Value-added tax (VAT) numbers are used for tax purposes and are only given to businesses that are registered for VAT.
The EU VAT system is regulated by a series of European Union directives. The EU VAT is based on the "destination principle": the value-added tax is paid to the government of the country in which the consumer who buys the product lives. Businesses selling a product charge the VAT and the customer pays it.
If your business is registered for value-added tax (VAT), you can add your VAT identification number to your company information to ensure the collection and remittance of VAT to the appropriate tax authorities.
Countries & Formats
Countries of the EU have different formats for VAT numbers, however all countries will share the common format of having the country code first that is followed by a string of numbers and letters.
9 characters the first character is always a ‘U’
Prefix with zero ‘0’ if the customer provides a 9 digit VAT number
9 or 10 characters
9 characters The last character must always be a letter
12345678 123456789 1234567890
8, 9 or 10 characters If more than 10 characters are provided delete the first 3
12345678901 X1234567890 1X123456789 XX123456789
11 characters May include alphabetical characters (any except O or I) as first or second or first and second characters.
1234567WA (companies) 1234567FA (individuals)
8 or 9 characters Includes one or two alphabetical characters (last, or second and last, or last 2)
9 or 12 characters
123456789B01 or 123456789BO2
12 characters. The 10th character is always B
Companies forming a VAT Group have the suffix BO2
9 digits and the letters 'MVA' to indicate VAT registration
Last (ninth) digit is a MOD11 checksum digit.
X12345678 12345678X X1234567X
9 characters Includes 1 or 2 alphabetical characters (first or last or first and last)
Swedish VAT numbers consist of the registered organisation number (organisationsnummer) plus 01
9 numbers plus MWST/TVA/IVA
German part: MWST
United Kingdom (non-EU)