Switzerland VAT Number (UID) Validation

We’re activating the validation for Swiss VAT numbers. This means that you can check and verify the UID of your Swiss customers with Vatstack’s VAT number validation API. Let us explain everything you need to know about UID validations.

Matt Hagemann

Published December 4, 2019

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.

How to Validate a Swiss VAT Number

Swiss VAT numbers can be validated manually. You can search the official UID Register using both the name of the business and the UID number. Manual checks are tedious because you can only validate one UID at a time.

An automated checkout process requires that you use an API like Vatstack. You’ll want things to be automated by letting your customer enter their UID. Vatstack validates VAT numbers against the UID register in real-time.

Create an account to start validating business identification numbers. The advantage with Vatstack is that you gain simultaneous access to other government validation services.

Vatstack Dashboard for Swiss VAT number validation

Example of Swiss VAT Number Validation Result

This is how Vatstack’s API 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"
}

The API’s response includes 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.

Vatstack currently supports VAT number validations for all 28 EU member states, Switzerland and Norway. You can restrict validations to only a specific type if you provide a type body parameter in your POST request. The parameter’s value accepts eu_vat and ch_vat. We’ll be rapidly rolling out support for more countries.

What is the 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

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

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