Guide to Micro-Entrepreneur Business in France

  1. What is a Micro-Entrepreneur?
  2. Business Registration
  3. Social Security
  4. Income Tax
  5. Business Rates
  6. Status of Spouse
  7. Should You Elect for Micro-Entreprise Status?
  8. VAT
  9. Payment of Taxes and Social Insurance
  10. Business Accounting
  11. Running a Chambre d'Hôte
  12. Multiple Business Activities

11. Multiple Business Activities

11.1. Complementary Activity

If you are registered as a micro-entrepreneur you cannot separately register another business activity using this status due to an existing registration.

Indeed, you would have no reason to do so, for it is quite in order to carry out a subsidiary activity (activité complémentaire) without prejudice to the legal and fiscal status of the main business.

A micro-entrepreneur is quite entitled to run several different businesses under a single registration, subject to any regulations governing the right to run such a business, eg, qualifications/experience.

11.2. Social Security

In relation to social security contributions, if the two activities are distinct, to the extent that there are different rates of social security contributions that are payable, these are identified and paid separately, unless in one case the activity is an incidental extension of the main business, in which case a single rate of contribution is paid.

11.3. Turnover Limits

In both cases, the turnover limits for a micro-entrepreneur must be respected, and here the rule that applies depends on the nature of the business activities being pursued:

  • If they fall within the same business category the turnover limits for the two businesses must not exceed the maximum for that category;
  • If the two businesses are distinct it is possible to apply the maximum turnover limits for each activity.

So, for example, if one of the activities is 'commercial' in nature then a turnover limit of €170,000 will apply for that activity; if the other business is 'artisanal' by nature, then it will have a turnover limit of €70,000 (2018 onwards).

If both activities fall into the same business category, then only one limit applies. You cannot go above the turnover threshold of the main business.

If over time the complementary business becomes larger than the original business you merely need to change the basis of your registration with the registration centre.

11.4. Professional Insurance

You need to have regard to the professional insurance requirements for each activity.

This is no idle matter, as your insurance policy may not cover you if you undertake works for which you are not insured.

Thus, in relation to the building trades, as is the case in most other countries of Europe, France has in place a building insurance system that offers a 10-year latent defects guarantee called the la responsabilité civile décennale.

In order to provide a secure framework to the system, builders and architects are required to take out an insurance policy upon which they can call in should they face a claim. This insurance is called l’assurance responsabilité civile décennale.

It is a legal requirement for a builder to hold such a policy, although many smaller builders do not do so, either because of the cost of the premium, or because they only undertake small building works. Enforcement of the requirement is weak.

In an important legal case that was considered by the French Supreme Court, the Cour de Cassation, a claim by a builder on his insurance policy was thrown out by the court as he was not covered for the type of work he had declared to his insurer.

The work undertaken by the builder was air conditioning, an activity not declared on his insurance policy.

Similar problems arise with third party (public) liability cover of builders who may be business registered for one type of building activity, but who then undertake work for which they are not business registered.

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