Billing Gross and Net Prices in the Shop

by Anja Römisch, 20.05.09

Business customers with a valid Value-added tax identification number are entitled to pay without VAT in domestic Europe. But can these business customers be differentiated from normal consumers in the shop? Can gross or net prices be paid depending on the customer? With ePages 6, this is set up quickly and easily. We’ll show you how it works.*


Tax is a complex topic which we shall not delve deeper into at this point. You simply need to know that foreign business customers are entitled to pay net prices instead of gross prices within your shop and that the ePages system automatically detects whether this is actually permitted or not.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Select Tax Model

To allow gross and net prices to be displayed in the shop, the tax model needs to be determined first. Sign in to the administration area of your shop and click on the menu items Settings -> Tax calculation -> Tax model. If the Gross price option is not selected, click on the radio button and save your settings.

2. Registering Customers

A customer account is required for assigning net prices. Please ask your customers to register in your shop or register them yourself. If you would like to carry out a registration, go to the Customers menu in the administration area and select the option New. Now enter all the customer information that you have available. What is particularly important here is the setting of the tax model and the input of the customer’s Value-added tax identification number (VAT ID/UID). More on this to come.

3. Allowing Net Prices

Customers who would like to pay net prices must identify themselves as business customers, which is done using a valid VAT identification number. This number can be queried directly during the customer registration process in the shop. To do this, activate the VAT ID checkbox under Settings -> User management -> Registration. If you do not have a VAT ID for the customer, please ask the customer to provide you with it.

Once you have the number, enter it in the text field provided in the Customers -> Customer account area. You can check whether the ID is valid by clicking on the Verify button to the right. Now activate Net as tax model.

Since you have specified Gross as tax model in the basic settings, both prices (gross and net) are always stated in the shop. When your newly created business customer now logs into the shop, this customer will only see net prices. All prices will be converted accordingly even if this customer does not log in until the shopping basket. Naturally, net prices can also be shown to a domestic business customer. But since this customer is not entitled to pay without VAT, gross prices will still automatically be billed.

Optional: Customer Group "Business Customers"

In order to keep an overview of your business customers, you can also assign a Customer group of the same name. You create customer groups under the main navigation item Customers as well. The assignment of customers to customer groups is then done in the Customer account.
Another advantage of customer groups is, for example, that you can set individual prices for them. This allows you to apply a special sale price (e.g. "10% discount on all trousers") to your business customers only. You can read more in the article "Running promotional campaigns".
* In shops based on the ePages 5 product version, this option is not available. Read our "Online shops and business websites with ePages 6" article again to get to know the fundamental differences between both product versions.

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