Auto-entrepreneur for artists

I’m an artist and freelance writer who has just moved to France. I want to set up as an auto-entrepreneur. I am a little confused about the different categories, the different websites, whether I need to get ‘mutuel’ first, whether I need a social security number - lots of varying advice. Can anyone provide a step by step process please?
Thank you.


Welcome to the Forum, Gilly
If you use the Search tool (click on the magnifying glass icon)… there is a lot of info available …

I am sure folk will chime in with their advice/experience…

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check out the different catagories as well…

Culture: Art & Design

Healthcare & Carte Vitale

etc etc

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Hi Gilly
Unfortunately the micro entrepreneur scheme (as it’s now called) excludes creative artists and writers. (It wouldn’t work because of the earnings pattern - ME is based on regular declarations and payments, but in the creative sector the earnings pattern tends to be irregular, you might sometimes spend a long time creating and earning nothing except maybe a few royalties, then you sell a work and receive a big one-off payment that might be significant proportion of annual turnover).

This recent thread may help

Is it safe to assume you have an EU passport? If so, basically the arrangements will depend on how established you are (ie how much you earn from your work) and thus what type of membership MdA gives you. But your first step in either case is to obtain a siret number (business registration number) from URSSAF in order to be able to promote and sell your work in France.
Healthcare might be trickier. The potential options are: 1. join PUMA after 3 months’ legal residence, and to do this you would need to prove a regular sustainable income and then pay an annual cotisation based on your total income; 2. access the social security system via Maison des Artistes if they accept you as a full member, and pay cotisations based on your professional earnings; or 3. take out private healthcare. The first two options will get you a social security number and you can then take out complementary cover via a mutuelle if you wish. The third option won’t get you a social security number, and hopefully you would only need to do this as a stop gap until either you are accepted as a full member by MdA or you’re accepted into PUMA.

Hope this helps, sorry if I’ve made it sound a bit complicated but artists and creatives are treated a bit differently from other professions in France.

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Hi Anna,

Thank you so much for the really helpful advice.

I have duly filled in the form with URSAAF - but hit a glitch when it comes to ‘options fiscales’. Any advice? BNC or BIC? (BIC I think)
Micro, réel simplifie or réel normal (réel normal I think)

Regime TVA?
Franchise en base, réel simplifie, réel normal or mini réel?
No Idea

Assujettissement a la TVA en cas d’operation impossible sur option - oui ?
Option pour le dépôt de déclarations trimestrielles, si la TVA estime inférieure a un plafond 4000 Euros/an —oui?

Also, I just copied my passport and signed it myself to say it was a true copy. Is that OK - or do I need to get a 3rd party yo sign it?

Thanks again!!!

PS I have a British passport - and am an established artist with an MFA.

I would have thought BNC. BIC is industrial and commercial activities (like eBay resellers, market traders, property agents etc). Arts activites would normally be classed as profession libérale which is BNC. I would check with your chambre de commerce if you’re not sure. But if choose the wrong one URSSAF will probably query it.

If your turnover is below the VAT threshold you have can opt for franchise en base which means you don’t do VAT (although if you make sales to other EU countries you would need to get an intracommunity VAT number and make customs declarations, but you wouldn’t actually charge VAT). But if it would be to your advantage to register for VAT, you can. If your turnover is above the threshold have to register so you would choose one of the other two but I can’t help at all on that,

[quote=“GillyB, post:5, topic:23063”]
Assujettissement a la TVA en cas d’operation impossible sur option - oui ?
[/quote] - that stumped me at first - don’t confuse “impossible” with “imposable”=taxable!
But again sorry, I have no clue about VAT.

Why not go along to URSSAF in person with your form if they’re not a million km away - they’re usually nice and helpful, they’ll check it for you and explain anything you’re not sure about, and making personal contact with them right at the start can be useful later on if any issues crop up. URSSAF as a faceless organization gets bad press but in my experience the staff who work there are very happy to help and not dragons at all. Once you’ve talked to them and you know they are human, it make it easier to deal with the impersonal, often rather curt unfriendly-sounding written communications that tend to arrive from URSSAF, because it’s reassuring to know you can go in and someone will help you sort it out if necessary. Or that’s what I’ve found.


If you were simply asked to provide a copy… signing it yourself is OK…


The Mairie normally makes a photocopy, then signs it, certifying that the copy is a “true copy of the original”. Their “stamp” goes on as well…

So, if you were asked to provide a true/certified copy… off you go to the Mairie… :thinking:

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Thanks Stella! I might just get a signed copy from the Mairie so I’m ready when it’s asked for. :grinning:

Thanks so much Anna. You’ve been so helpful. I’ve submitted the form - let’s see what happens. :sunglasses: