Experience in selling templates?

Hello Guys,

thats gonna be my first post in here but i follow the forum now for a while.
Im Torben 22 years old and currently studying IT in germany. Since a few years i always help friends and friends of friends with designing/setup small websites.

Cause I had to much free time during some tutorials :laughing: i just started to create some templates.
Now i want to put them on gumroad or other sites like that.
Cause i did the webprojects in the past for friends etc. I didnt registered a business. But for selling them legally now i guess i have to have a bussines tax id etc or maybe im wrong?!

Has someone here experience in selling these things or knows what i have to do to sell them legally?
Google tells me to many different things … thats why i ask u guys here :slight_smile:

Thank u so much !

You would have to look at the German tax laws. I know that here in the UK, you only have declare it for tax purposes if it becomes a regular income for so many consecutive months. If all your doing is a little of money here and there for fun, i doubt you will need to set yourself up as a business. Best advice though is to check with your local tax authority and see where they draw the line between regular income and just a bit of pocket money.

Gumroad allows you to create business or personnal account (as all platform I think). Maybe, if it is just to try to sell some templates/themes, it is a good idea to begin with a personnal account and then progress with a business one.

once you aim to profit you are required to register yourself … can’t say for all cases but usually there’s an office for that in your city - while i happen to live in frankfurt that’s where i could get a permit - usually you can fill out a form online, i think the registration fee is 25 € which should not be a problem.

please be aware when registering, or selling stuff in general other things might also change. e.g. social insurance is more expensive after you reach a certain level of profit compared to being employed somewhere else as you basically need to pay double since you are “more vulnerable”

also you need to make yearly reports and send them to your finance-office and a lot of things.
while this is just the tip of the iceberg, i’d suggest you either get some professional advice or take alot of time to get researching what applies to you.

lastly you could also sell your templates by your own as well, many “man in the middle” charge a lot of fees for processing sales for you. so having an easy shopping cart with options like paypal (where you already pay 2,9%) makes you keep a bigger piece of the cake.

I’d also suggest you contact your local “Finanzamt”.

To be on the safe site legally, you will also have to register a business (Gewerbeanmeldung), even if you don’t have a regular income from selling templates, yet. It only costs something like 20 Euro (locally different).

Luckily, services like Gumroad take care of all the VAT stuff for you.

As for the suggestion to sell your stuff via Paypal yourself, you also have to take care of all the VAT stuff yourself, what with all the legal changes in European law will easily become a nightmare. Not really advisable.

Health insurance: I don’t know about your health insurance, if as a student you are insured within the “Familienversicherung”, your monthly income may not exceed 425 Euro, otherwise you will have to have your own health insurance. If you are privately insured anyway, that should not be a problem.

But generally, so many things depend on your personal situation that a forum like this can only give you tipps, for everything else you have to contact the respective authorities.

to add.

you are not required to have a private insurance.
you can still stay within “gesetzliche sozialversicherung” but nethertheless depending on income they will raise the price - i think the lowest (non student - non selfemployed) is 180 €/mo. but (non student - selfemployed) is about double at about 350 €. ( the highest rate is around 800 per month if you happen to earn extremely well )
i am not sure if it still applies saying once you go private insurance it’s hardly possible to go back but will that gets very off topic…

VAT Stuff - it always depend on you within 17500€/year you could go as kleinunternehmer where you only deal with something like a total price and not dealing with VAT issues.

Otherwise you’d be required to collect 19% tax from your customer and report and send those 19% to finanzamt every month. (within the first 3 years monthly, later i guess quarter yearly) - while when you buy something for your employment you can get the 19% you paid back - it’s no benefit either way.

another question you should ask yourself, are you selling that much, that it’s worth thinking about all those things too much? i mean if you generate just a tiny sum yearly you are like the smallest fish in the tank, so it’s likely noone will bother too much if you just get the basics right.

Yes, but only for sales within Germany, “Kleinunternehmerregelung” can’t be applied to European sales.

european sales would most likely be tax free (0%), and leaving the customer to tax themselves because the “end product” is not used within germany.

If he were to code a cart himself, he could just leave the same price but add a column with tax 0% on his invoice (if he intends to fully automate sales)

if(get('country') != 'Deutschland'){
 echo "Tax 0 % ;)";

i am no lawyer as well, i guess we throw some informations at him so he can start his research :woman_playing_water_polo:

I Like that :smiley:

But thanks for all ur comments. I guess i just write a quick mail to my tax office in town and see what they say.
I mean i dont expect that much money from selling my stuff :smiley:

my example is super basic, but actually something like that would work…
like your shop creates an order having infos like name, adresses, shopping cart and everything you need, and you internally you just set a bool flag to either tax or not.

The same actually applies for checking for countries, it’s just a few lines of code away actually :slight_smile:

this is then a reference on how to include being able to change from “taxing to non taxing”

Invocice part

			<td colspan="3" style="text-align:right;">
			'.calcmwst($page->cart()->yaml()).' '.$page->parent()->parent()->parent()->currency().'


you never know, you start out small, but who knows what happens within a year or two.
I have somewhere read, that like the founder of opel - adam opel - has never worried about any financial matter he just started earning money … it will all sort out eventually. maybe you happen to have a friend who’s in a similar boat …

decision wise:

let’s say your friend or neighbor asks you for your help just here or there and he gives you money, this wouldn’t require you to register.

once you say i want to offer and sell templates you should do it.