Open a kiosk – what to consider when opening a kiosk and how to integrate digital signage in the process.

Your kiosk – the dream of many people who want to be entrepreneurs. With products in a small area that make customers happy and generate many sales? With our tips, you'll come a big step closer to your dream. We'll tell you what the requirements are and what you need to keep in mind. You'll also learn how digital signage can help you on your way to success.

Kiosk on the beach
Kiosk on the beach

What does Kiosk mean?

Whether newspaper stand, refreshment stand or kiosk – not only the name is different, but also their function. At one, you can get the most necessary things in the evening hours, the other provides you with tasty drinks, homemade treats, souvenirs, or newspapers. However, they all have one thing in common – the small sales area, which offers different products.

What are the Requirements for opening a Kiosk?

This question eventually comes to everyone who dreams of owning a kiosk.

Open your Kiosk – Startup Funds

To open a kiosk, you will need a certain amount of start-up capital for the interior and initial equipment. The amount you require depends on whether you buy the interior equipment, such as sales counters and shelves, new or used. You can usually get the refrigerators for free from companies whose products you store in them.

As a rule, you do not need much start-up capital to open a kiosk. However, if you are planning to modify or extensively renovate the kiosk, you will, of course, have to calculate with more costs. For this, contact the relevant building authority and your bank.

Also plan a cash buffer for the first few months, which are often low in sales. This way, potential loss of earnings can be bridged. Due to different wishes and needs, it is not possible to determine the exact amount of start-up capital. A good guideline for Germany/Europe is around 30,000 EUR.

By selling goods, you operate a trade. This means that you will need to apply for a trade license from the relevant trade office before opening a kiosk.

For this, you need the following documents:

  • Identity card
  • Information about the project (planned business)
  • Declaration of activity (full-time or part-time)

In addition, an administrative fee must be paid. This varies between 20 and 40 euros depending on the state. After you have registered your business, the tax office will be informed automatically in some countries.

The tax authority requires information about expected income as well as the legal form of the business. For this, you need to fill out a tax registration questionnaire and return it to the tax office. After the documents have been checked, you will receive a tax number from the authority, which you must now indicate on every invoice.

Important Remarks

These instructions originally apply to Germany. Although other countries, especially in the EU, may have similar taxes, forms of business and types of permits, this part cannot be applied 1 to 1 to your country. Therefore, please inform about your local laws and regulations.

The most essential Permits to open a Kiosk

If you want to offer self-prepared food in your kiosk, you also need a health certificate. You will receive this certificate after a detailed explanation of the hygiene regulations in the grocery at the responsible health office. Only after you have received the health certificate, the health office will give you a permit to sell prepared food.


Open Kiosk – The Editions

In addition, as an entrepreneur, in some countries like Germany you are required to be a member of your local Chamber of Industry and Commerce. The chamber represents the interests of the German economy. In addition, it takes care of training and qualifies start-ups so that they can carry out a certain activity. For small traders, the membership starts between 30 and 75 Euros, depending on your revenue or profit.

What Taxes are relevant when opening a Kiosk?

As a business owner, you are required to pay kiosk taxes and comply with business regulations at the kiosk.

What taxes you are required to pay as a kiosk owner depends primarily on the legal form you choose. At the beginning of your entrepreneurial career, it is recommended to select the sole proprietorship or a partnership. In Germany, we have GbR, OHG or KG.

Income Tax

In any case, you must pay income tax on the profits generated. To determine the tax burden, use the cash-based accounting for the annual tax return.

In this process, all income generated, and all expenses incurred in the context of the kiosk must be recorded. The difference serves the tax authority as a basis for taxation.

Business Tax


In addition to income tax, there is an obligation to pay kiosk business or trade tax. The amount of trade tax depends on the municipality where you open the kiosk. The relevant trade office will provide information on this if required. Note that there is an annual tax-free allowance of 24,500 Euros (Germany). This means that you only have to pay trade tax if the profit exceeds the exemption amount.


Corporate Income Tax

Capital Corporations such as a Limited or the German limited liability company (GmbH) are subject to the so-called corporate income tax. In Germany, this currently amounts to around 16 percent of profits. A final withholding tax is due when the profits are distributed to the shareholders.

The amount of the final withholding tax is about 26 percent. Trade tax is also payable. It is worth mentioning that the tax-free amount of 24,500 Euros does not apply to corporations. With this legal form, the entire profit income must be considered for the trade tax.

Value added Tax (VAT)

Regardless of the legal form, you should deal with VAT. This is because different groups of goods are subject to different sales taxes in Germany. Some products are subject to the 19 percent rule. Other goods, such as magazines, are subject to 7 percent.

If you feel uncertain about taxes, you have the option of contacting a trusted tax advisor.

What Insurance Should I Take Out For My Kiosk?

Water damage, lightning strike, theft – life is unpredictable. Misfortunes such as burst pipes or fire cannot be ruled out. If you want to sleep peacefully, it is advisable to insure your kiosk. The scope of insurance depends on financial aspects and your own risk assessment. Many traders base their insurance coverage on the value of the kiosk and the turnover. The trade association recommends the following two insurances:

Content Insurance Kiosk

As the name suggests, contents insurance covers damage to goods and inventories. In addition, it covers the replacement of commercial and technical equipment if damaged. Contents insurance is money well spent for every trader. The amount of the insurance premium depends on the turnover.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance is standard. It covers the costs if damage to property or personal injury. For example, if a customer gets injured in the kiosk, an employee spills a cup of coffee on the customer's expensive brand-name pants, or damages someone else's vehicle while parking.

Insurance costs vary from provider to provider. Get several quotes – it is worth the comparison.

As an entrepreneur, you must also insure yourself. This includes private health insurance, pension insurance and unemployment insurance. To protect yourself if a dispute, legal expenses insurance is also advisable.

What personal Skills should you have to open a Kiosk?

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you should have some skills for your business. The qualities such as creativity, assertiveness, perseverance, and willingness to take risks are useful skills that will help you on the road to success. The conflict and communication skills also play an important role. As a kiosk owner, you should also have basic commercial knowledge and enjoy interacting with people.

Commercial Basic Knowledge

If you want to start your own business, you need certain knowledge from the commercial field. The following knowledge will help you in your everyday business:


Good planning is the be-all and end-all. When do the goods need to ordered? Which products are on sale at which time of year? What opening hours make sense? Make a detailed planning and a checklist that will make your everyday life easier.


As an entrepreneur, you are required to keep accounting records. Make a systematic record of all expenses and income. Keep all invoices carefully. Remember, all cash flows must be traceable to an outsider.


Incorrect price calculation has a negative impact on success. If the price is too low, you will not be able to cover your expenses. If the price is too high, the product will not sell. Keep track of all your expenses. When setting the price, you need to consider fixed and variable costs.


Many founders underestimate taxes. To avoid unpleasant surprises when filing your tax return, it is worthwhile to deal extensively with this topic. Broad knowledge about taxes saves a lot of money and nerves.

Commercial knowledge helps you to make great entrepreneurial decisions.

Fun in Dealing with Customers

Customer communication is an important part of marketing. For a customer to become a regular customer, the way you interact with them is crucial. The following communication rules will help you show the customer that he is important.

1. Customer Welcome

Always greet your customers with a smile. Maintain direct eye contact. Whether you address customers by their first name or by their first name depends on the nature of your clientele. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with “you”. Pay attention to your voice and a friendly face. Even a friendly “hello” won't help a bored expression.

friendly asian kiosk seller

2. Be Polite

When communicating with a customer, attempt to capture the message of the conversation. If you have asked a customer a question, and they have answered it in detail, thank them for the information provided.

3. Stay on the same Wavelength

The customer is not a number, but a human being. Empathy is the cornerstone for successful interaction with him. Always set out to put yourself in his shoes and see the situation from his perspective. Especially in complaints and critical situations, empathy is an important part of conflict resolution.

4. Be Empathetic

Find a common language with customers. In consulting situations, you should not shine with technical jargon. Simple language patterns are better received by most customers. Find a good balance between professionalism and friendliness.

5. Appealing Appearance

Make sure you have a well-groomed appearance. Stains on clothing and dirty fingernails say a lot about the hygiene in the kiosk.

6. Be Present

The customer must always feel that you are there for them and that they can ask questions at any time.

7. Say Goodbye

Always thank the customer for the purchase. Allow him to give feedback. The customer is the most critical person in your business. Satisfied customers will come back and recommend you to others.

Successful Kiosk Marketing

Running a kiosk is no easy task. But one of the biggest challenges is to increase your income and do the business stand out from the competition. That's why marketing the kiosk is hugely important.

The good news is that there are many ways to successfully market a kiosk and dominate the competition. Kiosk advertising is multi-faceted. Use different channels and be creative. You have many options to customize kiosk advertising.

Posters and Billboards

Putting up posters and billboards is a popular and relatively inexpensive marketing measure. Through kiosk outdoor advertising you will gain the attention of walk-in customers. When designing posters, pay attention to emotionality, good message and a personal touch.

Digital PoS

Digital Point of Sale (PoS) describes a digitized point of sale using kiosk digital signage technology. Depending on the size of the store, a PoS is located either indoors in the checkout area or outside in front of the sales booth.

Due to a high density of customers, the PoS is ideal for displaying advertising or interacting with customers. Digital signage monitors with virtual product presentations, information on product features, digital payment options – there are no limits to creativity. Digital PoS make your kiosk more attractive and contribute to strong customer loyalty.

In-store Marketing

In-store marketing focuses on customers who are already in the kiosk. Appealing ambience, clear and well-thought-out presentation of goods, and efficient store design are just a few examples. Digital signage in a kiosk lends itself wonderfully to in-store marketing. Interesting content on digital displays encourages customers to buy and provides pleasant entertainment during waiting times.

Kiosk Promotions

Different promotions help to significantly increase sales. Run regular offer weeks and competitions. Promotions before holidays such as Easter, Christmas, or Valentine's Day are particularly popular.

Criteria for Kiosk Location

The location is crucial for sales figures. Optimal locations for a kiosk are shopping malls as well as busy streets, for example near the train station, major bus stops and schools. Residential areas that do not have good infrastructure are also among good locations for opening a kiosk. Pay attention to the competition.

Classic Kiosk
Classic Kiosk

Potential Customer Density

The potential customer density is decisive in the location analysis. Key factors for good customer density include the number of inhabitants, pedestrian and traffic frequencies, purchasing power, and competitors.

Rental Prices

The prices of the kiosk lease or the rental of the sales area vary greatly. Decisive for the rental price is the location, the region, and the size of the kiosk. Use the rent index for commercial space in your region as a guide.


The digital age offers many opportunities for offline-online connection of customers. On the one hand, you can set up a website to sell goods online. On the other hand, there is the possibility of a 24h service. Don't worry, this doesn't require the cash register to be manned by an employee around the clock.

Vending machine

Small goods such as drinks, sweets, or cigarettes are perfect for dispensing through a vending machine. Customers choose their desired product on digital signage displays and pay with their bank card. In this way, the clients receive the desired goods at any time of the day.


What is your competitors doing? Always try a better way and create a unique selling proposition. Offer goods or services that your competitors do not offer. This will give you a competitive advantage and attract more customers.


If you consider some aspects, opening a kiosk is not difficult. Good location, thoughtful planning, use of offline and online advertising are crucial criteria for your success.

Further Information regarding this Topic

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Gravatar Nikolaos Sagiadinos
Author: Niko Sagiadinos
Developer & Co-Founder SmilControl – Digital Signage
Visit me on: LinkedIn or GitHub


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