General rule: Evidence that the customer is in business
The business status of the customer is key to determining the place of supply. In most cases a supplier will be able to rely on a valid VAT number provided by the customer as evidence of business status (the supplier should be satisfied that it is the customer’s VAT number and should check with the VAT, Excise and Customs Duties Advice Line where there are doubts). However, where the customer is in business but outside the EC or is not VAT registered in their Member State, alternative evidence of their business status will be acceptable. Where no such evidence is provided, the transaction should be treated as B2C.