Register a VAT in Spain in 2024-25: Complete Guide

In this article, you will learn about how to register a VAT in Spain in 2024-25. Read the complete article to know more about VAT rates, documentation, compliances and more.


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    VAT in Spain

    Value Added Tax (VAT) in Spain is an unavoidable element for businesses operating within the nation or selling goods and services to Spanish consumers. A thorough understanding of Spain’s VAT regulations is crucial to avoid possible sanctions and penalties.

    Additionally, foreign entrepreneurs conducting business in Spain may be required to register for VAT, which involves obtaining a VAT number. This number is essential for fulfilling tax obligations, including filing VAT returns and settling VAT dues in Spain. The VAT registration process can often be intricate, necessitating the assistance of a tax representative. Consequently, this article aims to elucidate this aspect, providing comprehensive insight and clarity on the subject.

    What is the Spanish VAT number?

    In Spain, the VAT number issued to foreigners is known as the NIF (Número de Identificación Fiscal). It comprises 11 characters, beginning with the prefix ES and followed by nine digits. However, in certain circumstances, the first and last characters may be letters instead of digits.

    How to Register for VAT in Spain?

    Registering for Value Added Tax (VAT) in Spain is a critical process for businesses intending to operate within the country or sell goods and services to Spanish consumers. The process can be intricate and requires thorough knowledge of local tax regulations. Here is a step-by-step guide to assist foreign entrepreneurs in navigating the VAT registration process in Spain:

    Step 1: Determine the Necessity for VAT Registration

    Foreign businesses must first determine if they are required to register for VAT in Spain. Common scenarios necessitating VAT registration include:

    • Selling goods to Spanish consumers (distance selling).
    • Importing goods into Spain.
    • Operating a business establishment in Spain.
    • Providing certain services in Spain, such as telecommunications or digital services.

    Step 2: Obtain a Fiscal Representative

    For non-EU businesses, appointing a fiscal representative in Spain is mandatory. This representative, who must be a Spanish resident, will act as a liaison between the business and the Spanish tax authorities. EU businesses can choose to appoint a fiscal representative, although it is not obligatory.

    Step 3: Gather Required Documentation

    To register for VAT in Spain, the following documents are typically required:

    • A completed VAT registration form (Modelo 036 or Modelo 037).
    • Proof of the business’s legal existence (e.g., certificate of incorporation).
    • Identification documents for company directors and representatives.
    • A certificate of fiscal residence.
    • Proof of a business address in Spain (if applicable).

    Step 4: Submit the VAT Registration Form

    The VAT registration form, along with the necessary documentation, must be submitted to the Spanish Tax Agency (Agencia Tributaria). This can be done either online through the Agencia Tributaria’s website or in person at a local tax office. The form must be filled out accurately to avoid delays in processing.

    Step 5: Await Confirmation and VAT Number Issuance

    Upon successful submission, the Spanish Tax Agency will review the application. If approved, the business will be issued a Spanish VAT number, which is essential for all VAT-related transactions. This process can take several weeks, so it is advisable to plan accordingly.

    Step 6: Comply with Ongoing VAT Obligations

    Once registered, businesses must comply with ongoing VAT obligations, which include:

    • Filing periodic VAT returns (typically quarterly).
    • Maintaining accurate records of all transactions.
    • Charging and collecting VAT on taxable supplies.
    • Paying any VAT due to the tax authorities.


    In Spain, the standard VAT rate is 21%, with reduced rates of 10%, 4%, and 0% for specific cases. VAT registration is mandatory for entrepreneurs exceeding EUR 10,000 in CSTO sales, importing goods, trading, or selling within Spain, unless using the VAT OSS procedure. The registration process, handled by the Agencia Estatal de Administración Tributaria (AEAT), involves obtaining a NIF identification number (prefix ES followed by nine digits). Required documents include a VAT registration application, articles of incorporation, apostilled ID copy, and confirmation of EU VAT registration and company register entry. A tax representative’s involvement is necessary due to the process’s complexity.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What is the standard VAT rate in Spain?

    The standard VAT rate in Spain is 21%, with a reduced rate of 10%. Additionally, Spain applies a super-reduced VAT rate of 4% and a zero rate of 0%.

    What is the difference between NIE number and VAT?

    It is important to note that foreign individuals seeking to register for VAT in Spain must first acquire an N.I.E. number (Número de Identificación de Extranjeros). This number, which acts as the Spanish equivalent of a TIN, is crucial for non-Spanish entrepreneurs involved in various activities, including business operations.

    What are Spanish VAT Compliances?

    For VAT registration services in Spain, you can depend on our team of skilled VAT compliance specialists to manage the entire process for you. We are delighted to assist with various VAT-related tasks, including settlements, VAT returns, VAT OSS, and VAT EU. Feel free to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific needs, and rest assured, we will handle everything else!