What Is a VAT Number?

The VAT Number is usually the first step for a growing business when they want to grow and follow tax rules in the European Union. A VAT number is a registered identification number in VAT tax that follows the rules of Value Added Tax (VAT).

You will have to get a VAT number when you are not physically available in a country but you still have trading activities in that region. For example if you want to buy any product in Netherland from a local supplier and want to sell those local product to Netherland local customers (the products do not leave the Netherland region) you will need a Netherland VAT number even if you are not physically present in Netherland.

A picture in which vat numbers are mentioned over european union structure

VAT Numbers can be different from country to country but they have one general similarity between them and that is; the country code followed by some other characters.

This number is allocate when you register your business for taxes. The number will appear on the tax registration documents you receive from the member state where you’ve registered. The registration number can have between 4 and 15 digits total. It starts with the two-digit country code (e.g.- DE for Germany or IT for Italy), followed by 2-13 other characters.

CountryCountry codeFormatCharactersNotes
AustriaATU123456789 characters9 characters; the first character is always a ‘U’
BelgiumBE123456789010 charactersPrefix with zero ‘0’ if the customer provides a 9-digit VAT number
BulgariaBG123456789, 12345678909 or 10 characters
CroatiaHR1234567890111 characters
CyprusCY12345678X9 charactersThe last character must always be a letter
Czech RepublicCZ12345678 123456789 12345678908, 9, or 10 charactersIf more than 10 characters are provided, delete the first 3
DenmarkDK123456788 characters
EstoniaEE1234567899 characters
FinlandFI123456788 characters
FranceFR12345678901, X1234567890 1X123456789, XX12345678911 charactersCould include alphabetical characters (all but O or I) as the first or second or first and second characters
GermanyDE1234567899 characters
GreeceEL1234567899 characters
HungaryHU123456788 characters
IrelandIE1234567WA (companies) 1234567FA (individuals)8 or 9 charactersIncludes one or two alphabetical characters (last, or second and last, or last 2)
ItalyIT1234567890111 characters
LatviaLV1234567890111 characters
9 or 12 characters
LuxembourgLU123456788 characters
MaltaMT123456788 characters
NetherlandsNL123456789B01 or 123456789BO212 charactersThe 10th character is always going to be a “B”. Companies forming a VAT Group have the suffix BO2
PolandPL123456789010 characters
PortugalPT1234567899 characters
RomaniaRO123456789010 characters
SlovakiaSK123456789010 characters
SloveniaSI123456788 characters
9 charactersIncludes 1 or 2 alphabetical characters (first or last or first and last)
SwedenSE12345678901212 characters

ALSO READ: What is VAT Threshold?

ALSO READ: How to register VAT?

ALSO READ: VAT Rates in European Countries

ALSO READ: VAT Rates in non European Countries

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