UK VAT Number Check: VAT formats, meaning and Verification

If you are new in the market and started a business, then sometimes you need to register for VAT. Value Added Tax is essential in the tax system in the UK and you need to understand the VAT number.

A VAT number is a unique identifier assigned to your business with some special numbers and letters. It is necessary to register for VAT if the turnover of your business reaches a certain threshold (85K).

The UK Tax Department, HRMC is the responsible authority and provides VAT numbers to businesses. If you have any doubt about the UK VAT number, you can check below whether it is valid or invalid.

In this article, we will cover VAT formats, UK VAT verification tools, VAT meaning and verification processes associated with VAT numbers in detail.

UK VAT Number format

The UK VAT number format follows a specific structure. It usually begins with the letter “GB” representing the United Kingdom, followed by a combination of numbers. These are 9 or 12 numbers, sometimes with ‘GB’ at the beginning, such as 123456789 or GB123456789.

For example, a standard UK VAT number might look like this: GB123456789. The inclusion of country codes and numerical sequences is necessary for cross-border transactions and identification purposes.

VAT Registration in the UK

Businesses in the UK are required to register for VAT if taxable turnover exceeds a certain threshold. This limit can vary, and businesses need to monitor their turnover to determine when registration is required.

Once registered, a business is assigned a unique VAT number, and it becomes an integral part of its financial transactions.

Meaning of VAT number

UK VAT numbers matter and the “GB” at the beginning represents the country code, indicating that the business is registered in the United Kingdom.

The numerical part is unique to each registered business and serves as a key identifier within the VAT system. This is important for businesses engaged in both domestic and international trade.

UK VAT Number Checker

It is a simple step for you to verify the validity of your UK VAT number when engaged in transactions with VAT-registered entities.

The process can be done through the official channels provided by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). There are online tools and databases available to the public, allowing businesses to confirm the accuracy of VAT numbers before entering into a transaction.

UK VAT Identifier Calculator

UK VAT Identifier Checker

VAT ID format in the UK

The standard VAT ID Number and VAT Number format are both the same which is a unique identifier for VAT purposes. The VAT number consists of the country code and a numerical sequence. However, the company number is 8 digits inclusive of VAT.

The VAT number consists of nine numbers followed by the letters ‘GB’ in England, Scotland and Wales. An example – the UK VAT number format might be ‘GB123456789’. If your business is based in Northern Ireland and you trade in the EU, you will use the prefix “XI” instead of GB.

VAT Verification in the UK

The process of registering as a manufacturer and seller is known as VAT registration in the UK. After registering for VAT, a business is eligible to recover any VAT spent on its expenses and thus becomes liable for the following taxes:

  • You must keep the VAT documents.
  • Paid all due taxes to HMRC.
  • VAT will be charged on all goods and services purchased.
  • Refund on Value Added Tax (VAT).

Every company that registers for VAT is given a unique VAT-registered number. This identification should appear on all invoice numbers for your company.


UK VAT numbers are essential for businesses in the field of taxation and transactions. Having VAT numbers, you can ensure records and maintain compliance with VAT rules in the UK. However, to check whether a VAT number is valid or invalid, you can use our online tool mentioned above. But you can visit the HMRC website for more information.

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