Sometimes it makes sense to send up a trial balloon to gauge the reactions of the German market to your products. In this case you want to wait as long as possible before making cost intensive decisions such as signing rental contracts with a longer duration time. You might also want to wait with the decision of forming a German company because this would not only safe the starting cost but also prevent you from having to take care of all the obligations which you would have when you need to shut down a company.
If needed you could also hire people in Germany without having a company or an office over here.
And here is my solution for receiving the VAT ID number and the employment issues: