Looking for a European VAT number

In the world of doing business within the European Union (EU), it is critical to have the correct VAT information from business partners. Whether validating the VAT status of a supplier or checking the authenticity of a customer, searching for VAT numbers is an essential skill for any business owner. In this article, we explain how to efficiently look up VAT numbers of other companies in Europe.

Why should I look for a VAT number?

For entering into business relationships within the EU, you may want to look for and verify a VAT number. This process helps prevent VAT fraud and ensures that you are doing business with a legitimate company. Moreover, it is necessary for the correct application of VAT rules in cross-border transactions.

How do you look up VAT numbers?

In the Netherlands, you probably already know the trick: you can very easily search for a company, and thus VAT number, in the KvK trade register. Unfortunately, this does not apply to companies located elsewhere in Europe. The best known way to look up those companies is through the VIES.

VIES (VAT Information Exchange System).

The European Commission offers a handy online tool called VIES(VAT Information Exchange System) that allows you to check the validity of VAT numbers of companies within the EU. The system is free to access and provides up-to-date information on the VAT status of businesses.

VAT number search with VIES


  1. Visit the VIES website
    : navigate to the official website of the European Commission.
  2. Select country: choose the country whose VAT number you want to verify.
  3. Enter VAT number: enter the VAT number you want to check.
  4. Verification: click ‘verify’ and the system will confirm the validity of the VAT number.

Vat Number Search

 

Alternative ways

In addition to VIES, other methods for looking up VAT numbers include:

  • National databases: some EU member states provide national databases where you can look up and verify VAT numbers (like the KvK trade register in the Netherlands, for example).
  • Trade registers: many countries have online trade registers where you can find company information, including VAT numbers.
  • Direct contact: as a last resort, you can contact the company directly to get their VAT number.

Need help with European VAT issues?

Want to know how we can help your business? Then you can schedule a (free) consultation via this link. Then you get VAT and EPR advice tailored to your organization, you can ask all your questions, and you can choose to outsource it to us. Pretty convenient!

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