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The legal structure is an Entreprise Individuelle EI that is someone running a business as a sole trader. For more information on these forms of business structure, see our guide to setting up a business in France. You can set up your business under the micro-entreprise or auto-entrepreneur regime if your turnover is below certain thresholds. If you do, then you have to change to the standard business structure see setting up a business in France. Some types of businesses are excluded from this status e.
There is also the EIRL scheme, which provides sole trader status with a form of limited liability. For more information, see www. There are different CFE for each type of business activity so find the right one for your business. For example:. To find the correct CFE for your type of business, click on this list.
Send in this form to the appropriate CFE. Online, here , through a series of forms on the official portal for auto-entrepreneurs. You must send in a photocopy or upload a scan of your ID or passport when you register. There are similar optional courses available to those setting up commercial and industrial businesses.
You have to pay for this training — check with your Chamber. Some occupations are regulated in France, including accountants, vets, hairdressers, builders, and even wine dealers. If your business is one of these regulated professions, you will have to be registered with the appropriate organization and may need to prove that you have the right qualifications, experience, and insurance liability before you can work. Find out if the business you want to set up is regulated here via the APCE website.
Just click on the appropriate letter of the alphabet to find the sector you need. After you have registered and your declaration has been processed, you will be sent a unique, nine-digit identification SIREN number. This official business number is proof that your business is registered and will be used by all government and official agencies when referring to your company.
Each business in France uses these codes, which consist of four digits and a letter. A devis is an estimate and a facture is an invoice. You must include the following information on your invoices in France:. If you want to stop trading, just complete the online form available here at the official portal for auto-entrepreneurs.
It is possible to work legally in France as a freelancer without registering as a business but by working through a portage salarial. Under this system, you sign a contract with a portage company an umbrella company , who in effect becomes your employer and handles most paperwork. Essentially, an umbrella company employs you for the duration of your assignment, provides insurance, and invoices either the end client or your recruitment agency. As the role of your employer, your portage company deducts social charges for you.
They then deduct their fee and pay you a net monthly income. Depending on your operational costs, you may be able to claim part of each invoice as expenses — unlike a micro-entreprise. Because you pay social charges, you are entitled to the same healthcare, unemployment, and retirement benefits as any other employee in France.
Typically, you only pay social charges on earned income. If work is scarce or you take a break, you stop paying social charges momentarily as well. French tax authorities send this each spring. The income tax return is generally less thorough, however.
Definition: a micro-entreprise is a sole-trading business allowing you to work as a freelancer in France with a simplified social and taxation regime. The main characteristics of this status are:. The maximum turnover is a limit that your profits must not exceed if you want to continue working as a freelancer in France under this legal status.
Micro-entreprises are subject turnover ceilings. The maximum turnover will vary depending on what kind of activity your business is based on. Here are the pre-tax turnovers you have to stay below:. Even if they are simple, setting up a micro-entreprise to work as a freelancer in France includes some obligations. Social charges are calculated on a percentage of your earnings. As a micro-entrepreneur, you have two options for the computation of your tax:. The rates for Corporate Property Tax vary depending on your municipality.
In order to choose the right legal status for your freelance business in France, you need to make a business and financial plan. Since we know starting from scratch is complicated, we created a free business plan templates to download. If you want to know more about choosing the right legal status in France. If you want to learn how to create a limited liability company in France.
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