VAT registration in Germany


Foreign companies that sell their products and services abroad do not need to register VAT in Germany. This is because of the encouraging free internal market introduced by the European Union.

VAT registration in Germany for companies:

However, there are exceptions. In some situations, despite the fact that the location of the company or branch of the company is not located in Germany, the company must register VAT in Germany. If you know that you need to register VAT in Germany, do not hesitate and contact us we will help you.

When is VAT registration in Germany required?

⇒ The products are stored in Germany and sold to German customers;

You rent a German consignment warehouse and sell products to German customers;

Using the German Amazon Fulfilment Service (FBA) as a German service provider for shipping products from a warehouse in Germany;

Purchase and sale of products in Germany without leaving products from the country of purchase or sale;

Import of products to Germany from a third country or other EU country and sale of these products in Germany;

Sending products between and another EU member state (intra-Community supplies);

Organizing live events (conferences related to art or education) in Germany;

Mail order sales to natural persons by EU companies registered for VAT (e.g. online retail sales via the Amazon platform) and exceeding the German delivery threshold of EUR 100,000 per year;

if the company is not registered as a VAT entity in Germany but receives a service in Germany according to the reverse charge rules;

Own delivery of goods.

Companies must check the necessity for VAT registration

International business entities are obliged to check when their business in Germany must be registered for VAT in Germany. Therefore, in any case, if the VAT registration has not been completed or has been completed too late, the German tax office may impose appropriate penalties on such a company.

How can I register VAT in Germany?

You must submit an application for German VAT registration with the relevant tax office in your region. The official language is German, and tax forms are generally available only in German. This means that even when registering a foreign company for German VAT, correspondence with the relevant tax authority will be in German.

It should be noted that German tax offices are very critical when it comes to VAT registration from foreign companies and often ask a lot of questions. Given the losses in billions per year in the European Union as a result of fictitious companies, the increased controls are intended to ensure that companies that should be registered for VAT purposes make such registration. These test processes lead to longer waiting times for VAT registration, which can usually take up to several weeks.

What documents do we need to register VAT?

In order to register a foreign company for German VAT purposes, we need the necessary documents to do so. These are usually documents such as:

Company founder’s certificate (not older than 3 months);

Company registration document;

Current confirmation from a foreign tax authority about the tax registration of a company in another country;

Presentation of planned business activities in Germany.

Depending on the country where the company is from, another German tax office (Finanzamt) is responsible for registering VAT, e.g. for companies based in the United Kingdom will be the equivalent of the Tax Office in Hanover (Finanzamt Hannover), for Italian companies, the equivalent will be the Tax Office in Munich (Finanzamt München).

Do you have any questions about VAT registration in Germany?
Do you have any questions about the German VAT registration for your company? Not sure if your company must be registered for VAT in Germany? If so, contact us via our contact form.
Registration Vat Germany
Country CodeDE
Local VAT no.DE + 9 characters
Mail order threshold100 000 €
Submission of VAT returns– Monthly
– Quarterly if the declared VAT from the previous month does not exceed € 7,500
– Annually if the VAT declared in the previous month does not exceed € 1,000
Annual declarationYes, mandatory for companies that pay monthly or quarterly
Waiting time for registrationsUp to 2 months
Standard VAT rate19.00%
Reduced VAT rate7.00%
European Union Member Stateyes, since 1957