VAT numbers of the businesses are of vital importance. If a company is VAT registered, it’d get a VAT number that is needed by other businesses to reclaim the VAT they have paid. Without this number, other businesses can’t reclaim the VAT. Here, most of our customers face difficulty checking if the business, they’re dealing with, is VAT registered or not. So in this blog, we’d explore how to check if a company is VAT registered or not?
Let’s find out the ways to check VAT!
How to Check If a Company is VAT Registered?
Typically, there are two simple ways to do it: you can call HMRC VAT Helpline or use any Digital platform like VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) managed by the European Commission. Let’s delve deep into further details.
Contacting HMRC VAT Helpline
To find out whether a business is VAT registered or not and to know its validity, you can contact HMRC VAT Helpline on 0300 200 3700 – between 8 am and 6 pm during the week. However, there are some limitations that you need to bear in mind.
Firstly, HMRC only deals with the VAT number of UK registered businesses. Secondly, there are limited opening hours to contact the VAT helpline that is also a big hurdle to find out whether a company is VAT registered or has a valid VAT number. It often is a time taking process to speak with an expert, sometimes even when the helpline is open.
Using Online VAT Information Exchange System (VIES)
The second viable option is to use VAT number validation services offered by VIES. This website, operated by European Commission, allows you to validate the VAT number registered within the EU. With the real-time data feed taken from different states, here you can get up to date information to know whether a business is VAT registered/have a valid number or not.
You can click here to validate a VAT number with VIES. You need to select the country where the respective business is located in the dropdown menu, put the VAT number you want to validate. Then, you can easily find out whether a business is registered for VAT or whether it is a valid number or not.
You might get access to the name and address of the business of a valid VAT registered number.
Keep a Record of Your Search
After finding out a valid VAT number, you can print it or save its result as evidence to HMRC that the VAT number in question is valid at the time of your search. It’d act as proof to HMRC that you have dealt with a valid VAT registered business.
VAT Numbers of Different Countries in the EU
With a total of 15 alphanumeric characters, the first two characters represent the country where a business is registered. There are two-letter country codes for all EU registered countries. To verify the validity of a VAT registered business, you need to look at if it is nine digits long (without the country code GB).
The initial 7 digits are random numbers and the last 2 are taken from the formula from the initial 7 digits.
Here is the list of EU Member states with the number of characters:
|EU Country (with code)||Number of characters|
|Bulgaria (BG)||9 or 10|
|Czech Republic (CZ)||8, 9 or 10|
|Lithuania (LT)||9 or 12|
|Romania (RO)||2 to 10 digits|
What if the VAT registration Number is Invalid?
If you found the VRN number of a business invalid, you first need to contact your supplier or customer and ask him for a valid VAT number. Still, if it’s invalid, you need to inform him that VIES is indicating it is invalid. You then need to contact HMRC or VIES helpline or contact our VAT accountants for help.
Why You need a Valid Invoice to Reclaim VAT?
To reclaim VAT, a valid VAT invoice is essential from a supplier. It should contain the following details:
- The name of the business and its address
- The VAT registration number of the business
- A unique invoice number
- A description of the goods or services supplied and
- The date
So, before reclaiming VAT you need to crosscheck all the mentioned details in a VAT invoice. The valid VAT number is of prime importance to claim VAT otherwise HMRC can refuse your request to claim back the VAT leaving you out of pocket.
If you need help checking the VAT number or you need accounting, taxes, and business advisory services, you can rely on our accountants in London to sort out your VAT and other financial woes in no time.
Hope this blog ” how to check if a company is VAT registered?” helps you get a better understanding of the topic.
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Disclaimer: This blog provides general information on checking VAT numbers.