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Business Start-Up Support in France

Tuesday 07 November 2017

All new small business start-ups are to be granted some relief from social security contributions, a measure that already exists in a more restricted form.

The current finance bill going through the French Parliament contains a range of measures to stimulate small business growth, perhaps the most important of which is relief from social security contributions for business start-ups.

The operative date for introduction of the relief is 2019.

In large measure the plan is to extend to all new start-ups the assistance that is currently available for those who are registered unemployed and to adults under 26 years of age.

The existing scheme is called ACCRE - l’aide aux demandeurs d’’emploi créant ou reprenant une entreprise.

One of the most interesting aspects of ACCRE is that in order to be eligible you need not necessarily be in receipt of unemployment benefit in France; provided you have been registered as unemployed with Pole Emploi, the unemployment agency, for at least 6 months you obtain an entitlement.

Those who register as a micro-entrepreneur get relief under ACCRE for three years, on a digressive basis, whilst those who choose to adopt the régime réel business tax status get relief for a year.

The assistance is reserved for those whose business income is less than €39,228, a figure which is revised each year. The exemption is total where income is less then €29,421 and then digressive between €29,421 and €39,228.

However, the measure does not grant exemption from all social security contributions and the assistance that is granted depends on your business tax status:

  • Those who adopt the régime réel continue to be obliged to pay the social charges CSG/CRDS, the invalidity/death contribution, as well as payments into the complementary pension scheme, training and transport levies. These charges amount to around 18% of net income.
  • Those with micro-entrepreneur tax status pay a lower fixed level contribution on turnover, starting at around 3% to 5% in the first year, depending on the type of business, rising to 10% to 17% in the final year.

If you wish to apply for assistance under ACCRE then you need to make application to the business registration centre (Chambre de Commerce/Métiers/URSSAF) at the time you register your new business. You should complete Accre Formulaire.

You must make application within 45 days of business registration or lose your entitlement to apply for assistance under the scheme.

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