How to Check a Company's VAT Number

Written by jane cohen
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How to Check a Company's VAT Number
In the countries of the European Union, each company has a VAT number. (European Union flag image by smn from Fotolia.com)

The VAT (value added tax) number is a company identifier used in the countries of the European Union. Unlike sales tax, value added tax (VAT) taxes the estimated market value added at each stage of production. VAT-registered businesses collect VAT and deduct from it the amount of tax they have paid to other VAT-registered businesses on business purchases. It's a good idea to check a company's VAT number for validity when an EU enterprise commences business with another EU enterprise.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Visit the European Commission's VIES VAT number validation site where you can confirm the validity of a known VAT number from any EU member state.

  2. 2

    Select the member state from the drop-down menu.

  3. 3

    Enter the VAT number to be validated.

  4. 4

    Enter the requester member state.

  5. 5

    Enter the requester VAT number.

  6. 6

    Click verify.

  7. 7

    You can also phone the VAT Helpline in the UK at Tel 0845 010 000. A worker can validate a VAT number and verify that the name and address of the enterprise you give them is correct.

Tips and warnings

  • The EU's official VIES website verification confirms only that a VAT number is currently allocated but does not provide the name or other identifying details of the business where the identifier has been allocated.

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