How-To Guide: Legal Questions Regarding Your Pop-Up Store

Safety first. Whether business registration, insurance and taxes: Go—PopUp answers your questions regarding the legal foundations of pop-up sales.

Law and order questions are none too pleasant topics. In fact, they can be a real downer – especially when it’s already too late. The necessity to manage such things early enough, needs no further explanation. Safety first. When taking care of it posthaste, you can directly dive into your pop-up’s implementation and enjoy your devil-may-care attitude.

How to register a business?
Are you an actual newbie and the sales world is virgin territory for you? On principle, everyone can carry on a business without difficulty – you simply have to register your enterprise with the municipal public order office before and after you take on business, even if you just give it a rest during winter season. An established pop-up store or a permanent booth in a shopping mall are so called general businesses and as such due for notification. Generally the fees connected with this notification lie within the lower/middle double digit area and are to be paid with the trade authority of the district where the commercial operations’ owner has placed the registered office – meaning your store’s/booth’s location and not your place of residence. By now, this procedure can be increasingly executed online, yet it depends on the respective agency. It’s important to register your business before you start running the store, which even means before you start renting the space, purchasing the wares or hiring employees. The legal form of your company is deciding who exactly will have to register this commerce. If you are single-handedly running this business, you are obligated to register as a sole proprietor; however within  a business partnership, all partners are personally liable and legally authorized to represent the corporation (regarding a partnership under the Civil Code (German GbR) or a general partnership (German OHG) it means al proprietors are deemed; regarding a limited partnership (German KG) all general partners are deemed). Concerning a limited liability corporation (German GmbH), all CEOs are notifiable; pertaining to a stock corporation (German AG), it is the management board.

When you sign your company in with the trade register, you have to bring your trade register excerpt (German Handelsregisterauszug) for your first business registration. Small-scale commerce (for example of small entrepreneurs with a turnover of not more than 17 500 Euro of the previous year and a maximum turnover of 50 000 Euro during the current year) is to be excluded from an entry into the commercial register, but still needs to be registered as a trade.

Attention, special regulations await caterers!
If it’s not a retirement home or a gambling hall you wish to open as a pop-up store, you only need an ID to register. In return you will get the trading license, which will be important for your bilk purchase or to show to the fiscal authorities. Special regulations only occur for catering businesses. It’s easy to run a pop-up café – as long as you won’t serve alcohol. Gastronomes, who can’t or won’t waive alcohol, will have to do and pay more, because as a first step, they need to request an additional trade concession, which must be handed in at the first business registration. The level of charges for such a tavern liquor license depends on the license status. A determinable license costs way less (approx. a triple-digit issue) than an unlimited one (approx. a low four-digit issue). Of course it doesn’t mean you need to avoid serving alcohol. If your fashion label wants to serve alcohol, let’s say as part of a private function, e.g. during the opening event, you can go for it without a license.

Help with the public order office and the Chamber of Industry and Commerce
In case you are unsure about the legal fundament, don’t hesitate to ask the responsible public order office or the your local Chamber of Industry and Commerce. Usually, they offer pamphlets and application forms for the various trades to provide guidance and point to the respective points of contact.

What about taxes?
Of course, also with the fiscal authorities your rights and duties differ from those of a normal jobholder. There are several different taxes to pay (income tax, sales tax, business tax) with different amounts of exemptions, which depend on enterprise size and annual turn over (see above). The basic advise here can only be: Go and familiarize yourself with the matter. Your local tax and revenue office is in charge, meaning the one, which is responsible for the district your management is located.

One more general advise: No matter which contracts, agreements or arrangements you will chalk up during your pop-up time, may it be with employees, co-operation partners or service providers: Make sure to provide it all on paper. It might sound like an uptight control freak, yet at the event of doubt, you can wave any uncertainties away with your document.

To be home and dry
Good news first: No need to worry about your pop-up’s insurance! If you book your space via Go—PopUp, the commercial liability insurance is already included and provided by our partner „Gothater insurances“. No additional fees needed. You yourself, your employees and customers are safe for an amount up to 10 million Euros. Financial losses are covered up to 300 000 Euros, the own risk amount lies at 250 Euros per defect. Trivial misadventures are also covered: the loss of keys or key cards, false alarm triggering, internet risks etc.

There’s no special legal obligation to insure conducting a pop-up store in general. In case you won’t be able to pay a particular damage event from your own pocket, you should consider an additional insurance to protect you from financial losses. As a minimum, we recommend a general liability insurance, which is the reason why we already took care oft hat for you. If you additionally wish to insure your provisions, your wares or possible damages on glass panels, feel free to talk to us about a special offer. As for other questions and concerns: Always call us first thing. The Go—PopUp service team supports you with words and deeds. Pop in with your requests, so we can take care of it and you can give yourself over to the more beautiful things: Creating your pop-up store!

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