Apply for a VAT number

If you set up a business in the Netherlands, you must have it registered with the Trade Register of the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (KVK). They will pass on your details to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration. Once the latter has registered your details, they will provide you automatically with a VAT number.

If you start as a sole trader, you will receive the VAT number immediately upon registering with KVK. If you set up a general partnership (vennootschap onder firma, VOF), limited partnership (commanditaire vennootschap, CV), partnership (maatschap) or legal entity, the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration will usually send you your VAT number within 5 working days.

If your company is established abroad, but provides services in the Netherlands or supplies goods to Dutch-based companies, then you need to register directly with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration to receive a VAT number.

VAT number format

A VAT number consists of 14 characters:

  • The NL country code.
  • Followed by either the Legal Entities and Partnerships Information Number (RSIN), or your Citizen Service Number (BSN).
  • Supplemented with a code comprising three characters between B01 and B99).

If your legal entity or partnership was registered in the Dutch Trade Register before 2010, you would have had a so-called fiscal number (Fi-number). This fiscal number has now been changed to the RSIN.

The Dutch Tax and Customs Administration states your VAT number on any letters and forms they send to you. On some of its forms, they only use the so-called Turnover Tax number (omzetbelastingnummer). This number is basically the same as the VAT number, but without the country code NL.

You are obliged to state your VAT number on all of your invoices.

VAT number deregistration

If you deregister your company with KVK, deregistration with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration database follows automatically. Your VAT number will then be deregistered, of which you will receive a written confirmation.

Validity check client's VAT number

If you want to check the validity of your Dutch client's VAT number, or a client who has their registered office in another EU country, you can use the European Commission's VIES VAT number validation (VAT Information Exchange System). With VIES, you can also check name and address of clients from most Member States.

If you want to find out some company's VAT number, you should contact that company in order to receive this number directly from them.