German VAT number

Businesses providing taxable supplies in Germany may be required to apply for a German VAT number. The conditions include:

  • Importing into Germany,
  • Buying and selling goods within Germany
  • Holding live events with ticket sales
  • Selling to German consumers over the internet.

German VAT number format

The general format of a German VAT number is: DE 123456789.

The tax office splits VAT number into two: one for reporting VAT filings and general correspondence; the second for identification for companies undertaking EU cross border transactions (intra-community supplies).

German Number Format

Country Code DE
Format 123456789
Characters 9 characters

How do I get a German VAT number

Applications for a VAT number must be submitted to the appropriate tax office. The office depends on where the foreign company is based. Non-EU companies wishing to register must apply to the Berlin tax office.

The tax office will require details of the applicant, plus usually extracts from the articles of association of the company. The tax office may ask additional questions if the company has a limited trading history and/or is dealing in goods susceptible to VAT fraud.

Need free guidance on getting a German VAT number?

If you would like to speak to an EU VAT expert about getting a German VAT number within two weeks, contact us by phone or email.

Need help with your German VAT compliance?

Researching German VAT legislation is the first step to understanding your VAT compliance needs. Avalara has a range of solutions that can help your business depending on where and how you trade. 

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