Clarine Quinonez 12/07/2021

Germany is a desirable location for doing digital business. It is one of Europe’s largest markets, with over 80 million people and over 47 million online shoppers. Problems like challenging language and the well-known German bureaucracy, on the other hand, can be a struggle. Germany, thankfully, is quite welcoming and helpful to investors.

Your digital business doesn’t need too many steps to follow before it can flourish; make sure you follow German business rules and read opinions on for help too. Germans are big on documentation and making sure everything is in order. As a result, starting a business in Germany requires several actions and registration with specific government agencies. You will need digital services in Germany, kindly visit them.

Here are things you must know before starting.

Structure and size

The most frequent first steps are to decide on the company’s structure in terms of its members’ size and liability, create a bank account in the country, and register with the Tax Office (Finanzamt). Also, most likely, you’ll need to register with the Gewerbeamt or the Trade Office. These are the rules for any business in Germany (we say most likely because some professions, like doctors, require special registration). Furthermore, it depends on the type of business, the occupation, and whether or not the person wants to live in Germany; different visa types are required. In this instance, you should also call the Foreigners Office.)

Foreign investors can find a wealth of information on the official websites in English. Having professional assistance is also beneficial in understanding all of the documentation required for the entire procedure. However, several guidelines must be followed when conducting business online.

In Germany, however, there is no explicit law governing Internet commerce. The European Union’s E-Commerce Directive is the applicable legal document. However, international investors interested in starting this type of business in Germany should pay special attention to a few intriguing issues.

Physical Presence

The first suggestion is to establish a physical presence in Germany. Although having a ‘.de’ domain is not required, having a German address is vital in gaining German clients’ trust. Furthermore, because it is usual practice to return items purchased online, having a physical presence helps this procedure. It encourages clients to shop online because returns will be more straightforward.

It’s also a good idea to get the website translated into German. Although English is widely spoken and understood in European countries, German is the official language. Again, having a website that works in their local language is considerably better and more efficient for gaining the trust of German clients.

Payment Methods

In terms of payments, unlike Americans, who frequently use credit cards, Germans do not utilize credit cards as a means of payment. Even online payment options like PayPal aren’t the most popular among Germans. An open invoice is still the most popular payment option. Customers prefer to receive their things, inspect them to determine whether they are satisfactory (if not, they return them as stated), and then pay for them.

As a result, offering customers various payment options, such as credit cards, direct debit electronic payments such as Paypal, and the open invoice system, is also essential for a successful business to run in Germany.

You are a data controller once you have your client’s address to deliver the purchased products, payment information, and their e-mail address, such as their bank account number for direct debit. The General Data Protection Regulation- GDPR- applies to your organization. As a result, you’ll need a solid privacy policy for your internet firm. You will discuss the GDPR and privacy rules in the future post.