Business > VAT tax in Spain

VAT registration in Spain

Do you have an EU VAT number already for your European company?
Do you have a valid tax ID for a non-European company?

The most common VAT format in Spain is B99999999 for a limited company and A99999999 for a corporation. Not all Spanish VAT-registered companies automatically get the European VAT registration. For those that are in the European system, the format will be ESB99999999 or ESA99999999.

We can obtain your VAT number in 24 hours. If your company is not based in Spain: once you send us the documents and you fulfill the requirements, you will receive a CIF de no residente, that is, a VAT number for a non-resident company. The format is N99999999.

VAT refund forms and Intrastat declarations (intracommunitary VAT forms) can then be processed for your company.

A nonresident company is required to have a representative in Spain as a point of contact for the tax office. We can represent your company as part of our service.

If you have a Spanish company (with a Spanish tax ID), we can apply for a European VAT number for you, as long as you fulfill the requirements.

For further information about VAT registration in Spain, call us at +34 932 155 393 and ask for Wig, or click here to contact us.

Links:
EU VAT Registry (VIES)
The Hague Apostille: Where to go to get the Apostille for your documents.
The Hague Apostille for the USA.

FAQs:
What is VIES?
I have a Spanish company with a CIF. My advisor told me that it's valid, but the European VAT registry website says that it's an invalid VAT number. Why?
My company wants to open a branch in Spain. Is this better than creating a new company?
We have both an American company (from Delaware) and a French company. Does it matter which company documents we send you?
I plan to sell online in Spain. Do I charge Spanish VAT tax?
I operate a shoe company in the USA. We are starting to manufacture our shoes in Spain. Will the VAT automatically be deducted by the Spanish shoe factory, since we are not located in a country that uses the VAT system?
We are a Swiss company and we are going to open a call center in Barcelona to serve our European (non-Spanish) clients. Do we need to register for VAT in Spain?
We are a UK company that provides onsite computer server support. We have been asked to undertake this role in Spain. Since we are required to charge VAT locally, we will require an IVA number, right?
My French company is selling in Spain. Can we avoid having our Spanish clients pay VAT tax?

 

What is VIES?

VIES (VAT Information Exchange System) is an online database created by the EU that lets you find out if a company has been approved as part of the intracommunitary system. If a company is selling goods to a company based in a different EU country and both companies are listed in the VIES database, then the goods are exempt from VAT tax. If both companies are in the same country then VAT must still be applied.

Using the VIES database, an approved company can find out immediately whether an invoice must include VAT or not by looking up the VAT number of the company they are doing business with. Each EU member tax office maintains an electronic database that sends the information to the central VIES database. The database has two main objectives:

  • Help companies to do business in Europe.
  • Help countries monitor and control irregularities.

As of 2014, the only countries that have their own online database are Spain, Italy, and Germany. Spain's site is: Consulta VIES.

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I have a Spanish company with a CIF. My advisor told me that it's valid, but the European VAT registry website says that it's an invalid VAT number. Why?

Your company's CIF is valid for invoicing any company. The EU VAT registry (VIES) is a database that only lists companies that apply to be included. Once you have a CIF, you may then apply to be listed in VIES. See above for the advantages of a VIES listing. In Spain we know by experience that once you apply for VIES, a tax officer will go in person to check whether you have a functioning office before approving your application. This is common practice throughout the EU. If your company has a Spanish CIF and you are not invoicing companies outside Spain, then there is no reason for your company to apply for VIES.

There are areas in Europe such as the Canary Islands that are outside the VAT system, so a VAT number for a company based in the Canary Islands will never show up in the VIES system.

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We have both an American company (from Delaware) and a French company. Does it matter which company documents we send you?

It is generally easier to get the French company registered than to get the Delaware company registered. In order to get a nonresident VAT number in Spain, the foreign company must have a valid tax ID. Some Delaware companies are not fully registered in the USA and therefore don't have a valid tax ID.

Note that EU companies must be VAT-registered in their own country before applying for VAT registration in Spain.

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