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A Comprehensive Guide: How to Obtain a VAT Number in Spain for Non-EU Businesses

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Securing a VAT number in Spain can be a complex process, especially for non-EU businesses, particularly those based in China.

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a VAT number in Spain and address the challenges that Chinese companies may encounter in the process.

Employing In Spain understands the importance of facilitating international businesses’ operations in Spain, and our professionals are available to assist you in navigating the complexities of VAT registration.

The Importance of VAT Registration in Spain

VAT registration is crucial for non-EU businesses that sell online in Europe, including popular platforms like Amazon. VAT registration indicates that a foreign taxpayer will be submitting tax returns in Spain.

However, due to past instances of fraud, the Spanish Tax Office exercises caution in issuing VAT numbers, leading to a thorough examination process.

Application and Documentation Requirements

To obtain a VAT number in Spain, non-EU businesses need to submit an application to the Spanish Tax Office along with specific documents.

These documents serve to establish the existence of the company and appoint a fiscal representative who must reside in Spain.

Legalizing Power of Attorney (PoA)

A critical aspect of the application process is assigning a Power of Attorney (PoA) to a fiscal representative. However, the Tax Office does not always accept PoAs issued abroad without further authentication.

Chinese companies face specific challenges as China is not a party to the Hague Convention on the Apostille.

Therefore, for a Chinese document to be valid in Spain, it must go through a process of notarization and legalization by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the appropriate Spanish consulate in China.

Alternative Approaches for Chinese Businesses

Chinese companies seeking a VAT number in Spain can explore alternative methods to authenticate the PoA.

One option is to utilize the separate tax and legal jurisdiction of Hong Kong, which is a member of the Hague Convention. By signing the PoA before a Hong Kong notary and obtaining an apostille, the document becomes valid for use in Spain.

Another option is to issue the PoA directly before a Spanish Consul, which provides a shortcut compared to the previous process.

However, it’s important to note that Spain has only three consulates in China (Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong).


Obtaining a VAT number in Spain is a crucial step for non-EU businesses, including Chinese companies, selling online in Europe.

Navigating the complexities of the process requires a comprehensive understanding of the requirements and possible challenges.

Employing In Spain specializes in assisting international businesses with their employment and fiscal needs in Spain.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment and benefit from our expertise.


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