Registering for VAT purpose in a foreign country raises many practical questions:
- When should you register for VAT?
- What documents do I need to provide to register for VAT?
- How long does it take to get a VAT number?
- Is it possible for a company to have several VAT numbers in Europe?
- Is a fiscal representative necessary?
All of these practical questions relate to the VAT registration formalities that you must comply with in the foreign country. The general rules on this subject are set out in Articles 213 to 216 of the VAT Directive, while the practicalities of registration are left to the discretion of each Member State.
The administrative procedures set up by the tax authorities in some countries can be slow (e.g. France), complicated (e.g. Spain) or even crazy (e.g. Hungary). Registering for VAT abroad can be a real headache for the uninitiated.
It therefore takes a lot of experience, a little patience and a very good knowledge of local customs and habits to successfully complete this task and obtain your famous sesame: your local VAT number!