Skip to content
Home > Unlocking Market Access: E-Commerce Sites in Germany Requiring VAT Numbers for Sellers

Unlocking Market Access: E-Commerce Sites in Germany Requiring VAT Numbers for Sellers

As e-commerce grows worldwide, businesses often look to Germany, Europe’s largest economy, to expand. The large client base and strong digital infrastructure make Germany attractive for online sellers. Entering this attractive industry requires a German VAT number and other regulations. This page explains how to get a German VAT number and which platforms demand it for merchants.

Understanding German VAT

VAT is a consumption tax on EU-sold goods and services. The typical VAT rate in Germany is 19%, however books, groceries, and medical items are taxed at 7%. Understanding VAT compliance is crucial for non-EU vendors and firms growing into Germany to avoid penalties and run smoothly.

Getting a German VAT Number

German online sellers must register for a VAT number with the Federal Central Tax Office. This involves:

Filling out VAT registration: You must include your business address, kind, projected annual turnover, and bank information.

Documents to submit: Passports, ID cards, business registration documents, and sometimes bank statements.

Waiting Approval: Processing can take weeks, so apply early.

You will receive your VAT number after approval, allowing you to comply with German VAT legislation and operate online.

German VAT Number-Required Platforms

Many major online selling sites require German VAT numbers. Some major platforms:


Online retailers targeting Germans use Amazon Germany extensively. Selling on requires a German VAT number for numerous reasons:

Amazon compels vendors to follow local tax laws, including VAT.

Simpler VAT Filing: Amazon calculates VAT for sellers, assuring proper billing and compliance.

Building Trust: VAT compliance builds trust with customers who value legal and transparent business processes.


For tax compliance, eBay Germany requires all sellers to have a German VAT number. This is crucial if you expect high sales. Due to their automated VAT deduction and remittance, eBay simplifies international seller regulation. Registering your VAT number with eBay prevents selling disruptions and legal issues.

3. Etsy

Etsy, which sells handmade, vintage, and unusual factory-made goods, must comply with German VAT laws. Selling to Germany requires a German VAT number:

Correctly charge VAT: For German sales.

Follow ETSI Policy: Complying with European and German tax laws is crucial for platform reputation.

Etsy helps sellers calculate VAT, but precise information is required.

4. Zalando

Zalando, a renowned European fashion and leisure e-commerce company, requires all merchants to have a German VAT number. The platform promotes local regulatory compliance while shipping internationally.

For legal compliance and efficient use of Zalando’s client base, Partner Programme sellers must register for VAT.

German consumers expect compliance and openness, so sellers who follow local VAT requirements are more credible.

5. Real/, formerly, is a comprehensive German internet marketplace. International vendors selling in Germany must register for a VAT number on the marketplace. The measure ensures:

VAT Compliance: sellers must furnish their German VAT number.

Improved Logistics: Compliance streamlines German logistics and delivery, making purchasing easier.

Importance of German VAT Number

A German VAT number offers many benefits for internet retailers beyond compliance:

Market Access: Direct access to German consumers, lawful entry without obstacles.

Avoiding Fines: Non-compliance can interrupt your business with large fines.

Transparency and Trust: German consumers prefer legal compliance and transparency, which fosters long-term relationships.

German VAT Number Registration Steps

This may seem difficult, but the steps are simple for full preparation:

Determine Your Eligibility: Assess your business activity to determine VAT registration. If you sell online to German consumers and plan to surpass the local VAT level, you must register.

Documentation: Gather your passport or ID card, business registration proof, and appropriate financial statements.

Get the VAT Registration Form from the Federal Central Tax Office’s website. Complete it with accurate business operations, turnover, and contact information.

Submit Application: Post the form and papers to the Federal Central Tax Office. Send the application online or by mail.

Await Confirmation: The tax office may take longer to process submissions, but staying in touch can help. Your VAT number will arrive after approval.

Implement VAT Compliance: Update your web platforms with your VAT number, update sales invoices with VAT, and keep accurate tax filing records.


Selling on large German e-commerce sites requires understanding German VAT regulations, which can be difficult. A German VAT number is essential for,, Etsy, Zalando, and It assures local compliance, develops consumer trust, and streamlines operations in Germany’s powerful market. Online merchants may maximise their reach and revenue by understanding and following these rules to tap Europe’s largest economy. Registering and complying with VAT can help you break into the lucrative German e-commerce industry.