Getting a VAT number in the Netherlands

How to get a VAT number in the Netherlands

When you register your company at your local Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel), it will normally inform the tax office, which will give you a VAT number. This is called in Dutch a BTW number, and it will allow you in normal circumstances to reclaim Dutch VAT paid on your purchases and to charge VAT to your clients. 

What does a VAT number look like?

There are two types of VAT numbers. The so called ‘Private VAT number’ is composed of your personal BSN number and is solely used for communication with the Dutch tax office (you are not meant to share this number). And the so called ‘Public VAT number’ is used for the invoices that you send out and for communication with your clients. 

Who needs a VAT number?

Some activities in the Netherlands are not required to pay VAT. These include creative professions such as composers, writers and journalists, most financial and insurance services, education and sports organizations. Check the list here

If you are a sole trader and your business makes less than €20,000 in revenue in the financial year, you can apply for the small business VAT exemption (KOR). 

If you already have an active VAT administration in some cases it may be wise not to make use of the new KOR exemption. For example: If you are selling services to foreign countries, you may not need to charge them VAT. But it might still be in your interests to have a VAT number so that you can claim a refund on Dutch VAT paid on your business purchases. This could allow you to charge lower prices and gain a competitive advantage. 

For advice on your own situation, plan an intake meeting with Blue Umbrella for just €75 (including VAT!).