How to Check a Company's VAT

Written by pamela henman
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How to Check a Company's VAT
France was the first country to adopt a VAT system. (Arthur Tilley/Creatas/Getty Images)

In 1954 France was the first nation to adopt a value added tax (or VAT) system, according to Economy Watch. The VAT is an indirect tax implemented in a specific stage in an item's production or sale, and is intended to generate revenue in addition to a product's cost. As of November 2010, the United States does not charge a VAT, but most of the rest of the world does. In just a few steps, you can find out if a VAT number for a company or manufacturer in the European Union is valid.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Visit the "Taxation and Customs" page for the European Union. To access the page, direct your browser to Then click on "Departments and Services" and select "Taxations and Customs Union."

  2. 2

    Click on "VAT" from the Taxation drop-down menu. Among the list of links to choose from, click on "Checking a VAT number -- database." Read the information provided for the VAT Information Exchange System before proceeding to the database.

  3. 3

    Click on "The database" to access the VAT database. To verify whether the company's VAT number is valid, select the company's member state from the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    Enter the company's VAT number. Then choose your member state from the drop-down menu and enter the VAT number in the field provided. Click on "Verify" to see the results. It will say that the VAT is either valid or invalid, as well as whether the VAT number is associated with a given name and address.

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