A company's VAT number is available online through the European Commission Taxation and Customs Union. This is a unique number created for each business and banking organization that resides in a territory governed by the European Union. VAT numbers are necessary for tax and excise purposes.
A VAT number is a value added tax identification number that is linked to specific financial institutions throughout the European Union. Each of these numbers is different in length and composition depending on the country the company in question resides in, thereby distinguishing between various nationalities in businesses on sight.
Looking up a VAT number requires access to the Internet. The process is made much faster by checking the nationality of the VAT number first and then using the European Commission Taxation and Customs Union Web directory to navigate to the applicable VAT site for that nation. It is important to note that most countries run their VAT query sites in their native tongues, requiring a Web browser with translation capabilities or knowledge of that language.
North American companies that do business in the European Union or with businesses that hold this affiliation also have VAT numbers. These numbers are available through the IRS.