A VAT number in Italy is called a Partita IVA and is a legal requirement of every Italian company. The process of VAT registration is relatively quick, with a timescale of just 24-48 hours. This is a result of the streamlined procedures implemented in Italy, compared to the complex processes in other EU countries such as UK and Cyprus, and is usually completed in the incorporation process.
Italian companies also have a company number, however unless your company has recently upgraded from a light branch to a full branch, your company number will be identical to your VAT number.
The streamlined procedures for VAT registration in Italy have been implemented recently, with new legislation introduced last year. There are now two parts to the process; one for legal trading within Italy and another for trading internationally. These are explained below:
1.The mandatory initial registration of an Italian VAT Number/Partita IVA authorises the company for legal trading within Italy, whether it is active or dormant. This is usually completed during incorporation by a notary public or your company lawyer.
2.The second part of registration is for companies trading internationally. Registration for an international VIES tax number legally allows international trade. Once the VIES number is obtained your company will be listed in the online Registry of the European Union, available for clients worldwide. This part of the registration is usually done by a chartered secretary or your company accountant through the local Tax Agency.
Although this new two-part procedure is more complex and takes much longer, with a timescale of several months, it is designed to provide Italian companies with greater security than the previous, protecting your company by making it harder to achieve VAT fraud. Obtaining a VIES number is essentially a more authoritative form of VAT number and safeguards you for legal trading anywhere in the world.
For further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.