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How to Find A Company's Vat Number?

Updated: Jan 8

What is a Company's VAT Number?

A VAT (Value Added Tax) number in the UK is a unique identification number assigned to businesses that are registered to collect VAT. This number is used by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to track and monitor the VAT payments made by the business.


In the UK, a VAT number is also known as a VAT registration number, and it usually consists of the prefix "GB" followed by 9 digits. Businesses that have a turnover of £85,000 or more are required to register for VAT and obtain a VAT number.


If you are unsure of your company's VAT number, you can check any previous invoices or receipts issued by the company, as this information is usually included in such documents. Alternatively, you can also check the company's VAT registration certificate, which should display the VAT number prominently.


How to Find any Company's Vat Number

Finding a company's VAT number in the UK is a simple process that can be done in a few different ways.




  1. Check The Company's Website: Many companies will have their VAT number listed on their website, typically in the footer or on the "Contact Us" page.

  2. Search the VAT Online Database: The UK government's VAT Online database can be searched by company name or VAT number. This database can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/find-vat-number

  3. Check Invoices: If you have recently purchased goods or services from the company, their VAT number should be listed on the invoice.

  4. Contact the Company Directly: If you are unable to find the VAT number through the above methods, you can contact the company directly and ask for it.

  5. It is important to note that in the UK, all VAT-registered businesses are required to have a VAT number, and it should be included on all invoices and other official documents. If a company is not VAT-registered, it will not have a VAT number.


In conclusion, finding a company's VAT number in the UK can be done quickly and easily by checking the company's website, searching the VAT Online database, checking invoices, or contacting the company directly.


How To Find My Company's Vat Number

When you are running a business in the United Kingdom, it is important to know your company's VAT number. Finding the VAT number of your own company is even easier. The VAT (Value Added Tax) number is a unique identification number that is assigned to businesses that are registered for VAT. It is required to be included on all invoices and other official documents related to your business. We will discuss several ways to find your company's VAT number in the UK.




Check Your VAT Returns:

If you are unable to find your VAT registration certificate, you can check your VAT returns for your VAT number. Your VAT number will be included on the return form that you send to HMRC.


Look at the Product Receipt

If a company is a VAT registered in the UK, they are required to include their VAT number on their product receipts. Therefore, you can check the product receipt you received from the company to see if their VAT number is listed.


How to find the VAT Number in Product Receipt



Check Your Accounting Software:

If you are using accounting software to keep track of your finances, your VAT number should be included in the software's settings.


Contact HMRC:

If you are unable to find your VAT number through the above methods, you can contact HMRC for assistance. You can do this by calling their VAT helpline on 0300 200 3700 or by sending an email to the VAT general inquiries mailbox at vatgeneralenquiries@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk.


Check The VAT Online Database:

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) also has an online database where you can check if a business is a VAT registered and find the VAT number of the business. You can access the database at https://www.gov.uk/vat-registration/find-vat-number


It is important to note that if your business is not VAT registered, you will not have a VAT number. If you are unsure if your business is VAT registered, you can check with HMRC or check the VAT online database mentioned above.


It's also important to note that if you are in the process of registering for VAT, you will be given a VAT number once registration is complete and you have been assigned it by the HMRC.


In case you have multiple VAT numbers for different business activities, for example, if you have a VAT number for goods, and another one for services, make sure you are using the correct VAT number for the type of services or goods that you are providing.

It's advisable to keep a record of all your VAT numbers and the date of issuance, and also update the HMRC if there are any changes to your business activities that might require a change of VAT number.


Check Your VAT Registration Certificate:

The first place to look for your company's VAT number is on your VAT registration certificate. This certificate is issued by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) when you register for VAT. It should have your VAT number clearly stated on it.


VAT Certificate



How Many Digits Is a Company VAT Number?

A company VAT number in the UK is made up of 9 digits. It starts with the prefix "GB" followed by 9 digits. For example, a UK VAT number may look like this: GB123456789. The first two letters "GB" indicate that the company is registered in the United Kingdom, and the following nine digits represent the unique identification number assigned to the business by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when it registers for VAT. It's important to note that the format of the VAT number may vary slightly for businesses that are registered for VAT in other European Union (EU) member states.


Is the Company Number and VAT Number the Same?

No, the company number and VAT number are not the same in the UK.


The company number is a unique registration number assigned to a UK company or limited liability partnership (LLP) by Companies House when the business is incorporated. This number is used to identify the company and to keep track of its legal and financial information, such as annual accounts and director details.


On the other hand, the VAT number is a unique registration number assigned to a UK business by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) when the business registers for VAT. This number is used to identify the business and to keep track of its VAT transactions, such as VAT collected and paid.


While both numbers are important for businesses in the UK, they serve different purposes and are assigned by different government bodies. It is common for a business to have both a company number and a VAT number, but they are not the same and should not be confused with each other.


Innovative Approaches to Uncover a VAT Number


  1. Leverage Digital Resources: In today's digital age, harnessing online tools offers an efficient path to finding VAT numbers. Websites like Companies House provide a trove of business information, including VAT details for registered entities.

  2. Industry-specific Publications: Trade magazines and business directories often list company details, including VAT numbers. These resources are particularly useful for industry-specific searches.

  3. Networking and Industry Forums: Engaging in business networks or online forums can be a strategic move. Inquiries within these communities can yield the desired VAT information, especially if direct contact with the company is challenging.

  4. Use of Legal and Financial Advisors: For those with access to professional services, consulting with a legal or financial advisor can provide an expert route to obtaining a VAT number. These professionals often have access to databases and networks that simplify this search.

  5. Exploring Social Media: Companies increasingly use social media for business promotion. A careful examination of a company's social media profiles might reveal their VAT number, often listed in the about section or posts related to financial transactions.

  6. Call the HMRC VAT Helpline: HMRC maintains a comprehensive database of VAT-registered businesses. If you're uncertain about a registration number or need to find one, you can contact their VAT helpline at 0300 200 3700​​.

  7. Use the HMRC Website: HMRC also offers an online service for checking UK VAT numbers. This tool can be used to verify if a UK VAT registration number is valid and to find the name and address of the business the number is registered to​​.

  8. Use the VIES Website: For companies that trade within the EU, the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES) can be used. This platform allows you to check the validity of VAT numbers for EU member states by entering the registration numbers and relevant country codes​​.

  9. Check Your VAT Registration Certificate: If you're looking for your own company’s VAT number, it will be located on the VAT registration certificate provided by HMRC. This certificate is a crucial document for any VAT-registered business​​.

  10. Look at Your VAT Returns: Another way to find your company's VAT number is by looking at your VAT return forms sent to HMRC. These forms will include your company VAT number, making them a reliable resource if you've misplaced your registration certificate​​.


These methods provide alternative ways to find a company's VAT number in the UK, complementing the information provided in the Protax Accountant article, which includes checking the company's website, searching the VAT Online Database, checking invoices, contacting the company directly, leveraging digital resources like Companies House, consulting industry-specific publications, networking and industry forums, using legal and financial advisors, and exploring social media​​.



Ensuring the Legitimacy of the VAT Number

Once you've located a VAT number, verifying its authenticity is crucial. While the standard method involves checking with HMRC, there are other innovative ways:

  1. Third-party Verification Services: Several online services offer VAT number verification. These platforms can instantly validate the number, ensuring its current active status and legitimacy.

  2. Cross-checking with Financial Documents: If you have access to financial reports or statements from the company, cross-referencing the VAT number with these documents can confirm its accuracy.

  3. Utilizing Business Credit Reports: Business credit reports often include VAT information. These reports, available through credit bureaus, provide a comprehensive view of a company's financial standing, including VAT details.


Understanding VAT Number Format Variations

It's essential to recognize that VAT number formats can vary, especially for companies with cross-border operations within the EU. Familiarizing oneself with these variations can prevent confusion and ensure accurate identification.


The Importance of Regular Updates

Businesses may undergo changes that affect their VAT status. Regularly checking for updates, especially if using a VAT number for ongoing transactions, is advisable. This vigilance ensures compliance and accuracy in financial dealings.


Empowering Your VAT Number Search

Embarking on the quest to find a UK company's VAT number can seem daunting. However, with the right tools and a bit of ingenuity, it becomes a manageable task. From leveraging digital platforms to engaging with industry communities, the pathways are diverse. Remember, the key lies not just in finding the number but also in verifying its legitimacy. By embracing these innovative approaches, one can navigate this essential aspect of UK business with confidence and ease.



Finding your company's VAT number in the UK can be done by checking your VAT registration certificate, checking your VAT returns, checking your accounting software, contacting HMRC, or by checking the VAT online database. It is important to keep your VAT number up to date and accurate to avoid any penalties or fines.


20 Most Important FAQs


1. Q: What should I do if a company's VAT number is not on their invoices?

A: If a VAT number is not on the invoices, you can visit the company's website, contact the company directly, or use HMRC's Check VAT Number service.


2. Q: Can I find a company's VAT number on product packaging?

A: It's uncommon to find VAT numbers on product packaging. The usual places are invoices, company websites, or through direct inquiry.


3. Q: Is there a public directory for VAT-registered businesses in the UK?

A: There isn't a comprehensive public directory, but you can use the government’s Check a UK VAT Number service or contact HMRC for assistance.


4. Q: Can I retrieve a VAT number from email correspondence?

A: Yes, if the company includes their VAT number in their official email signature or in the email's content.


5. Q: How do I find the VAT number of a foreign company trading in the UK?

A: For EU companies, use the VAT Information Exchange System (VIES). For non-EU companies, check their invoices or contact them directly.


6. Q: Can I request a VAT number from a supplier before making a purchase?

A: Yes, it's advisable to request and verify a supplier's VAT number before engaging in transactions, especially if reclaiming VAT is intended.


7. Q: Are there any services that verify the authenticity of a VAT number?

A: Yes, there are third-party verification services available online that can validate the authenticity of a VAT number.


8. Q: How can I find the VAT number of a dissolved company?

A: For dissolved companies, historical VAT numbers might be available through Companies House records or business credit reports.


9. Q: Is it possible to find a VAT number through financial statements?

A: Yes, financial statements of a company often include their VAT number, especially if they are publicly available.


10. Q: Can a VAT number be found on company letterheads?

A: Yes, many companies include their VAT number on official letterheads along with other contact details.


11. Q: Are there any offline methods to find a company's VAT number?

A: Offline methods include checking printed invoices, contacting the company by phone, or consulting printed business directories.


12. Q: Can I find a VAT number through a company's tax or legal advisors?

A: Yes, you can inquire with a company's tax or legal advisors, though they might not disclose it without the company's permission.


13. Q: Is it necessary to verify the VAT number of each new supplier?

A: Yes, it's prudent to verify the VAT number of new suppliers to ensure compliance and avoid potential VAT fraud.


14. Q: How can I find the VAT number of an online retailer?

A: Check the retailer's website, especially their legal or about us sections, or contact their customer service for this information.


15. Q: Are VAT numbers listed in business awards or certifications?

A: It's rare, but some business awards or certifications may list the VAT numbers of the awardees or certified businesses.


16. Q: Can industry associations help in finding a company's VAT number?

A: Industry associations might be able to assist, especially if the company is a member and the association maintains such records.


17. Q: Is it possible to find a VAT number in public filings or reports?

A: Public filings or reports, especially for listed companies, often include VAT numbers as part of their financial disclosures.


18. Q: Can social media business pages contain VAT numbers?

A: Some businesses may include their VAT number in the about section or financial transaction-related posts on their social media pages.\


19. Q: Are VAT numbers included in press releases or media articles?

A: Occasionally, VAT numbers can be found in press releases or media articles that cover detailed business information.


20. Q: Can I find a VAT number in company announcements or newsletters?

A: Company announcements or newsletters, particularly those relating to financial matters, may include the company's VAT number.



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