A 2024 Guide: Applying for a VAT Number and VAT Certificate for your Dutch company

If you are non-residents operating a Dutch business from abroad, understanding and navigating VAT (Value Added Tax) registration is crucial for smooth operations within the Netherlands.

This guide delves into the essentials of applying for a Dutch VAT number and a VAT certificate, specifically tailored for Dutch companies owned by non-residents in 2024

We’ll examine VAT rates, registration requirements, how to apply for a VAT certificate, and the processes needed to ensure compliance with the latest regulations

Key Takeaways

VAT rates –  Standard rate of 21%; reduced rate of 9% for specific goods and services; special 0% rate under certain conditions.

Registration Requirements -Mandatory for engaging in taxable supplies within the Netherlands; specific conditions apply to foreign companies

VAT Number Format – NL followed by 9 digits and B01

VAT Reporting – Monthly, quarterly, or annually, depending on the business’s VAT liability

VAT Rates: Navigating Through the Dutch VAT System

The Netherlands offers a tiered VAT rate system to cater to various goods and services. The standard rate is set at 21%, covering most goods and services. 

Conversely, a reduced rate of 9% applies to select items, such as food products, water supply, and specific pharmaceutical products

Registration: When and How to Apply

For non-resident directors and shareholders, the application of VAT process is different. 

Within 2 to 3 weeks after the new BV is incorporated, the new BV will receive a letter from the tax authority with a questionnaire for the VAT number application. 

This 8-page questionnaire, in Dutch, asks for company information, core business details, and information about your customers and suppliers inside and outside the EU. 

Also, the tax authority would like evidence of your business activities in the Netherlands, like invoices, contracts or import documents. 

The tax authority will use this information to decide whether to grant you a VAT number. Our package includes assistance with this process.

Obtaining a VAT certificate

Typically requested by foreign companies and customers, such as Amazon for eCommerce businesses, a VAT certificate serves as proof of registration with Dutch VAT authorities.

This certificate can be requested in specific languages and for particular years.

Utilizing the VAT Number

After successful registration, companies receive a VAT number formatted as NL 123456789B01, which is vital for all VAT-related activities, including filing returns and issuing invoices.

The Dutch tax office enforces the usage of this number rigorously, ensuring compliance and facilitating tax management.

Reporting and Compliance: Ensuring Timely VAT Returns

VAT returns are an essential part of compliance, demanding careful attention to deadlines and reporting accuracy. Depending on their VAT liability, businesses may be required to file returns monthly, quarterly, or annually.

The shift to electronic filing has made this process more efficient, enabling companies to submit their returns and payments with ease.


Obtaining a VAT number and adhering to VAT obligations are critical for Dutch companies in 2024. By comprehending the standard and reduced VAT rates, registration necessities, and compliance protocols, businesses can effectively maneuver through the Dutch VAT landscape. 

These insights are not just crucial for adherence to regulations but also for positioning companies for success in the Dutch market.