Application to be Auto-Entrepreneurs for unmarried couple

Hi all,

We have embarked on our new French life in February and have now found a property which we’d like to run as a small Chambre d’Hotes/Gite business once we have refurbished and renovated it, could take some time as it needs a lot of work! :wink:

We have signed the Compromis last week and I’d like to register as AE rather sooner than later to get us into the French social security system etc. Question now is (which I can’t seem to find any information for): we are not married (but thinking of getting pacsed), we’d obviously run the business jointly as equal partners, so do we both have to register as AE’s or just one of us and what would this mean for the other one with regards to health insurance cover, taxes etc.?

Would it be best to get pacsed first and then set up as AEs?

Any advice would be very much appreciated, or recommendations for an English speaking tax advisor, thank you all in advance :slight_smile:


Good idea! :wink: Well, we hope to start work on the house in autumn and have at least 1 Gite ready within a few months so hopefully should start earning something from early next year. I had read before that it can take ages to get the carte vitale that’s why I wanted to get us registered as soon as possible even if we won’t have proper earnings before next year.

yep you can have nil returns for some time, a couple or three years so go for it asap to get the application underway for your carte vitale which can take some time. however if you're not going to set up for some time/be earning any money for a few years don't leave it too long before declaring something, even if it's just a small amount just to keep the status! ;-)

never had to get my passport certified when I set up 3 years ago, never had to get it certified for any official purpose - it's accepted the same as my OH's ID card.

:slight_smile: Although I think it has to be a certified copy of your passport.

According the the AE website you can have nil returns for about 2 years before you will be removed from the system.

We already live in France and are not paying any NI contributions to the UK system anymore. I guess a trip to the Hotel des Impots is on the cards. Thanks for all the advice.

your passport ;-)

For those of you who are not French and do not have a Carte Nationale D'Identite as in the example, what type of justificatif of identite does one use when registering?

Not sure about the tax advice, although whenever we've joined the queue at eh Hotel des Impots, to ask about filling in our tax return, we've always had some helpful advice. Don't forget that paying tax and paying cotisations are sort of separate. Tax is on the household income, although I'm not sure how that works if you're neither married nor pacsed.

If you're still in the UK and are working and paying NI, surely your UK contributions will get you into the French system for a limited amount of time. Once you've registered as AE you have to make returns, whether you've taken any money or not, and after a few 0 returns you can be removed from the system. It seems to me that if you're not ready to trade yet, then delaying registering until nearer the time might be a plan, avoiding those nil returns, since they are limited. Not sure how long you can go on saying you've taken nothing, but someone, somewhere will know.

Thanks Jan,

yes, it seems AE is the way to do it. We were just wondering if it would be beneficial from a tax point of view to get pacsed (or even bite the bullet and get married, shock horror!!!) before setting up as AEs. A friend told us that there is something like a free tax advisor at the Office des Impots, do you know if that's the case? Will have a look at their website to check, would be good to get some more advice on all the tax implications etc. Thanks for your help

Merci Andrew,

we'll probably both register as it looks easy enough to do. Looking at the AE website I think the limit for turnover for Chambre d'hotes/gites is something like 80000 Euro, I don't think somehow we'll reach that, we don't intend to have a massive business, just enough to make a living. At least that's the plan! :-)

In our business it's me that's registered (although not as AE, because I was already registered with the Chambre de commerce, but we pay cotisations as if we were AEs) and Richard gets health cover as my dependent! Gites de France for our area gives the advice that if you're not already paying cotisations another way, then AE is the way to go for Chambres d'Hôtes.

set up individually as AEs, it takes a few minutes online then you'll have to work out how to split the income between you. I think you need some advice from other gîte owners as the the best set up depending on projected turnover because you can't claim things back under the AE scheme - not quite sure if it's the best for you if you're going to have a large turnover. Bonne chance ;-)