Before anyone has a go please read carefully

The new requirements to register as AE, take a 4 day course in Alencon, at a cost of 270 Euro.

So taken 4 days off work to sit the obligatory course

The first three days, just sat in a class (17 people, 16 French), listening to the teachers discussing the system of setting up a business, in French

Being handed several amounts of paperwork, in French

Not being told that I could have taken someone who speaks/reads French( We have only been here 5 months) to help me understand whats being said as most of the days were in discussion about STUFF.

Arrived on the fourth day to be quizzed as to why I was there?

Given my certificate of attendance and sent on my way. Thanks a lot

The course did not explain as to how to register as AE, pay taxes, social, insurances etc.

Went to Office in Domfront to get registered to then be told that I now need to pay another 100 euro to register

Now I am all for doing thing properly, but they could have at least made the paperwork for the course bi-lingual with having to pay.

Just a note that supposedly all new and existing AE will have to take this course, the new before registering and the existing by the end of this year

brilliant!! thankyou!!

Anthony I expect as you were already registered as an AE commercant and you have just added this to your existing bussiness you do not need to do it (you cannot have 2 AE bussiness just add many activities to the same one)

Peter - you wouldn't need to do the course as you are not planning on being an artisan

The 3 types of AE are

ARTISAN - making something be it from building to sewing to cooking

COMMERCANT - selling stuff you have not made


anyone wishing to see the diaporama from the reunion d'infomation I attended at the beginning of March can drop me a mail at

Thanks for the link. V. useful. cheers, Ant.

I agree.

I have recently (Feb 2015) been to the Chambre de Commerce in Blois (41) where I changed from Commerçant non-sedentaire (selling 2nd hand stuff on markets - please see "Ants Guitars" on Facebook) to Artisan, where I am now a registered food-seller, making and selling pizzas in-situ. I paid a fee to the CCI for this (no problems). HOWEVER, NO ONE mentioned that as an AE Artisan I would soon have to go on a 4-day course! (Je vais me renseigner).

Welcome to Europe.

There is another issue with invoices issued by AE (or micro-enterprise) who do not clearly invoice HT, the only declare what they have to. That's why they are keen for cash. This was introduced once by the Sarkozy government to allegedly raise at least a little bit tax from them. This house here is declared as a secondary home because my business is for many reasons registered in Germany. The problem is that I've got today all invoices, claims for reimbursement on HT, refused by the German fiscal authorities because HT is not specifically stater on the invoice. It all is adding up to over 5000 Euro loss because understandably the bureaucrats in one European nation are giving a dam on rules of another European nation. The reimbursement benefits seem only be useful for the Fat Cats...

So after this lesson learned I will now only hire an architect or normal SARL, which will just will increase the final invoice on their fee, but with HT specified means 20% HT on the invoice. Moreover it will release me from much discussions and overseeing the work myself, - but I with the right for HT deduction... From this perspective, especially if your clients are mostly foreigners, you may be better off not to have the status of a AE or micro-entepreneur to be considered more serious.

That's interesting Helen so where would I stand if I opened up a gîte or Chambres d'Hôtes ?

Mandy your husband comes under artisan so he has to do it, you are offering a service so a profession liberale and don't

ah that's interesting! I haven't been told I have to do the course yet but if I do I have an NVQ in business and administration and I completed a module in setting up business as part of my personal training diploma, I wonder whether these qualifications would let me off the hook!!!

hi, my husband and I have been registered to work since 1st April as auto- entrepreneurs, my husband as a mechanic and myself as a personal trainer. My husband was asked to pay for and give a date to attend the course before his forms to register to work were processed, and I have not, although I was given a form about the course in the pack i was sent. I'm not sure whether at some point I will be told I have to attend or not! According to our french translator who helped us with the application forms, this obligatory course attendance was removed last year for auto entepreneurs, but then reinstated.

It does make me wonder David...

trying to get some electric device, send from an manufacturer in the US or Canada out of the customs's can be really funny, at least for Kafka fans ... and my daughter (totally French) communicates with 30 % of her former fellow students via social networks because they are working somewhere in Asia, US or UK, DE & Norway....These young people will hardly come back if they do not find same conditions and this will be the future of France.

hello !!!! You are in France now !!!! Would they do these courses in French in the uk? SORRY TO BE A MISERY HOWEVER ...... Think about it !!!

As Peter has said there is a paragraph stating that you can take someone in with you to translate. If these courses have to be multi lingual where would you stop - in French, English, Spanish, Polish. I personally don't see what the problem is, the help is there when you ask for it but it would seem that the op has lost in translation/misunderstood the different steps of the process (I was invited by the cci to a reunion d'infomation first which was free to explain how the system works, what cotisations and taxes you pay, your obligations and which chambre to register to plus how to do it either by yourself for free or paying a small fee for the cci to do it all face to face with you)

I set up as AE in Jan 2015. I had a 'dispense' from the four day course (I was excused from doing it) because I have a qualification in business management type stuff (dating from 1995-6 in Scotland). I had to provide a copy of my qualification and fill in a short form. In a couple of weeks I got a letter back saying I was excused from the course. Worth knowing if you have any kind of bus. mgmnt qualification

based on minimum, so if you generate just a bit, nobody cares, only make sure insurances etc in place, just in case.

No wonder why so many young creative French people are just leaving for other countries. Why should creative French people now pay for a "service" which is if no advantage to them. What concerns foreigners naive enough to start a business, I think this is a good approach : get the money and run, or pay as you go through the administrative minefields. The goal is to be attractive to every naive gullible idiot. After all, why does France needs bilingualism when there is the EU to blame. So just imagine Brussels would enforce the obligation that every official document in each country is at least in English, this Blonde angle of revenge of the "petite bourgeois" would run amok against the "Dictators in Brussels" using her credit portfolio of 40 million she accepted from a Russian bank. The simple fact ist: As for bilingualism in official forms France has not quite arrived in reality where such small countries such as Czech, Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia etc have long ago arrived, because at least English translations of official documents. This is how we feed nationalistic sentiments and in a few year we can dump the entire EU...

Helen, the thing is: we are in Europe as well. Just saying "but we are in France" is not even arrogant. Or do we can dump all this EU regulations? If so the "trainers" will be happy not to have too much work and also there will be less people registering, so also less work. Keep in mind that there are countries far ahead in the EU like e.g. Slovenia, Croatia where you'll find all bilingual. I know French is "sublime"...

except perhaps the uk where all couses have to be made available to types of speakers