9 requirements for non-EU companies for obtaining a VAT number in the EU

By / In EU VAT / April 12, 2023

You’ve considered expanding your business into the European Union (EU) for some time. After extensive research, you realize that one of the most significant obstacles to selling your products in the EU is obtaining a Value Added Tax (VAT) number.

Check out the basic rules about EU VAT for e-commerce sellers.

We have prepared a step-by-step guide to VAT registration for non-EU companies.


9 requirements for obtaining a VAT number in the EU

The requirements for obtaining a VAT number in the EU can vary depending on the country where you are registering for VAT. However, there are some common requirements that most EU countries have in place. These may include:

  1. Sells goods to individuals: When a business sell to private individuals goods, this company must register for VAT in each country where customers consume goods. There is an optional OSS (one-stop-shop) registration as well; 
  2. Store goods: Company need to obtain VAT registration in each EU country where they store their goods;
  3. Conference providers charging attendance fees;
  4. International shipment companies;
  5. Importing goods into the EU for sale or distribution;
  6. Providing services to EU customers, such as education, consulting, advertising, or technical support;
  7. Renting or leasing property located in the EU;
  8. Selling digital products or services, such as software, e-books, or music downloads, to EU customers;
  9. Providing transportation services, such as freight or passenger transport, within the EU.

I will give you an example: International shipment companies may need to register for VAT in Germany if they meet certain criteria. Here are some situations where a shipment company may be required to register for VAT in Germany:

  1. If the company is based outside of the EU and makes shipments to Germany that exceed the annual distance selling threshold of €100,000;
  2. If the company is based outside of Germany but has a permanent establishment in Germany and makes taxable supplies of goods or services in Germany;
  3. If the company is based outside of the EU and they are importing goods into Germany for its own account or for a customer and the goods are subject to German VAT;
  4. If the company is based outside of Germany but arranges for goods to be delivered within Germany and the value of the goods exceeds the German VAT registration threshold of €22,000.

It’s important to note that this is just an example and there may be other business activities that could trigger a VAT registration requirement for foreign companies.


Benefits of obtaining a VAT number for non-EU companies

There are several benefits for non-EU companies to apply for a VAT number in the EU:

  • Compliance with EU VAT regulations: By registering for a VAT number, non-EU companies can ensure that they comply with EU VAT regulations when doing business with customers within the EU. This can help avoid potential fines and penalties for non-compliance;
  • Access to new customers: Registering for a VAT number can make it easier for non-EU companies to sell goods and services to customers within the EU. This can open up new markets and increase revenue opportunities;
  • Increased credibility: Having a VAT number can help non-EU companies appear more credible and professional to customers within the EU. It can also signal to customers that the business is serious about compliance with EU regulations;
  • Ability to reclaim VAT: Non-EU companies registered for VAT in the EU may be able to reclaim VAT that they have paid on goods and services purchased within the EU. This can help reduce costs and improve profitability;
  • Improved cash flow: By charging VAT on sales within the EU, non-EU companies can improve their cash flow by using the reverce charge mechanism and paying suppliers without VAT for intra-EU purchases. They can then use this money to pay their VAT liabilities or other expenses.

Overall, registering for a VAT number can help non-EU companies that are doing business with customers within the EU to operate more efficiently, stay in compliance with regulations, and access new revenue opportunities.


Online VAT registration for non-EU companies

Are you a non-EU company looking to obtain VAT registration in the European Union? Lovat can help! With our online VAT registration service, you can easily select the country where you want to obtain a VAT number and fill out the necessary registration form with the relevant information. Once you’ve submitted the form, you can download the required documents and wait for your VAT number to be processed and sent to you online.

In some cases, you may need to deregister for VAT, such as if your income falls below the threshold or if you stop trading or making taxable supplies. Whatever your situation, Lovat can assist you in the deregistration process in the best way.

To get started, simply click here and register for a new account. In your personal account, you can fill out the VAT registration form, upload any required documents, and wait for your VAT number to be processed. With the Lovat app, you can get your VAT number without having to worry about paperwork, resources, or other difficulties. Our service is available in 62 countries worldwide.


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