I often use VIES to validate customer’s VAT ID. What is the difference between Fonoa Lookup and VIES database when validating the tax identification number?

VIES system is good, but it doesn’t include all valid VAT numbers in the EU. We already covered this topic in our article Why is VIES not always the best solution to verify European VAT numbers?

Only numbers activated by local tax authorities will appear in the database, many EU countries do not activate all issued VAT numbers in their country for VIES purposes This results in an incomplete overview and potentially misleading information about the VAT status of a business you are working with.

Let’s assume that your business “Company-X” is in Germany, and you are working with another German company named “Company-Y.” Company-Y has only domestic customers and doesn’t need to register for cross-border/intra-EU transactions. In that case, “Company-Y” will not be visible in VIES, and you won’t be able to verify its existence. 

For that reason, we developed Fonoa Lookup. This solution can directly validate tax identification numbers with the tax authorities in different countries worldwide for a complete overview and more accurate validation.