Sometimes, a non-Dutch company carries out all kinds of economic activities in the Netherlands or has them carried out without wanting to be confronted with the provision of bank guarantees, as is the case with general fiscal representation (GFR).
In order to meet the VAT obligations in such a case, the company may choose to register for VAT in the Netherlands. The foreign company (whether or not an EU resident) will then be given a Dutch VAT number, without further authorization. This option is more accessible than GFR, with the disadvantage that the VAT has to be prefinanced and an Article 23 permit (Artikel 23-vergunning) is not an option in this case. However, the advantage of VAT registration is that bank guarantees don’t need to be provided and that registration can be completed much faster than a GFR authorization.
Applying for a Dutch VAT number
When applying for a Dutch VAT number, several official documents from the tax authorities of the applicant’s country of residence are required. But the VAT number itself is granted quite quickly and can sometimes be done within ten days. The VAT number allows the foreign company to participate fully in trade within the European Union. But this also means that they are obliged to keep VAT records. SGS Maco takes care of these types of VAT registrations and administration. It is important to take into account that the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) will strictly check the correctness of all the transactions, especially if VAT is claimed back. The company that manages the administration in the Netherlands is not liable for the activities of the foreign party represented.