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Business in France

Social Security Increase for Business Owners

Wednesday 01 August 2012

Business owners face a small increase in the minimum level of their social security contributions, although it does not apply to those who have autoentrepreneur status.

One of the features of being registered as a business in France is that, whatever the level of your turnover or profit, you are obliged to pay a minimal level of social security contributions.

Well, at least you do if you are not registered as an auto-entrepreneur or micro-entreprise with the tax status of micro-social, for in such circumstances you 'pay as you go', according to the turnover of the business.

However, for those who pay under the regime réel there is a minimal level of contributions that must be paid each year, even for those with little or no business revenue in the year.

It is not large, now around €1,600 a year, but possibly not a welcome bill to receive when you may not actually be making any money, or generating few or no sales.

As might be expected, the calculation of this minimum contribution is fearsomely complex, but it all comes back to a reference figure, to which a discounted percentage is applied, and then the standard contribution rate for the benefit applied to this figure.

The reference figure is called the plafond annuel de la sécurité sociale. In its abbreviated form it is know as 'PASS'.

The PASS really has no other use than to serve as the basis for the calculation of social security contributions of business owners.

It is revised each year in line with inflation and for 2012 the level of the PASS is €36,372.

So, taking as an example health cover, the calculation is 40% of PASS, ie €36,372 X 40% = €14,549. To this figure is than applied the standard percentage contribution rate for the cover. In the case of health it happens to be two rates - 0.60% and 5.90%.

You will see from the following table that there is no minimum contribution for family benefits or social charges, both of which are zero rated.

The increase in the minimal level of contribution arises from some technical changes, and amounts to around an additional €200 a year.

The following calucation is for those who have had a business in operation for at least three years; there is a different calculation for a start-up business under three years, which we will consider in a future article.

Sickness Pay
Family Benefits and Social Charges
Family Benefits
Social Charges
Main Pension
Complementary Pension

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