VAT Number

Meaning of VAT Number

If someone wants to register a business, it is first necessary to deal with the tax aspects. After all, the tax office wants to be “involved” in the income. It is therefore possible that a VAT number or an identification number must be applied for together with the business registration.

Why is it necessary to apply for a VAT number?

From a purely legal point of view, a sales tax number is required by all those entrepreneurs who make deliveries both domestically and abroad and provide taxable services. The legal basis is the sales tax law . But not only entrepreneurs need a VAT number, but also legal persons, if intra-community acquisitions exist. Together with the business registration or the establishment of a company, it is possible to apply for the VAT number at the tax office. An application can also be made via the Internet. Alternatively, you can also submit a written application, which must then be sent by post to the Federal Central Tax Office.

Necessary data for the application for the VAT number

If you want to apply for the VAT number online, you need the following data:

  • The tax office, which is responsible for corporate taxation
  • The tax number under which the company can be found
  • The corporate legal form
  • If it is a sole proprietorship: the name and date of birth of the business manager who is subject to tax liability
  • With other legal forms it is sufficient to have the name and address of the company

It is therefore not a question of any data that first has to be laboriously searched for; This makes applying online for a VAT number a breeze.

What other relevant tax numbers are there for business people?

There is the tax number , which is assigned to all legal entities and taxable natural persons. It changes, for example, if you move or start a freelance / self-employed activity or register a business. Such a tax number must always be given in the tax return, and the tax office will notify you in writing. If a trader does not (yet) have a VAT number, the tax number must be indicated on the invoices.

Not to be confused is the tax number with the tax identification number, which remains the same for life and has the purpose of simplifying communication regarding tax matters.

A few words about the VAT identification number

According to DEFINITIONEXPLORER.COM, the sales tax ID is a unique identifier on the one hand for entrepreneurs and on the other hand for legal persons who participate in the movement of goods and services within the European Union. Its purpose is to get the item of the applicable sales tax out so that it can be paid to the tax office. If a trader exports his goods to another country in the European Union, he does not have to report sales tax because the recipient does so in his country within the EU. It is therefore necessary to always include both identification numbers on invoices. The aim of the sales tax ID is therefore to control cross-country trade more easily.


In addition to sales tax and the sales tax ID, there are other mandatory information on an invoice that is important for a legally compliant invoice. Find out which ones they are!

With a sales tax number, accounting is necessary

If the business is properly registered, sales tax must be charged, unless the entrepreneur uses the small business regulation . With the input tax deduction, the real amount of taxes to be paid is determined. So sales are marked with the help of the sales tax number on the one hand and transferred to the tax office on the other. How often this is the case depends on how much sales tax had to be paid in the last year. It is therefore important to keep the two items of input tax and sales tax up to date in your accounting.

When do you need a VAT number?

The following is the information when a business needs a VAT number:

  • When the business is registered, the tax office is automatically informed
  • A VAT number must be applied for when the business activity has commenced or when the business license is available, because sales are to be recorded correctly in the accounting immediately
  • Apart from the small business regulation, sales tax must be levied for commercial activities, which must be paid to the tax office, whereby the sales tax number must be specified
  • A VAT number can be applied for for tax purposes either directly when registering a business or in writing or online
  • A sales tax ID is required for trading with companies in other EU countries
  • In accordance with the Value Added Tax Act, the sales tax number must be indicated on all invoices instead of the individual tax number
  • It is not necessary for small businesses to show sales tax, provided they make use of the small business regulation. However, if you trade across borders within the European Union, you are also required to have a sales tax identification number

Multiple tax numbers for more than one business?

Now one can ask oneself how it is with the tax numbers, if an entrepreneur operates more than one single business; even if this is the case, this is indicated as a business unit, which is why there is only one tax number. All commercial activities are summarized here. This is a great thing, especially in terms of accounting, because chaos would be inevitable if there were several tax numbers.

Conclusion: The thing with the sales tax number

As a rule, an entrepreneur needs a VAT number. The small business regulation is an exception. In this case it is not necessary to show sales tax. It may still be necessary to apply for a sales tax identification number if you are trading with other countries within the EU. The VAT number can either be requested from the responsible tax office when registering the business or via an online application. Once a tax number has been assigned, it remains valid even if the company headquarters changes.

When applying for a VAT number, not much information and data is required. So you first need the responsible tax office, and the tax number must be ready. Then the legal form of the company must be known; in the case of sole proprietorships, the date of birth and the name of the taxpayer’s corporate manager must be given. If it is not a sole proprietorship, the address and name of the company are sufficient.

So it is not at all necessary to have any reservations about the subject of the sales tax number or the tax number. Even if it is not easy to look through the various terms at the beginning, it becomes clear relatively quickly what is meant by what. It is just the case that starting a company always requires an insight into the subject matter so that you know what rights and what obligations you have towards the authorities and the law. The sales tax number is mandatory if you show the sales tax on your invoices and do not make use of the small business regulation.

VAT Number

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