Germany VAT Registration

There is various condition during trading where you need a foreign trader to register with the tax authorities of Germany.

This is based on the comprehensive EU VAT regulations which include:

  1. Importing foreign goods to Germany (either within Europe or not)
  2. Transportation of goods between Germany and other European states (intra-community supply), either selling (dispatch) or buying (arrival).
  3. Trading in Germany.
  4. Trading online to German customers’ leads to German distance sales VAT registration threshold.
  5. Products that are withheld in consignment stocks.
  6. Having events/training or live shows in Germany.
  7. If a company isn’t a VAT operator but is getting services in Germany using the reverse charge law.
  8. Supplying goods to yourself.

Just a few companies require VAT registration for offering services to limited German companies and could utilize the Reverse Charge procedure instead. This follows the VAT plan changes of 2010.

Please take note; companies offering services such as electronic, telecoms or broadcast to German customers only have to register VAT in just one European country based on the MOSS program to file one return encompassing the other 28 member states.

What information is required to obtain a German VAT number?

In Germany, businesses offering taxable supplies may need to apply for a German VAT number. The conditions are as follows:

  • Importing into Germany
  • Trading within Germany
  • Organizing live events with entrance fees
  • Online trading to Germans

How does the format of a German VAT number look like?

The Vat numbers are divided into two by the tax office; one for VAT filing and general correspondence report and the other for companies that want to undertake an EU cross border operation (intra-community supplies).

German Number Format: DE+9 characters

What information is required to get a German VAT number and registration? 

He proper documents are meant to be completed and are required by the German tax office – it should be submitted with the following:

  • A certificate showing evidence that VAT has been registered somewhere else in Europe.
  • Articles of Association
  • An extract from the firm’s national trade register.

Where are German VAT registrations submitted?

A company is allocating in one of the German tax offices in the country when is VAT registered at first. The allocation follows the operator’s country of residence. 


French companies

UK companies – Hanover.

US companies – Bonn.

What is the format of a German VAT number?

An exclusive German VAT number is given to the company immediately the registration has been approved – it will take just one business week.

There are two categories of VAT numbers in Germany:

Steuernummer is a general tax number that is used by tax authorities in supervising traders as well as VAT returns – this is first received.

USt-IdNr, is a VAT identification number for giving feedbacks on intra-community supplies. This is offered by the Federal Finance Office based on the receipt of the Steuernummer.



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