What is an antique store

Open an Antiques Business - How to start your own art and antiques business


What knowledge do you need to start your own antique shop?

You are probably already at home in the antiques and collectors scene. Nevertheless, you should always expand your knowledge. The better you are familiar with your exhibits, the more competently you can procure new goods and advise customers in sales talks. Visit museums, seminars and industry meetings to stay up to date.

Entrepreneurial instinct and strategic planning have to be learned. As an independent antiquarian, you should continue to educate yourself in order to make economically wise decisions.

Founder check for retail: The most important questions that entrepreneurs should ask themselves, information on qualifications, the legal framework for retail and future prospects for the industry can be found in the guide to opening a business.

[BEGIN: Insert an Image between this tag]

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


Antique shop as sole proprietorship, GmbH or UG: choose legal form

The legal form of sole proprietorship, UG or GmbH is often chosen to set up an antique shop. In principle, you can of course also choose from other legal forms. When making your choice, however, please 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

How can you register your business?

Entry in the commercial register

As a public directory, the commercial register documents entries on the registered traders in the area of ​​a competent registry court. The company forms GmbH and UG (limited liability) require an entry in the commercial register.

Business registration

Regardless of the legal form you have chosen, you must register with the trade office responsible for your company headquarters. If you open your antique shop as a sole proprietorship, a simple business registration is sufficient.
After registering with the trade office, the tax office will automatically contact you for tax registration. As soon as your documents have been viewed and checked by the tax office, you will receive your tax number and can issue invoices.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also informed by the trade office. When registering a trade, membership in the IHK responsible for you is mandatory.

Trade association

Employers' liability insurance associations are the providers of statutory accident insurance for companies and their employees. Please register yourself with the employers' liability insurance association. Even small business owners without staff are obliged to register with their relevant BG. If you are unclear which of the numerous BGs you need to register with, the German Statutory Accident Insurance (DGUV) will help you.


What are the costs of opening an antique shop?

Put together a specific financial plan before you start making specific expenses. Please consider the following costs, among others.

  • Capital requirements for the start-up phase (e.g. for renovation work, targeted advertising) and to secure your livelihood
  • Possible consulting and bureaucracy costs in the start-up phase
  • Capital for the purchase and procurement of goods, appraisals and certificates
  • Ongoing operating costs such as shop rent, storage costs, electricity and heating costs, IT
  • Taxes and Insurance
  • Financial reserves for unforeseen events

In general, the better you plan your business start-up, the easier it will be for you to implement it.

Open your own shop, but how?
We offer you start-up advice plus with our experts.

What should you consider when purchasing and selling your antique shop?

Once you have an overview of the costs incurred, it is crucial to invest your available capital wisely. Your industry knowledge is required here. The sooner you start building a network of antique furniture customers, suppliers and dealers, the faster you will gain a foothold.

Sourcing: Buying antiques strategically

You will need expert knowledge of antiques to source it. This is the only way to identify counterfeits and negotiate prices skillfully. Regular research is essential for expanding your range of goods. This also includes a thorough search of daily newspapers, trade magazines and online advertisements. You can also expand your contacts at trade fairs, markets, exhibitions and auctions.

It makes sense to buy smaller pieces that are easy to sell. In this way you avoid tying up too much capital in large and possibly difficult to sell furniture. Alternatively, it is also worth taking antiques or art objects on commission at the beginning. Picking means exhibiting items in your showroom for other dealers. After the sale, you will receive a commission from the purchase amount. In this way you can fill your sales room, win new customers and initially keep your procurement costs low.

You should also establish good contacts with appraisers, appraisers and experts. Many buyers insist on certificates that prove the authenticity of antique items.

Create distribution channels

Think early on if you want your salesroom to be the only place where you sell your antique furniture and works of art. Your own website with a catalog of goods and an attached web shop is a simple and inexpensive way of expanding your sales channels. The easier potential customers find your goods, the faster you will be perceived as a new company. Short delivery times are another incentive to buy.

Receive a non-binding offer for the completion of your start-up!

Where should you set up your specialist antiques shop?

Unlike many other industries, being close to the competition is an opportunity when you start your antiques business. Where other art collectors and antiquarians trade successfully, there is an existing market that you too can enter. However, find your individual niche.

A good location is easily accessible and within sight of your walk-in customers. For the reopening of your antique and art shop, the storage rooms are just as important as your actual sales room. Your storage options should exceed the capacities of the sales room many times over.


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.

firma.de assumes no liability for damage caused by errors in the texts.