How to check a company VAT number?

2 Mins

VAT number stands for value-added tax identification number. A VAT number means that a business will add VAT to the price of products or services they sell. Companies can then claim back the VAT they paid when buying their goods. 

Reclaiming VAT without a valid VAT number from your supplier could lead to HMRC rejecting your claim. If this happens, you could be left footing the bill or dealing with severe admin to rectify the situation!

Chapter 1

Where can I find a VAT number?

When you're looking for the VAT number of another business, your first port of call should be any invoice it has supplied to you. If the company is registered for VAT, its unique VAT number should be listed on all its invoices.

If you pay VAT to a supplier, but there is no registration number on their invoice, you should contact them immediately. You'll need to have a valid VAT invoice to reclaim any VAT they've charged you.

Check a company VAT number using Creditsafe.

Chapter 1

How to check a VAT number?

There are a couple of ways to check that a VAT registration number is valid:

Calling the HMRC VAT helpline.

HMRC has a complete database of VAT-registered businesses. If you're in doubt about a VAT number, you can call their helpline on 0300 200 3700.

Check the GOV.UK website.

You can use the service if you have a VAT number for the business you are checking. The service will check if the VAT number is valid and confirm the company name and address of the business the number is registered to.

If you are a UK VAT-registered business, you can also use this service to prove when you checked a UK VAT number. You will need your own VAT number to do this. 

Checking the VIES website.

You can use the European Union's VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) to check the validity of both UK VAT numbers and VAT numbers from the wider EU. You can check if a supplier's VAT number is valid by entering the registration numbers and relevant country codes into the fields provided.

If VIES shows the supplier's VAT registration as invalid, you should contact them to get the correct VAT number as soon as possible.

Use Creditsafe to Verify a company's VAT number.

If you run a search on your supplier using Creditsafe, you can find verified VAT numbers that belong to that company.  

Check and Verify a company VAT number using Creditsafe.

VAT Number Check

Check a company VAT number

Enter a company name to view a free company verification report.

Chapter 1

Company VAT number formats

This article is intended as general information only and does not constitute advice in any way. For any specific questions, you may want to consult your legal advisor or accountant.