How to check a company VAT number?

How to check a company VAT number?

2 Mins

This guide explains what a VAT number is and how you can find and verify a company’s VAT number.

  • What is a company VAT number?
  • Why verify a company VAT number?
  • Where can I find a company VAT number?
  • How to check a company VAT number is valid?
  • VAT number structure and formats.
Chapter 1

What is a company VAT number?

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

Chapter 1

Why verify a VAT number?

If you reclaim VAT without a valid VAT number from your supplier, it could lead to HMRC rejecting your claim. If this happens, you could be left footing the bill or dealing with a severe amount of 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.

You can find and verify a company's 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.

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. By entering the registration numbers and relevant country codes into the fields provided, you can check if a supplier's VAT number is valid.

If the supplier's VAT registration is shown as invalid by VIES, you should contact them to get the correct VAT number as soon as you can.

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. 

VAT Number Check

Need to confirm a company VAT number?

The Creditsafe platform contains details on almost 400 million private and public companies, including its directors, shareholders, and financial statements. Quickly verify a company's VAT number to avoid costly errors.

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.