As a German online seller, it may be necessary to obtain a VAT ID in France. This is the case if you start selling your products to private customers in France and exceed the delivery threshold of 35,000 EUR net per year or if you store your products in France – for example in Amazon’s warehouses. Invoices you issue therefore must include a French VAT ID. How you can get a French VAT ID and what you need to know about it is explained below.
Antonia KlattLast Updated on 22 October 2021
VAT ID in France
As in all EU countries, the French VAT identification number (VAT ID) is used to allow EU companies to participate in the European Union’s VAT-taxed trade in goods and services. The VAT ID enables a clear identification of the respective company. Depending on the country, the VAT ID differs in its structure.
The VAT ID in France is originally called “TVA intracommunautaire” or “ID. TVA“. The country code of the number is FR, followed by eleven digits.
Find out more about VAT IDs in Europe
Apply a VAT ID in France
You can apply for the VAT ID for France at the following local tax office:
Service des Impôts des Entreprises (SIE)
10, rue du Centre TSA 20011
F – 93465 NOISY LE GRAND Cedex
Phone: 0033 1 57 33 85 00
Fax: 0033 1 57 33 84 04
This tax office is responsible for requests for VAT IDs from foreign companies. The application is free of charge for you, but involves some work due to the language barrier.
Register for VAT
For example, although the registration forms are available in English, they must still be filled out in French. In the following we would like to give some extra instruction.
The basis for VAT registrations in France is the so-called IMP form. The common legal structures, which must be indicated under point 1 of the IMP form, can be translated as follows:
- Ltd: SARL
- Individual enterprise: entreprise individuelle
- Civil law association: société de droit civil
Register for VAT in France
Submit VAT Return in France
The application must be accompanied by the following additional documents:
- for natural persons: copy of the identity card(s)
- for legal entities: Copy of the memorandum of association with translation of the essential points into French (legal form, partners, directors, share capital and object of the company)
- Copy of an extract from the commercial register or a corresponding certificate of registration
- Proof of an issued, valid VAT identification number in the country of origin
- Proof of business activity in France (contracts, offers, invoices, etc.)
- if the application is submitted by an authorized representative, the application must be accompanied by the original power of attorney (Désignation d’un mandataire)
If you submit the application correctly and completely, it will take between two and four weeks before it is approved and you receive your new French VAT ID. Alternatively, you can issue invoices in advance with the reference “Numéro TVA: immatriculation en cours” in advance. However, once you have received your VAT ID France, you will have to issue each invoice again with the new number.
VAT identification number was assigned?
Once you have received your VAT ID, you must henceforth show it on every invoice to French customers. In addition to this ID, you will also receive a SIRET number from the French tax authorities, which will make you uniquely identifiable in your communications with them.
Upon receipt of the two numbers, you are now officially registered for VAT in France and can start your sales or replace provisionally issued invoices with new, correct invoices.
Communication with the French authorties
As has been seen before, communication with the French tax authorities can be a hurdle due to language differences. In this case, we have created a service called Tax Letter Inbox. It’s an AI-based system that ensures proper translations and an automated way to communicate with authorities.
Monitor your threshold limits with our free VAT software
To know what’s going on, check out our VAT automation software. It provides all relevant information and automates your VAT.
In this way you can clearly see all deadlines, charges or payments in your hellotax software and share them with your tax advisor accordingly. In this way, nothing is lost and you reduce the risk of deadlines being missed.
Anyone who stores his products in France or exceeds the delivery threshold of 35,000 EUR net annual turnover with sales to French private individuals requires a French VAT ID.
With a little help, the application for this is quickly submitted and the new number is assigned within two to four weeks. So trade in France can begin!