How do I open a business

Opening a grocery store: what to look out for


Important know-how in the industry

If you are planning to start a business, you should have at least basic retail experience. You should note that even with franchise companies, many franchise partners are required to have experience in retail. Without the appropriate knowledge, you are out of the question as a franchise partner for many companies.

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Andreas Munck

For over 7 years I have been advising start-ups on their way to starting their own company. I would be happy to call you and help you with all questions relating to your start-up in a personal conversation.

  • Startup expert
  • 7 years of experience


Opening a grocery store: requirements

If you want to start a business in retail, you do not need to have any special professional qualifications. The trade law is very clear. There are only restrictions if you want to offer weapons, over-the-counter medicines or certain animal species in your shop.

However, the situation is different if you want to sell groceries that you have produced yourself or fresh groceries. In these cases you should contact the responsible veterinary office, which will inform you of the currently valid requirements. The minimum requirement is a so-called health certificate, issued by your responsible veterinary or regulatory office.


Business plan and financing in the food industry

The business plan is the basis of success and is of crucial importance both for your own planning and for the financing of your business idea. Because only a few retail stores can do without financing and for this reason have to convince banks and lenders of their concept. Before starting a business, you should therefore make sure that your business model and your financing are on a solid footing.

The business plan not only reveals the current stock situation at the selected location, but also tries to comprehensively determine the risks and opportunities for your business. Especially in retail, which is characterized by strong competition, you should put your store through its paces before setting up. A business plan of this kind serves primarily to sound out the prospects of success, risks and opportunities even before the foundation and to develop strategies for action orientation from this.

Retail franchises

There is also the question of whether you want to set up your own shop or work in the franchise sector. This can make significant differences when planning your business model and when creating your business plan. Franchisees often benefit from the reputation and great market power of the franchisor. Get expert advice to help you compare franchise concepts in an informed manner.


Grocery store as a GmbH, UG, GbR or sole proprietorship: choose legal form

If you want to start a company, you have to decide which legal form suits the business model. In most cases, the legal forms of sole proprietorship, GbR or GmbH are chosen for the establishment of grocery stores. A UG (limited liability) would also be conceivable. When making your choice, please also note that the individual legal forms also differ in terms of taxation.

Learn more about the possible legal forms:

In principle, there are of course other legal forms available to you.

Which company suits me and my business idea?


Our packages for your easy start-up in retail:

Checklist: Where do I have to register my grocery store?

Register the grocery store in the commercial register

If you set up a UG or GmbH or are a registered businessman, an entry in the commercial register is mandatory. No registration is required as a sole proprietorship without merchant status or as a GbR.

Register grocery store as a business

The business registration takes place directly at the trade office responsible for your place of business.

IHK membership for retailers

Like the tax office, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry is informed about your establishment by the trade office. Contact is made by the IHK. When registering a trade in retail, membership in the IHK responsible for you is mandatory.

Professional association for grocery stores

The professional association responsible for the retail trade is the trade association for trade and goods logistics, which currently includes more than 410,000 wholesale and retail companies. There are a total of five regional directorates throughout Germany.

Federal Associations of Grocery Stores

There is also a uniform federal association for grocery stores and their operators. The Bundesverband des Deutschen Lebensmittelhandels e.V. (BVLH) is responsible for the entire area of ‚Äč‚Äčspecialist food work and is your contact for many questions about setting up and running your retail business.


Products and offers

If you want to start a business, you should above all choose the offer or the range of goods carefully. Because the competition in retail is enormous, so that many factors can play an important role in success. So first determine the current demand at the location you have chosen and carefully examine the competition. Pay attention not only to the structure of the store and the range of goods, but also to the prices. Please note that with a franchise company you have few options to directly influence the offer and inventory. Your location, your range and your prices are the most important factors for new customers. You decide about your success and therefore have to be part of your business plan.

Find niches in the grocery market

If you want to work with discounter offers and open your business in the immediate vicinity of Aldi and Lidl, your chances are not good after the establishment. This can lead to a refusal of funding and thus to real start-up problems. A delicatessen store in a big city with little competition and good income, on the other hand, can be hugely successful. The range and range of goods must therefore always harmonize with the location and the local competition.


Which location suits your grocery store?

There are several factors to consider when choosing the location for your store and retail business: customers, competition, infrastructure, and rental costs at the location. In any case, you should take these into account when planning and before setting up your company in order to be successful in financing your company and your business plan.

Rental costs and infrastructure

Basically, you should keep the rental costs and thus the fixed costs as low as possible. However, locations with a lot of walk-in customers, good transport links and lots of parking spaces often have horrendous rental costs. The art is to maintain the balance and to set up your shop in a location where you can reach many customers and still the rents are affordable. Allow time to do a thorough search. The time invested is worth it when you open your shop at the latest.

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Aldi and mom and pop: Competitors at the location

Regardless of whether you want to open a corner shop, start a delicatessen or run a butcher: Local competition always plays an important role. Compare what your competitors are offering and their prices and consider carefully whether you are competitive with your concept.


Which staff do you need for your grocery store?

Small grocery stores can certainly initially be operated without staff in order to save costs. But the urge for longer opening times can make additional staff necessary. If you want to start a larger grocery store, you need to consider staff and staff costs from the start. For this reason, you should not only consider the currently required staff, but also any necessary increases in staff in your business plan and calculate them comprehensively before setting up. Also think about the ancillary wage costs and insurance that you have to pay.


Target groups: Which customers do you want to address?

Before founding a company, note that you should (have) carry out a comprehensive market analysis. In this way you can determine the purchasing power of the various districts and create a forecast of the profitability of your business idea for financing and the business plan. Such an analysis is also always required in franchise companies. Your business at the chosen location must be attractive to customers and easily accessible, and its range must meet the needs of the target group's price range.

Open a deli

A delicatessen store, for example, needs a certain customer base to be profitable at all. Such a shop is usually only profitable if there are enough financially strong customers. High quality expectations go hand in hand with the desire for excellent service.

Open a health food store

A health food store, on the other hand, is particularly popular with families and single people and its range can in parts clearly stand out from the shops in the area. If you want to set up a health food store, the shop should be particularly easy to reach and have very good public transport connections, as many customers of these shops, for example, do not have their own vehicle.

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Marketing strategies in retail groceries

If you want to run a franchise business, marketing and sales are often done by the franchisor. For your own business, on the other hand, you need to think carefully about how you want to promote your store before starting it. Marketing and sales costs must and should also be included in the business plan. Whether you want to work through a website and online advertisements (SEA), traditional print advertising or radio advertising depends on your budget and the selected target group. Think of several strategies and set budgets for all media. You should particularly advertise your new opening. Offer small gifts and discounts to new customers in order to convince as many customers as possible of your grocery store from day one.


The information published on our site is all written and checked by experts with the greatest care. However, we cannot guarantee that it is correct, as laws and regulations are subject to constant change. Therefore, always consult a technical expert in a specific case - we will be happy to put you in touch. assumes no liability for damage caused by errors in the texts.