Setting a business and being an entrepreneur in France
France is an incredible field of opportunies for an ambitious entrepreneur. As a European citizen or if you hold a residence permit allowing to work, there are many possibilites to start a business and earn revenue. A specific French type of company is perfectly set up to launch a business : the « microentreprise » status allows to create a small company very quickly. As an « autoentrepreneur » (or « microentrepreneur »), you are able to work with few restraints compared to others types of companies (SARL, SAS, EURL).
The « microentreprise », a flexible and simple legal status for your business
French administration is, like many other ones, very technical and complex, in both personal and professional worlds. To fight against this, French government decided to create a simplified type of company in 2008, called « autoentreprise » and then « microentreprise ».
This kind of company is easy to run as there are specific advantages :
- No legal accounting ;
- No VAT (until a maximum turnover) ;
- Two options for taxes : annual tax declaration or periodically proportionnal payment ;
- Simple and propotionnal system of social contributions and taxes.
French administration has divided all these activities in 3 different groups :
- Trade activities such as : shoes e-trader, home seller, B&B, …
- Craft activities such as : computer repairer, carpenter, alarm installer, food manufacturing, hairdressing, …
- Liberal activities such as : consultant, home teacher, interior designer, guide …
Your activity is linked to one of these groups. Therefore, depending to your activity :
- You are taxed differently ;
- You follow specific rules ;
- You have a maximum sales and VAT-free system ;
|Maximum annual turnover allowed||Social contributions (proportionnal to sales)||Taxes in case of option « versement libératoire » (proportionnal to sales)||Taxes for Professional Trading System (proportionnal to sales)||Taxes for Chamber (proportionnal to sales)||VAT applicable from|
|Trade activities||170 000€||12.80%||1%||0.10%||0.015%||82 801€|
|Craft activities||70 000€||22%||1.7%||0.10% or 0.30%||0.007% or 0.22% or 0.48%||33 201€|
|Liberal activities||70 000€||22%||2.2%||0.20%||0.044%||33 201€|
To create your microentreprise, you must declare it to a French administration called « URSSAF ».
You have 3 options :
- By yourself, fill in and send by post one of this official « cerfa » document (In France, a « cerfa » document is an official document) : commercial and craft activies or liberal activies ;
- By yourself, send your file online throught this website : www.lautoentrepreneur.fr ;
- Be helped by Etre-Autoentrepreneur.fr, wich will warrant everything will be ok, will translate all technical aspects, will give you precious advice and will make all formalities on your behalf.
What kind of jobs/business can I do ?
The answer is : almost everything.
Except if you aim to run a regulated occupation such as doctor or attorney, or an agricultural business, you’re eligible for microentreprise.
Here you can find the most common categories selected by microentrepreneurs :
- Building/works : plumber, electrician, tiler, painter, … ;
- Creation and web : web developer, graphic design, interior designer, … ;
- Transport : cab driver, bicycle courier, … ;
- Consulting : management consultant, organization consultant.
This is not exhaustive, there are nearly 1 500 different eligible activities.
Some tips and advices to start – FAQ
Be an employee and a microentrepreneur at the same time ?
If you’re currently working as an employee, you can cumulate microentrepreneur status. This is allowed by French administration to help entrepreneurs to migrate softly to their new lives.
What can I do if I don’t speak French ?
Some jobs will not require any French skills. But we strongly advice you to learn basics to feel at your ease in a French business environment.
What if I don’t know any legal aspects ?
Microentrepreneur status is made to simplify your business life. No worries, you don’t need any legal skills to perform and run your business. However, if you don’t feel comfortable with some subjects, feel free to ask a French friend or contact to tell you the right things to do.
What are my main obligations ?
First, you must declare an official status (as microentrepreneur). You have to pay social taxes. No obligations for accouting except keeping track of your expenses and revenues. You must have a dedicated bank account and a postal address.
What kind of papers I will receive ?
You will receive letters from 2 main institutions. First, URSSAF for your social taxes. Secondly, from your social security organism (La RAM, Harmonie Mutuelle, …), about your social protection. Do not answer to some letters asking you to pay any unofficial services (in particular fake trademark organism).
How to pay my social taxes ?
You have to declare your turnover (monthly or quarterly). Then you pay online your social taxes accordingly, throughout this official website.
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