The check a UK VAT number service is available at: www.gov.uk/check-uk-vat-number.
This service allows users to check:
- if a UK VAT registration number is valid; and
- the name and address of the business the number is registered to.
The service also allows UK taxpayers to obtain a certificate to prove that they checked that a VAT registration number was valid at a given time and date. This is especially important where you take on new suppliers as HMRC could withdraw your ability to reclaim the input VAT you have paid if the VAT number is subsequently found to be invalid. The certificate will provide valuable evidence for a taxpayer to prove that they acted in good faith should HMRC challenge input tax recovery or seek payment of lost VAT.
The European Commission's website also includes an on-line service which allows taxpayers to check if a quoted VAT number from anywhere in the EU is valid. The on-line service is available at: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/vies/#/vat-validation