Starts a market stall in Germany

In itinerant trade, you sell products to consumers in, for example, markets, along public roads, in city parks, other public places or on private property. As a traveling trader, you are not selling products from a company location, but usually from a stall or sales cart.

Before starting your marketing campaign, please contact a Single Contact (EA). An EA is a German digital state counter that informs you of the requirements and steps you must take as a traveling retailer to sell your products in Germany.

Travel Gift Cards (RGK)

As a traveling trader in Germany, you must have a license for the traveling trade, Reisegewerbekarte (RGK). You can request this card from the trade office (Gewerbeamt) or the public order department (Ordnungsamt) in the German municipality where you are active.
Do you participate in a fixed market, such as a weekly market? Then ask the municipality if it is a ‘festgesetzter Markt’. In this case, an RGK is not required. You also do not need RGK if you sell home-grown vegetables or fruit.

Gewerbeamt or Ordnungsamt will tell you what documents to submit when applying for an RGK. It can take up to six weeks to receive your card. Depending on the municipality, the cost to RGK is between 150 and 500 euros. The card is valid throughout Germany.

You must bring the RGK with you during your work. A separate card for employees in your company is not required. Employees need a certified copy of RGK if they have direct customer contact. You can request this copy from the Security and Order Department (Fachbereich Öffentliche Sicherheit und Ordnung) in the German municipality where you are on the market.


If you want to stand in a market arranged by the municipality, the market master (Marktleiter) will award you a stand. If you want to be on a public road, for example with a food truck, chip truck or fishing car, you must have a special use permit (Sondernutzungserlaubnis) or parking permit (Standschein) and a dispensation permit (Ausnahmegenehmigung).

Company name visible

Make sure your company name is easy to read on or in your market stall. This way, your customers know who they are dealing with.

Additional food rules

When preparing food or transporting unpackaged food, you must have knowledge of hygiene and food safety. You can prove this with a health certificate (Gesundheitszeugnis) from the local GGD (Gesundheitsamt).
Do you sell your food from a sales cart, such as a food truck or chip shop? The local food inspection (Lebensmittelüberwachungsamt) then checks whether the company meets the health requirements.
If you serve alcoholic beverages for consumption on site, you must have a restaurant license (Gaststättenerlaubnis).

German VAT

You register as a traveling trader without a German business address at the tax office (Finanzamt) in Kleve. You pay German VAT (Mehrwertsteuer) on your sales in Germany via your German VAT return. For this you need a German tax number (Tax number). You can request this tax number from the Finanzamt.

VAT booklet: sales tax booklet

You must have a VAT booklet (Umsatzsteuerheft) with you when you are on the market in Germany. This is where you keep track of your sales. You request this at the Finanzamt in Kleve. The Finanzamt decides when to show your Umsatzsteuerheft for inspection.

Income tax

Because you earn income in Germany, it can have tax consequences for you. This also applies to any employees. For information, call the Dutch tax authorities, Department of Cross-border Working and Entrepreneurship (GWO). Or let yourself be supported by an adviser with knowledge of Dutch and German tax law.

A1 statement

If you work temporarily in Germany, you can remain socially insured in the Netherlands. This also applies to your Dutch employees. With an A1 / cover certificate from Social Insurance Bank (SVB), you show that you are socially insured in the Netherlands. The Office of German Affairs (BBZ), part of SVB, answers questions about social security.

German staff

You pay social security contributions in Germany if you hire German staff. SVB has several brochures on social security in Germany for the self-employed and employees. You must also deal with payroll tax in Germany. Hire an accountant or accountant who will help you with the tax and employment law obligations of German staff.

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