A second business

Hi I run a car valeting company under the micro enterprise scheme, I have just been asked if I could do, on an initial term of 6 months, a selling role for a uk based industrial company, working for them 2/3 days a week on an expenses, small salary and commission on sales basis.

It is a self employed role and my question is how can I incorporate this into what I do now as it so far removed from my current business. I am not at this stage really wanting to open another business because it is very much a suck and see approach and the thought of cotisations on no earnings (worst senario) scares me.

I will be talking to my accountant, but would be interested to hear if any of you have done something similar, I find telling the accountant what I am doing works better than asking. Thinking outside the box is not a forte of the French accountants in my opinion.

Thanks in advance for any advice

Hi John,

Sounds to me like it could sit nicely as an extension of your current 'vehicle/transport related' activity as a micro-entreprise. I would probably push to go down this route, seems easier all round.

Our company is IT services but we cover IT & business consultancy on datawarehousing, banking/insurance/finance/telecoms, business analysis & project management, basic pc support, web development etc all under the one wide heading of IT. Could you cover all yours under one wide heading like 'vehicle/transport industry services'?


Thanks for the replies so far, re the salary Suzanne that was my bad use of the language it will be an invoiced payment to a UK company so I guess its a retainer? To be honest I had forgotten that expenses can't be claimed via the AE scheme so that's a no no as my expense bill will be quite high, certainly to start with. All taxes will be paid in France.

As Howard says, if in 6 months if no significant sales are achieved, I will at the very least create an awareness of the company in France which to date they do not have. This is part of the reason for the daily retainer, rather than just going commission only, which was how I worked for a lot of the time in the UK.

Luckily, if this starts, it will now start with 2 UK businesses one being a supplier of the other, the part supplied is included in the manufacture to create an end user product.

A little bit of further information on the products one being directed at the end user is aimed at the HGV transport sector, product value as a single item 180 euros, intended to be sold to fleets.

The other aimed at industry in the manufacturing of components for planes, cars, computers etc, sold in 1 off special application units to 10s of thousands from a cent to 10's of euros depending on size and application. For example the company currently sells one of its products costing a penny a time to an overseas production facility and invoices at 10,000 per month.

It is good to get the various inputs on potential possibilities and when this comes to fruition I will post and let you know how we achieved it and more importantly why.

Thanks John

I wondered that too Suz... why not just treat the new opportunity as another 'client'?

I'd be very interested to hear about this as already doing it having set up a company in the UK and freelancing for it myself from France as AE.


Hi John,

You mention you will be getting expenses - presumably you're aware these are not tax deductible for auto-entrepreneur and so would be counted as income for AE purposes unless the UK company incurs them on your behalf (and they don't touch your bank accounts)?

You mention salary - you mention self employment basis so the UK company will not be be paying any UK NI & PAYE tax on your salary? If so assume you will be 'invoicing' from a french company as a fixed amount - say consultancy fee per month plus % commission based on sales made & expenses? If so could you amend your current micro to have a wider remit (in the UK we would extend the articles of association - is it similar in France? one for your accountant) Then you would only have 1 lot of administration to worry about.

I don't know the in's & out's of your micro but I would have thought your new client just acts like another client & whatever your situation is now regarding cotisations would continue and you would just pay additional charges based on your additional 'turnover', bonus being you offset expenses if you have to pay them?

Just a different viewpoint to consider...I agree AE is easy (my hubby is AE) but as you already have a Micro and are set up & paying charges I just wonder if extending it's remit may be the easier option for you.


Re: Thinking outside the box is not a forte of the French accountants in my opinion.

IMHO it's not the forte of accountants in any country. They may trot out experiences of their other clients, which may be worth listening to but usually not adopting. Your strategy regarding accountant is good. They know their way around the bureaucracy and the law, so they can tell you the mechanics of how to do it.

Having a business with multiple sources of income is usually good for government rules in any country, particularly if the amounts are fairly evenly balanced. Diversification reduces the risk. If you really can spend 2/3 days per week on one business and 2/3 days pw on the other and generate similar levels of profit from each, it could be ideal. On the other hand, if one business claims more of your time with less profit at the expense of the other, that's not so great. However, it's likely that the sales job will require more time for little profit initially but the valeting should not suffer. Whether the sales job will fit will depend on the amount of support you get from the UK company.

It's also worth noting that even if the sales job ends in 6 months and you've made few or no sales, you will have given them a presence in the local market, which they could develop further, so perhaps you should consider asking for some sort of severance payment in recognition of this.

....Just auto -entrepreneur it like Andrew says and then wait for the paperwork and declare your income after 3 months...as he says...it's dead simple...I've been in declared 'little' business for 25 years in France and believe me I havn't a clue about what I'm talking about !..only joking..just that French administration don't either

I think you would be able to run the two side by side too, but as Tracy says it's better to ask first. As for the fact that you're meant to have more than one client (which is true) just explain that you have one firm client and are in talks with various others... ;-)

I would imagine you could do that if it is a totally different role from your current micro entreprise but I think it would be better to ask.

The only problem with AE is that you have to have other clients otherwise the authorities will construe it as disguised employment.

Thanks Andrew, can I run an Autoentrepreneur along side an existing micro entreprise? Cant see the French authorities liking that but will ask.

Try the autoentrepreneur status with you invoicing the uk company for your services, it's designed to run alongside another job, or can stand alone, is incredibly simple - no need for an accountant (for the moment that is - see Wendy Wise's post) you can set everything up in a few minutes on the government's autoentrepreneur site: http://www.lautoentrepreneur.fr/ it's free to set up - don't fall into the trap of paying someone with an official looking site!

Bonne chance !