An online store in Germany part 2
03.11.2012 Angelika Siczek
The foundation of running a website or an online store in Germany is Impressum. It is a separate tab, usually placed in the footer of the page containing the identification of the service provider (store owner). In general, all “online services provided as part of a business” require the incorporation of an Impressum. Therefore, it is not significant, whether content, goods or services on the site are offered in exchange for remuneration.
Impressum should contain the following information:
– Name and name of the entity running the online store and address for delivery,
– Legal form,
– Company’s capital,
– Telephone number or e-contact with short response time and email address,
– Data regarding the supervising office,
– Tax Identification Number of VAT payers,
– Data related to the specificity of the profession.
For the proper wording of the Impressum, it would be wise to consult a lawyer, as this is one of the most important elements of the website. Nonetheless, the online store in Germany should also meet a number of different requirements.
Correct prices for products. It may seem obvious but it is definitely not. German law has there is a special regulation regarding this subject – the Presisangabenverordnung, PAngV. § 1 para. 6 of this regulation requires that the price shall be visible and clearly assigned to a specific product. Besides that, the final price (gross price) must be clearly stated, meaning the price including all additional costs such as VAT and shipping costs, and in the case of goods sold in length, capacity or weight, such as meters, kilograms, liters, also the price per 1 meter/kilogram or liter.
The cost of the service or commodity must be transparent before placing an order. However, it is not demanded that all elements of the price are visible on one page – for example, it is authorized to provide transport costs on a different subpage, but there should be a clear reference to the place in the form of a relevant link, however, that link cannot lead to another link.
Even before ordering, the customer should be informed that in accordance with German law he is entitled to a 14-day withdrawal period without the need to state a reason. Therefore, it is suggested to place the information above in a shortcut on the order page and in the email confirming the order.
It is important to know that there is a chance of charging the customer with the cost of returning the order, but only if it does not exceed 40 euro. However, this must be accepted individually, e.g. in the general store policy.
There are still a number of details expected from German online stores, they are the basis for creating an online store in a way that does not cause its owner serious financial consequences.
If you are interested in setting up an online store in Germany, please refer to the website of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Germany – Department of Promotion, Trade and Investment.