Switzerland’s VAT numbers came into effect on January 1st, 2014. They are based on the already established Business Identification Number (BID) or Unternehmens-Identifikationsnummer (UID) in German. With the growth of the digital goods and services industry, it is only natural to let you validate them through our API. We have made it extra simple for existing customers to validate a Swiss UID without additional configuration.

If a customer enters a UID, our API will automatically detect which government services it needs to send the request to based on the format. This is how a JSON response from our validations endpoint looks like if you query Nestlé’s UID CHE-116.281.710 TVA:

{
    "id": "5de7dbdb6a1786369166fd31",
    "company_address": "Nestlé S.A., Avenue Nestlé 55, 1800 Vevey",
    "company_name": "Groupe TVA, Nestlé S.A.",
    "consultation_number": null,
    "valid": true,
    "valid_format": true,
    "vat_number": "116281710",
    "country_code": "CH",
    "query": "CHE116281710TVA",
    "type": "ch_vat",
    "requested": "2019-12-04T00:00:00.000Z",
    "created": "2019-12-04T16:16:27.505Z",
    "updated": "2019-12-04T16:16:27.505Z"
}

You can restrict validations to only a specific type if you provide a type body parameter in your POST request. The parameter’s value currently accepts eu_vat and ch_vat. We’ll be rapidly rolling out support for more countries.

The API’s response will include a valid boolean which indicates whether the business is VAT-registered in Switzerland. Often, a customer providing their UID may be a registered business but is not necessarily registered for VAT. You’ll then receive information about the company’s name and address while the valid boolean is actually false. This is completely intentional because the business was either never registered for VAT, or the registration has expired.

Swiss VAT Number Format

The number format is based on the Swiss UID. It starts with CHE, followed by 9 digits (whereby the last digit is a MOD11 checksum), and either ends with MWST, TVA or IVA depending on the part of Switzerland a business is registered in.

The extension of the UID will change as follows:

  • German part: MWST (German abbreviation for “Mehrwertsteuer”)
  • French part: TVA (French abbreviation for “taxe sur la valeur ajoutée”)
  • Italian part: IVA (Italian abbreviation for “Imposta sul valore aggiunto”)

For example, a Swiss VAT number could look like this: CHE-123.456.789 MWST. Detailed specifications of the UID “uidOrganisationId” including how to calculate the 9th check digit are documented in eCH-0097 data standard reference in German.

uidOrganisationId
uidOrganisationId

You can search the UID Register using both the name of the business and the UID number. Leave out the UID extension in the input field.

To validate VAT numbers for the 28 member states in the EU and for Switzerland, please review our API reference for the validations endpoint.