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

5. Business Rates

A micro-entreprise is liable for business rates, called the Cotisation Foncière des Entreprises (CFE).

The rates are determined from the value of the real estate you use to run the business, or the rent you pay if you are a tenant.

Even though you may work from home you are still liable for the tax, although normally only at a minimal rate.

Only that part of your home where you undertake the business activity will be liable for the tax.

There are a number of exemptions from the tax, some permanent and some temporary.

One of the most significant permanent exemptions are artisans who work alone or within a family business. Others include artists/authors and certain business activities in development areas.

Owners of a chambre d'hôte or classified gîte accommodation are also exempt (unless the local council decides otherwise), provided the property is either their principle residence or second home.

The level of the rates payable is determined locally, but within parameters set by central government, revised upwards each year in line with inflation.

The rate bands depends on the turnover of the business, as follows for 2018:

Turnover Range
≤ €10,000 €218 - €519
> €10,000 ≤ €32,600 €218 - €1,037
> €32,600 ≤ €100,000 €218 - €2,179
> €100,000 ≤ €250,000 €218 - €3,632

Most smaller councils set the minimum rate towards the lower end of each range, although that is not the case for all of them. The only way of finding out is to speak to your local council or tax office.

The reference year used for determining the turnover figure is two years prior to the year of imposition.

The rates are not payable in the first year of the business, and payable at the rate of 50% in the second year.

It is collected via the national tax authority, who will send you a tax notice, either paper or on-line. They also collect a small management charge on behalf of the councils and themselves, which is added to the rates payable.

The tax is payable by 15th December, and can also be paid monthly by prior registration.

From 2019 the CFE will not be payable if your turnover is no greater than €5,000.

Next: Status of Spouse in a Micro-Entrepreneur

Back: Income Tax

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