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I'm a pupil from Germany, I'm 15 years old and I want to sell a product online.

However, it's not as easy as it may sound. The first problem is that I am not allowed to sell things before I'm "unbeschränkt geschäftsfähig" (legally competent), and this is normally the case when I reach the age of 18. Fortunately, there is a law that can make me "unbeschränkt geschäftsfähig" before if my parents allow this.

The real problem is that I cannot find any online payment system that allows me to use it because I'm underaged. I would like to sell under my own name, so asking my parents for doing this for me is not a really good option in my opinion.


Here are some of the payment systems I found:

(You don't have to read through all this stuff.)

Paypal

They would be great. Unfortunately, they want me to be full-aged ("volljährig"):

Paypal wants me to accept this.

GiroPay

GiroPay seems like a good choice. It looks very complicated and seems to want me to be full-aged, though (at least they offer a service to "let my clients approve that they are full-aged"). On the other hand, I couldn't find the requirement "full-aged" in their AGB. They are probably too expensive for me because they want a €99 fee once and €9.90 for every month after that if I want to use their payment service provider. Again, this stuff makes it pretty complicated honestly.

Google Wallet

I won't use this. Firstly, they offer only support for credit cards (which most German people don't have). And again, they want me to be full-aged:

Google Wallet wants me to be full-aged.

(marked things: if I'm between 13 and 17 I'm allowed to use Google Wallet for Google Play Store only, if I'm at least 18 I'm allowed to use it for other purposes, too)


Question: How can I legally sell things / services on the internet as an under-aged person (when I'm allowed to sell things generally)?

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    I sold some stuff online back in Brazil when I was 13 or so and I just asked people to deposit the money in my account then I shipped the item. Another option would be a wire transfer (like Western Union), but I don't know if WU has also a limit age in Germany.. Sep 28 '16 at 16:57
  • Unfortunately product/service recommendations are not on-topic here. You could potentially ask a similar question in an on-topic way if the answer you seek is not "Use this system" but "As a 15 year old, this is how you can do this" generically.
    – Joe
    Sep 28 '16 at 19:25
  • @Joe: Thanks for the hint, I changed the question to "How can I legally sell things / services on the internet as an under-aged person?"
    – palsch
    Sep 28 '16 at 19:28
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    I'd first look for a good bank (for this I'd go for one with a local branch where you together with your parents can talk to the Geschäftskundenbetreuer). Also, I find this quite interesting bafin.de/SharedDocs/Veroeffentlichungen/DE/Anschreiben/… - while you plan to get the unbeschränke Geschäftsfähigkeit for your business (I guess via §112 BGB?), this tells you what the bank is concerned about. Also note that anything that (may) land you in debt (Kreditgeschäft) needs to be allowed not only by your parents but also by a court decision. Anyways, once you ... Sep 29 '16 at 15:35
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    ... have established a good relationship with the bank on this, people can wire you money (Überweisung) without problems. And once your local bank has explained in detail what their (legal) concerns are, you can address them and then have the related paperwork ready for paypal or whatever other payment option you'd like to have. Sep 29 '16 at 17:32
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Using the bitcoin network has no age restrictions.

From my experience the merchant services for using the network natively are severely lacking, and payment processors that accept bitcoin, such as Stripe, Paypal, and Bitpay have much better merchant services, but then you still face the dilemma of using a payment processor.

Also from my experience, people like to pay with credit so they pay later, while bitcoin is a debit network.

The barrier of entry is extremely low, and also newer e-commerce sites that only accept bitcoin like OpenBazaar would probably appreciate your dilemma. Although people you know might not be familiar with bitcoin payments, other people interested in your product may be.

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  • Bitcoin is a good idea, and definitely one possible answer to the question as I asked it (+1). My personal problem is that my target group consists out of relatively old people (I want to sell services for schools) and I'm not sure if they are brave enough to try Bitcoin out.
    – palsch
    Sep 28 '16 at 20:13

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