March 27, 2019

Germany: Which recurring billing platform to use for subscription SaaS?

John @Jojo

Hey folks, I was wondering which of the many many domestic and international recurring-billing platforms to use if you're running a German company (Einzelunternehmen right now, UG in the future).

What I need to be able to do is to have a hosted payment page and take payments from internal customers (DE, EU & non-EU) via the usual routes (CC, Swift, SEPA, etc), but also to have "offline" invoices on an annual basis. Couple that with the fact that I have to create an EÜR at the end of the year and have to post UStVa every month right now, and file German taxes at the end of the year.

I was wondering which platform best enable this workflow. So far I've looked at Chargebee and Stripe, but only superficially, so I'm hoping for some first-hand experience.

  1. 1

    I generate the invoice PDFs myself with a small script. That one also generates a CSV which I import into Agenda (a bookkeeping software). Agenda will match that up with incoming credit card and bank account payments and produce monthly reports on how much is owed by each customer.

    Agenda can also predict all the end of year taxes and generate drafts for all the tax filings. Those drafts I then sign to confirm that I agree with them and hand them off to my accountant together with the Agenda data export.

    Costs me about €120 monthly for Agenda and €1500 annually for the accountant.

  2. 1

    I (Austria) also use chargebee on top of stripe. chargbee offers a lot of options, while being yet easy to use. And since you don't pay until you reach 50k in revenue, it’s perfect for indie hackers imo

  3. 1

    We use Chargebee on top of Stripe as the processor.

    There is a lot of flexibility in Chargebee and I'm pretty sure they handle just about all the use cases you mentioned.

  4. 1

    I'm in Switzerland as an Einzelunternehmen right now. I'd go with Stripe, they have great local representations, can pay out to your bank account directly and doing subscriptions (incl. disputes / refunds) is super easy. They also provide some basic tax forms and look into compliance for you. Fees are reasonable as well.

  5. 1

    I don't have experience with them, but have in my bookmarks also https://paylane.com/ - I saved them becasue they accept payments from a lot of countries, but mostly because Stripe is not yet active in Poland.