Guide for micro-entrepreneurs in France


Almost two-thirds (64.8%) of new businesses up to September of this year were micro-enterprises, show data from the national statistics office Insee.

The scheme is attractive because it is the easiest to set up and has simplified accounting, tax and social payment terms.

So popular is it that newer micro-enterprises are created year after year, including in 2020 (4% increase in business start-ups in total, 9% in micro-enterprises), while most other European countries have seen business start-ups fall.

  • People who adopt the statute are still often qualified as auto-entrepreneurs, even if the statutes of microbusiness and auto business were merged in 2016 and officially the term auto entrepreneur has been replaced by micro-entrepreneur. Even the Urssaf website, which is the point of contact for most administrative tasks, still uses the term.

More micro-entrepreneurs work alone but they can have an employee. Spouses or PACS partners can opt for a status of joint collaborator Where employee spouse if they are involved. They must provide an affidavit about it.

Artisan, Trade Where liberal profession?

They can settle down as artisan, Trade Where liberal profession, the latter term covering a wide variety of jobs which do not fall into the other two categories and which are neither industrial nor agricultural.

Examples include being a sports trainer, mountain guide, translator, or designer.

Note that as an individual entrepreneur with a microbusiness there is no limited liability, so your own property is at risk when in debt. However, there is a setup called AERL that protects against this.

Anyone residing in France can become a self-employed person, but will need an appropriate visa / residence permit if they are not a French national or a national of an EU country. Since Brexit, Britons must have a visa / residence permit allowing them to work on their own (this includes Brexit WA cards).

A microbusiness can be the main source of income or a complementary activity in addition to paid employment, studies or retirement.

The annual turnover must be less than 176,200 € for commercial activities, and less than 72,600 € for services and liberal professions.

You only have to worry about VAT after fixed turnover ceilings: for example, 94,300 € per year for the sale of goods.

Pay income tax

There are two ways to pay income tax. The first is to include it in the household’s annual declaration. Another one, income tax payment, is to pay regularly at the same time as social charges, at fixed rates depending on the type of work (for example, 1% of turnover for the sale of goods).

Social charges

Social charges can be paid monthly or quarterly. They are calculated as a fixed percentage of your turnover, depending on the type of work.

The rates are 12.8% for the sale of goods, 22% for craft and commercial services, 22% for liberal professions attached to the Retirement Insurance standard for retirement, and 22.2% for a small number of liberal professions attached to the Cipav. There is an additional levy of 0.1% to 0.3% which goes to the CPF fund giving all workers the right to financial participation for training.

Payments are made online via your personal account on or via the AutoEntrepreneur Urssaf mobile application.

How to settle down as microbusiness?

The set-up can be done online at by clicking on Create my auto-enterprise.

The first step is to create an account and then provide your work plan details and social security numbers. You must then send the declaration, which is registered with the business formalities center. For commercial enterprises, it is with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for craftsmen and some other commercial enterprises it is with the chamber of trades and crafts, and for liberal professions it is with the Urssaf.

New micro-entrepreneurs must receive a Siret number (business registration number) within eight to 15 days, and notification that they have been signed to the relevant social security scheme, affiliation notice, in four to six weeks.

Since 2020, all self-employed workers come under the ordinary health system, the Health Insurance, and all except some liberal professionals are affiliated with the Pension insurance standard for their pensions. the formalities centers organize courses on the installation. Contact your local chamber for dates and prices.

Sick leave has only been offered by the state to self-employed workers since July. To benefit from it, you must have been micro-entrepreneur for one year and your average annual income must be over € 4,000. It is paid after the third day of sick leave, on presentation of a medical certificate.

The daily amount, flat-rate daily allowance, corresponds to 1 / 730th of your average annual income. For example, you will earn $ 34 per day if your reported turnover is $ 25,000.

There is a maximum payout of € 56.35 per day.

Maternity and paternity

Self-employed workers can also benefit from a flat-rate daily allowance for maternity and paternity leave.

Sick leave is not as generous as for an employee, who receives a social security payment equal to 50% of the basic daily salary, usually increased by the employer up to 90% after the seventh day of illness . Unemployment benefit was introduced for self-employed workers in 2019 at the rate of € 26.30 per day, or around € 800 per month, for six months.

To be eligible, the company must be at least two years old, have an annual turnover of € 10,000 and be in compulsory liquidation.

Grégoire Leclercq, director of the National Federation of Autoentrepreneurs and Micro entrepreneurs, which fights the cause of micro-entrepreneurs and offers information and advice to members, The connection he thinks it will benefit very little self-employed because the liquidation procedure is very expensive, around € 3,000.

However, he said the scheme is attractive to many people with a small business idea (and not too much expense), despite introducing additional complexity over the years.

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