How to find a business’s VAT number

Updated on May 14, 2022

VAT-registered suppliers for your firm will all have the same registration number. Reimbursing your firm for the VAT you’ve paid to vendors requires that you have your own VAT number.

Using this article, you will learn what a VAT registration number is, why it’s necessary, and how to find it.

What is a VAT registration number?

When a firm registers for VAT, HMRC issues it a VAT number, which serves as a unique identifier. Nine-digit VAT numbers are standard in the United Kingdom and begin with “GB” at the end of the number.

For suppliers in other EU countries, the VAT number will have a different format and a separate country code. This is important to know. On its website, HMRC provides a list of European Union member state ID formats.

Why is it important?

HMRC may reject your claim if you attempt to reclaim VAT without having received a valid VAT number from your supplier. If this occurs, you may be on the hook for the bill or saddled with a mountain of paperwork to make things right.

Where can I find it?

If you’re looking for a company’s VAT number, the first place to look is on any invoice it has given you. All invoices for a VAT-registered business should include a unique ID number.

A valid VAT invoice from the supplier is required to reclaim any VAT they have charged you; if there is no registration number on the invoice, contact them right once.

Checking a VAT number is valid

Checking the validity of a VAT registration number can be done in two ways:

Calling the HMRC VAT helpline

HMRC has a complete database of VAT-registered businesses, so if you’re in any doubt about a registration number you should call their VAT helpline on 0300 200 3700.

Checking the VIES website

The VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) of the European Union allows you to verify the validity of VAT numbers from across the EU. You can verify the validity of a supplier’s VAT number by entering their registration numbers and country codes into the fields given.

You should contact the supplier as soon as possible if the VAT registration of the provider is shown by VIES as invalid.

Your business’s VAT number in FreeAgent

The programme will automatically add your VAT number to any invoices you send through FreeAgent if your firm is VAT registered. From your account, you can also submit MTD-compliant VAT returns straight to HMRC.

If you want to learn more about how FreeAgent calculates your VAT liability for you, go here.