Closing Micro-Entrepreneur Profession Libérale Business

The reason is I have just discovered that moving here after retirement, not only will I pay cotisations on what I earn as a counsellor (that I knew) but also have to pay them on my state pension & on my Post Ofice Pension. So it is just not worth it & wonder why in France they make enterprise so hard.

Next step is to close my business & if possible move from URSSAF (RAM) for heathcare back to CPAM having used our S1 forms when we first became resident here.

Feel slightly sad & disappointed & any practical advice would be welcome…

IIRC, you do not have to pay cotisations on your UK pensions if you are in possession of an S1
I guess you have completed the France Form Individual and had it registered at your local tax office…

As soon as I got my Siret I was under URSSAF & RAM. We have sent the France Form Individual & pay tax in France. Have been informed that cotisations have to be paid on our pensions?

Certainly you don’t pay cotisations as such on unearned income, ie not the 25%. But you may have to pay CSG which is a kind of tax levied on unearned income if your healthcare is provided directly by France. Depends on the source what income is liable and what isn’t, but for income that is liable for CSG I believe it’s charged at 8% starting from the first euro. I don’t know if there’s a way round this if you can argue that your business isn’t your main source of income, might be worth having a try. But yes it is a pitfall to be avoided, unfortunately.

Normally once you close a business you continue to be covered under the same regime for 12 months and after that you switch, so you probably need to liaise with CPAM and URSSAF to see if you can change straight away.

Hope you find a solution.

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Did you register the S1 with your caisse? (presuming that the S1 came after you had registered as an AE) and was the bill for cotisations raised for the year prior to your retirement (remembering that the tax is paid in the year following).

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We retired here in May 2015 , registered our S1’s & CV from CPAM + ALD for
me because I am diabetic. Thought I’d become legal & got my Siret August
2016. Then discovered cotisations are due on pensions as well as small
counselling income. So I’m in the wrong system for me as a retiree since
I’m paying for health cover that was provided with S1. Made the wrong
choice & hope to correct it😎

Could you clarify what “cotisations” you have been told are due on your pension? There are various types of cotisations and I’m wondering if there is a misunderstanding here…
But AFAIK there is no way to opt out of paying cotisations on income you are earning from a professional activity. Your route to heathcare depends on your status. You can only be covered via an S1 if you’re in receipt of a UK pension, not working, and the last place you worked was the UK. If you register a business or take a job in France, this automatically invalidates your S1 as your status changes back to worker and you obtain your healthcare through the obligatory contributions you make as a worker. Or that’s how I’ve always understood it.
But earned income and unearned income are treated differently. You don’t pay the same cotisations on your pension as you do on income from your professional activity.

Hi Anna,
Thank you for getting back to me. Someone said the cotisations on pensions
were smaller-6 or 7% I seem to remember. However, our last pensions paid
into our French a/c here were €3114 + about £740 paid into our UK a/c so
cotisations would be €218 & £52.

My intention was to supplement our income to continue property renovations
to our 300 year old retirement home that we love, by making everything
above board.

Income currently from 1 client in US is €200 per 4 sessions. So cotisations
on pensions would mean I was making a loss. I think I’ve dropped a clanger
& we will be in real trouble unless I can close the business & end the
pension cotisations!

In UK I was self-employed as a Doctor of Psychotherapy Practice-declared
everything & charged expenses against income & had a healthy supplement. I
never realised it would be so complicated here. No wonder there is a ‘grey

I hope there is an escape route :slightly_smiling_face:

All the best,


Dr.Roger Waldram
Doctor of Psychotherapy Practice (En Angleterre)
06 42 39 74 86 Mobile
05 56 61 38 77 Ligne Fixe

That doesn’t quite make sense. Money paid by your UK pension provider into your French Bank is not taxed on arrival in your french account but subject to declaration on your annual French tax return.
If you are saying that the money deposited in your french account by your provider is less than expectations, it is more likely to be that your pension is being taxed in the UK on the instructions of HMRC and you need to talk to HMRC to remind them about the completion of your france individual form and they will notify your provider that your tax code is restored to 1150L (2017/18 free pay allowance - you do not pay tax on the first £11,500 of income).
Moreover, I don’t think HMRC have any jurisdiction over money paid into your UK bank ie they cannot issue instructions to them to deduct french tax at source.
This happened to both our pensions this year but a simple call to HMRC in each case ensured the correct code was issued and full service was restored.
It is more likely to be you PO pension provider so that might be the first point of call to establish what is going on (although you must appreciate they cannot do anything until the code is changed by HMRC but they will refund any tax collected inadvertently on your next payment.

Hi, just to clarify all our pensions are paid tax free & declared on our French tax return. I’m concerned about cotisations for a pension I do not need, & health care I hope to get restored from CPAM IF I can.

I believe that by working and earning money in France you have gone beyond the point where you can return to the point that you were at when you retired and were issued your S1s.

I’m sorry, but you really are not making sense. So when you said [quote=“Roger_Waldram, post:8, topic:16596”]
However, our last pensions paid into our French a/c here were €3114 + about £740 paid into our UK a/c so
cotisations would be €218 & £52.
you were not saying that was the amount of tax you had deducted but what your tax expectation is.
Personally, I’d get a tax adviser to help because I’m all out of ideas now.

This may shed some light

I can only think that it is CSG that you’re paying on your pensions, on top of income tax of course. Basically everybody who is in the French social security system pays CSG on certain (most) income that hasn’t already been subjected to social security cotisations, ie income that comes other than via employment or self employment in France. The only ones who escape are EU pensioners whose healthcare comes via an S1, and anyone who has have private health insurance rather than use the French state system.

That is correct David, it is what happened to us and there is no way back to an S1, we are now in the French system till the day we die.

I think strictly speaking the rule is that you’ve contributed to another country’s pension system since leaving the UK, and therefore have a pension entitlement from that country, and that’s the country you live in after retirement, then they become responsible for you once you retire hence no S1 from any other country.
So I guess it hinges on whether the OP’s income was high enough to generate sufficient pension contributions to give him any entitlement to a French pension. If it was literally just a few hundred euros over the year I doubt it would be. The actual income threshold needed to be credited with a trimestre of pension entitlement are on the auto entrepreneur site, might be worth checking the figures.

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I think what Anna says is sound advice and I re-iterate my view that if your language skills are not adequate enough to handle the complexities of the system which can be quite challenging, you will benefit by seeking professional help in this matter.

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In our case Anna you are right with the number of points that we have been credited we will be able to buy 53 baguettes a week and rising with the MSA and they pay for our health cover, when we do decide to retire we have to leave the MSA and join CPAM but I have been told that the route back to a UK S1 is now closed.

My income to date is just €200. When I asked ‘StartBusinesinFrance’ the last line of my question was “I want to work but do not want to have to pay social charges or pay out more than I earn. How do I register as a micro-entrepreneur and get a SIRET number?”

Anna, my income from therapy has been minimal so what are the consequences? I have contacted SBF to see what if anything I can do?

Thanks for all the replies,


I have re-joined SBF & Valerie said

‘The pensions would not be included in the business turnover… only the turnover from the registered business in France.’

She also said

'You will be able to register a micro-entrepreneur as a secondary source of income activité secondaire, since you are retired. This means that it will not affect your current health cover and carte vitale. However you will have to pay social charges, even as a pensioner. A consultant or coach is a profession liberale and pays 22.9% of social charges on their turnover. ’

I have asked whether we can return to S1 based CPAM from RAM but maybe it does not matter assuming RAM is not contribution based.



Can’t really add to my previous post. If you’ve only earned 200€ I’m pretty sure you won’t have been credited with any pension contributions in France so I suspect you would in fact still be eligible for an S1. But you would have to check this with DWP in the UK.
There is no way you can work professionally in France and keep every cent you earn for yourself. It’s just not the French mindset. Economic activity is seen as part of the bigger picture, social responsibility and all that, everybody should work in order to contribute to society in order to make France a better place for everyone to live in, not for purely personal gain.
I used to teach English to French business people and one of my lessons was to give them a typical profit-focused anglo-saxon style business presentation to comment on, their reactions were interesting to say the least!
But since you’re a counsellor I won’t try to lecture you on mindsets :slight_smile:

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