EU VAT Number Formats
All EU member states have a fixed format for their VAT numbers, which includes a two-letter code of the country and a string of digits.
You can find a full list of the Member States and their formats of the VAT number in the table below:
|EU Member State||ISO Code||Number Format||VAT Number Example||VAT Local Name|
|Austria||AT||8 digits and the prefix 'U'||ATU12345678||USt|
|Belgium||BE||10 digits (if the customer provides a 9 digit VAT number, ‘0’ should be added as a first digit)||BE1234567890||Btw|
|Bulgaria||BG||9 or 10 digits||BG1234567, 89, BG1234567890||ДДС|
|Cyprus||CY||8 digits and 1 letter||CY12345678A||ΦΠΑ|
|Czech Republic||CZ||8, 9 or 10 digits||CZ12345678, CZ123456789, CZ1234567890||DPH|
|France||FR||11 characters - letters can be included as first and/or second character (except letters O and I)||FR12345678901, FRX1234567890, FR1X234567890, FRXX123456789||TVA|
|Ireland||VAT||8 or 9 characters - letters can be included as last, or second and last, or last 2 characters||IE1234567X, IE1X23456X, IE1234567XX||VAT|
|Lithuania||LT||9 or 12 digits||LT123456789, LT123456789012||PVM|
|Netherlands||NL||12 characters - the 10th character is always B||NL123456789B01||BTW|
|Romania||RO||From 2 to 10 digits||RO12, RO123, RO1234, RO12345, RO123456, RO123456, RO1234567, RO12345678, RO123456789, RO1234567890||TVA|
|Spain||ES||9 characters - first and/or last character can be a letter||ESX12345678,ES12345678X, ESX1234567X||IVA|
How To Obtain The EU VAT Number?
When it comes to the EU VAT number registration procedure, one of the most important questions is whether your business is located in one of the EU Member States or outside the EU?
Your business is located in one of the EU Member States
If you didn't receive the EU VAT number when registering your business, you need to request the issuance of a VAT number directly from the tax authority in your country. In most instances, you can request the issuance online, so you don't have to physically visit the tax authority's office.
Your business is not located in one of the EU Member States, i.e., your business is established outside the EU
We already covered this topic in our article How to obtain the EU VAT number if your business is not located in the EU, and you can find more information there.
If your business is located outside the EU, you need to register for EU VAT MOSS. In other words, you need to select any EU country as your Member State of identification and start your registration procedure. The procedure depends on the Member State, but in most cases, you will need to leave some basic information about your business (name, address, IBAN, etc.) and services you will supply to customers in Member States. Once the registration has been approved, you will receive your EU VAT number.
How To Validate A VAT Number?
If you want to validate a VAT number of your business customer or any business entity within the EU Member States, you can use VIES (VAT Information Exchange System). However, we already wrote about the VIES' downsides, so if you want to make sure that a VAT number is valid, you can use Fonoa Lookup. Fonoa Lookup can validate tax identification numbers directly with the tax authorities in different world countries; for a complete overview and more accurate validation.