To be able to sell goods on platforms like Amazon or Zalando, you need a German VAT number.
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German companies are not always obliged to register for a VAT number. Once the annual turnover exceeds 22,000 EUR though, it becomes obligatory. Foreign companies that sell goods in Germany on platforms like Amazon, eBay, Zalando and other online portals often need a VAT number to be able to start their online shop in Germany.MORE INFO
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The VAT number, also known as Ust-ldNr or UID, is a tax number used to uniquely identify businesses operating within the EU, selling and buying goods internationally.
In Germany, the VAT identification number begins with the abbreviation DE, followed by nine digits. It therefore has the structure DE + 9 digits. In other EU Member States the structure is similar. The VAT identification number begins with the EU country code. This is followed by up to twelve alphanumeric characters, depending on the country.
A VAT number can be obtained directly from the local tax office by filling out a questionnaire provided by the tax office. Foreign companies selling goods through Amazon, Zalando, eBay or Etsy can apply for their VAT number at their responsible German tax office.
You can obtain a regular tax number from the tax office responsible for your business when you register a self-employed or commercial activity or after you have submitted an income tax return for the first time.
The VAT identification number on the other hand is issued by the Federal Central Tax Office.