How to open a shop in Germany
Many entrepreneurs consider the idea of opening a shop at some point on their business journey. However, just like with any other business model, there are several things to consider when opening a retail business. In this article we are going to tell you about special aspects one needs to pay attention to when opening a shop in Germany.
Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, assists foreigners with starting and developing their own business in Germany and moving to Germany through business immigration or the EU Blue Card. Over 20 years of operation we have helped more than 7000 customers.
In our previous articles we talked about the challenges that foreign entrepreneurs face when opening a business in Germany as well as general steps that need to be taken in order to register a company, get Gewerbeanmeldung (or business registration) etc. Today we’ll focus on specific aspects that have to do with retail business.
Watch our video on how to open a shop in Germany:
1. Permits, licenses and special requirements
Just like some activities require permits, selling some kinds of products may also require obtaining permits or fulfilling special requirements, such as verification of credibility, mandatory training, skill test or others. For example, trading with the following groups of products should be paid special attention to:
- Food items and especially unpacked food items
- Medicinal products and over-the-counter meds
- Vertebrate animals
- Firearms and ammunition
- Valuable second-hand goods
2. Company number (Betriebsnummer)
All companies that employ or plan to employ people need a company number to participate in the social security registration procedure. This is true for all companies, regardless of their business activity. As a rule, the company number is issued by the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit).
If you plan to hire employees from non-EU countries to work for your company in Germany, they’ll require a valid residence permit, for example, an EU Blue Card.
3. Permits from the building authority (Bauamt)
If you plan to make any changes at the site you’ve chosen for your shop, they need to be checked and approved by the respective building authority.
4. Cash register
Every shop needs to keep track of all earnings and expenses. Currently, in Germany it is not obligatory to have an electronic cash register (elektronische Registrierkasse), so a so-called “open cash drawer” (offene Ladenkasse) might be used. Important is that all earnings and expenses are recorded. However if you do use an electronic cash register, as of 2023, all of them have to be equipped with a special technical safety module.
Our company, Nexus-Europe GmbH, provides turn-key solutions: from establishing a company to launching a ready-to-operate business. We can also assist you with obtaining the German residence permit because of business. Since all projects are guided by certified Project Management professionals (PMPs) you get a working business in Germany and ensured quality of performance. On time and on budget.
This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is intended for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Each situation is unique and professional advice should always be obtained before taking or refraining from any action.