of the notable benefits of the FRS is improved cash flow. Under the scheme, businesses can keep the difference between the VAT they charge customers and the VAT they pay to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). This can be advantageous for mobile caterers, particularly if their VAT-inclusive sales significantly outweigh their VAT-inclusive purchases.

Lower VAT Rate

Depending on the sector in which the business operates, mobile caterers may qualify for a lower VAT rate under the FRS. For instance, the “Catering services including restaurants and takeaways” sector currently have a flat rate percentage of 12.5%. This reduced rate can lead to cost savings for mobile caterers, boosting their profitability.

Considerations and Consultation

It’s important to note that not all sectors qualify for reduced rates under the FRS. Additionally, VAT flat rates and regulations can change over time. To determine the most accurate and up-to-date information, mobile caterers should consult with qualified accountants as they can assess the specific circumstances of the business, ensuring that the FRS is the right fit and provides long-term cost-effectiveness.


The VAT Flat Rate Scheme can be advantageous for mobile caterers in the UK. It simplifies VAT calculations, offers potential cash flow advantages, and may provide lower VAT rates depending on the sector. However, it’s crucial to consult with an expert to assess the eligibility and suitability of the scheme for your mobile catering business. By doing so, you can optimise your VAT accounting, reduce administrative burdens, and potentially save costs, ultimately contributing to the success of your mobile catering business.