Why does the VIES website say my VAT ID is invalid?

Probably because you entered the VAT tax number instead of the VAT ID. This usually happens to owners of eenmanszaken (sole proprietorship). On the VIES website, you can check VAT numbers of other businesses and your own.

As the owner of an eenmanszaak, you received two numbers from the Netherlands Tax Administration (Belastingdienst). A VAT identification number and a VAT tax number. You only use the VAT tax number for your contacts with the Tax Administration. For example, when you file tax returns. For eenmanszaken, the VAT tax number is based on the citizen service number (BSN).

VAT identification number

The VAT number you use for doing business is officially called VAT identification number, or VAT ID. This is a unique number for all legal structures. Also for sole proprietorships and freelancers. Your VAT ID is not linked to your citizen service number (BSN). As a result, your privacy is better protected than with your former VAT number. You use your VAT ID for your contact with customers and suppliers in the Netherlands and the EU. You put this number on your website and invoices, for example.

Check on VIES website

Do not search the VIES website with your VAT tax number. And do not give this number to customers and suppliers. If you check the VAT tax number on the VIES website, you get the message 'Invalid VAT number for cross-border transactions within the EU'. If you enter your VAT ID, you get the message 'Yes, valid VAT number'. When customers and suppliers ask for your VAT number, give them your VAT ID. Like you, they can check this number in VIES.