VAT Registration

"Germany has become a country that many people abroad associate with hope" Angela Merkel

Everything about VAT registrations and things to know before you start your activities in Germany.

VAT registration in Germany is a question to be examined very carefully before doing any kind of business in Germany. Most of the transactions done by a non German established company have to be declared to the German Tax Administration and require as a result a VAT registration in Germany.

The necessity of applying for a VAT registration number in Germany will depend on many factors such as the terms of delivery agreed with your clients and on the quality of your clients, if they are private consumers or companies. We therefore strongly recommend to start investigating your need of a possible VAT registration in Germany by RMB before you start selling.

RMB can take care of your VAT registration in Germany. This will make you save time and energy and your German VAT number can be granted within weeks. RMB’s experts will analyze the kind of operations you will have or plan to have in Germany and confirm whether a VAT registration in Germany is compulsory or not.

The risk of not being VAT compliant is to have to pay penalties and late interests to the German Tax Authorities.

Besides your VAT registration in Germany, RMB can also handle your VAT obligations and fill your German VAT returns.

Some of your suppliers charged your company with German VAT and you would like to know if you can claim this VAT back ? Give us a call. We will answer all your questions about German VAT in a timely manner.

Being privately owned and fully independent, RMB does not suffer from bureaucratic processes and never ending legal analyses. RM Boulanger is one of the major independent VAT providers specializing in cross border VAT.

RM Boulanger is not a branch or division of any accounting firm. RM Boulanger’s speciality is VAT and VAT only. Our mission is to provide our clients with tailor made solutions and assistance to implement those solutions. Being independent is a key point for us : we want to stay close to our clients and assist them on a day to day basis.

Do you need a VAT number in Germany?

You need to apply for a VAT registration in Germany if you are involved in the following kind of business transactions:

  • You sell goods to companies on the German territory
  • You sell and ship goods from Germany to companies based within the EU (Intracommunity supplies)
  • You ship goods from Germany outside the EU (exports from Germany)
  • You sell goods to German private individuals (B to C domestic sales)
  • You provide refurbishment or construction services on the German territory for private clients

If you have or plan to have one of these business transactions, applying for a VAT registration number in Germany is compulsory.

German VAT rates

1. Standard VAT rate

The standard VAT rate in Germany is 19%.

2. Reduced VAT rate

The reduced VAT rate in Germany is 7% and applies on (list is not exhaustive) :

  • Food and non alcoholic beverages,
  • Books, magazines and newspapers,
  • Hotel accommodation,
  • Games and entertainment.

VAT registration process

If your company needs to register for VAT in Germany, RMB’s experts will provide you with the documents needed to proceed with your VAT registration. We will prepare and file all the necessary information requested by the German Tax Administration.

The VAT registration process usually takes a month in Germany before the VAT identification number is granted.