VAT compliance and registration requirements vary in each Member State.Some countries register VAT numbers immediately upon company registration, such as in the Netherlands or Hungary. In other EU countries, VAT registration involves some time and efforts before the number is granted, but as a rule is manageable in the hands of experienced fiscal agents and cooperative businesses. For example, Cyprus, Latvia or Ireland. In some Member States, VAT registration process can be both time consuming and complicated, such as in Denmark, Estonia or UK.

The VAT registration process commonly includes:

  • Application to the local tax authority, which includes a business description and explanation of necessity for the VAT number (almost always in the local language).
  • VAT registration thresholds. Some Member States impose thresholds (if the company reaches a certain turnover within a certain time period), upon which the company must register itself for a VAT number.
  • Appointing a VAT Fiscal Agent, who will be responsible for proper management of VAT returns with the local tax authorities.

It is highly recommended and advantageous to purchase a company already with a valid VAT number, wherever possible.

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