Create a company in France – The micro-entrepreneur status

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine created her company with the micro-entrepreneur status, and asked me a few questions to make sure she had done things the right way. As a foreign entrepreneur in France, life can be tough when you don’t speak the language, since everything is only in French. And I tell you, even for French people, sometimes it’s not clear or easily understandable either so…

As a French entrepreneur, I’d like to help people who’d like to start this new adventure, and so here I am, writing this little article on how to create your company in France, using the micro-entrepreneur status, which is the status that I currently have since I created my company in November 2020.

First things first, what is the micro-entrepreneur status ? (You may have heard of the auto-entrepreneur status too, it’s just the old name.) It’s the easiest form of company you can create in France, and it’s only for one person. You can take interns (I think with a maximum of 3, if I remember well), but you can’t hire people. It’s a one man/woman show. This status will allow you to work as a freelancer, an independent worker, whatever you call it. Any kind of business as long as it’s just you (against the world).

Please note that there are revenue caps, depending of your kind of activity, so make sure to check those first. If you’re working in a field where you’re 100% sure you’re going to make a lot of money right away (like, I don’t know, luxury), check that the revenue caps for the micro-entrepreneur status are okay for you.

For example, I’m a career coach, translator and author, all liberal activities, so my revenu cap is at 72 600€ per year. (Oh and once I reach 34 400€ per year, I have to apply the TVA to my clients. But that’s a whole another story and it would be too long to explain it all to you here, but feel free to ask me, if need be.)

To create your micro-entreprise, it’s actually quite simple. You go on the Urssaf website, find the auto-entrepreneur section, and you just fill in the form (see below).

Don’t go through another website or organization, because either it’s a scam or they’re going to charge you money whereas on the Urssaf website, it’s free. 

So you fill in your info, and then you get a recap of everything. What you should expect in terms of details to give are : details about you (name, address, nationality, social security number etc), and details about your company (are you going to be a full-time entrepreneur or is it just a side project, what’s your main activity, will you have secondary activities, do you want to pay your social charges every month or every three months, do you want to pay your annual taxes as usual or a little every month…).

The identification numbers for your company, you will receive within two weeks by mail. Then you will receive another document by mail in the next two weeks to confirm that all is fine with your social security, they now know you’re an entrepreneur, blablabla. You will receive identification info to create your professional account on the Urssaf’s auto-entrepreneurs’ section (where you created your company), and a professional account on the government’s tax website (impots.gouv.) where you already have a personal account to declare your revenues and such.

To have all your paperwork ready and perfectly updated… well, personally, it took me a month. Of course you can start working without it being all set up, but I was not comfortable doing so, so I prefered waiting for everything to fall into place the right way, before getting started. Your first declaration of revenue for your company will be asked of you 3 months after the creation of the company, so at least on the beginning you can just focus on getting started.

One last info, when you create your company as a micro-entrepreneur, you can ask for a discount on social charges which is available only for the first year of activity. It’s called the “acre”. With this, you will have 50% discount on social charges for a year, which is nice.

Feel free to contact me if you have any question, I’m always happy to help ~

Have a lovely day, and see you next Wednesday !

Marie.

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