Cotisation Conundrum

Hello. I have a cotisation conundrum - as if everyone doesn't!

We are starting a new business. - very excited about it - it's a mobile gourmet café and we'll be providing food at open air special events in France and the U.K. from March onwards

We've done all the "demarches" necessary, and are in the final stages of prep, getting funding sorted and launching ourselves legally.

What I wonder is,

  • how to sort healthcare cover for working - what it will cost for someone still living in U.K., travelling here to France work from time-to-time (say 8 weeks per year)


  • the other way round - so living permanently here in FRANCE (for more than 3 years) and working temporarily in the UK de temps-en-temps.(more often, 4-5months per year)

We'll be SARL, with 4 directors/associées, all from one family, self-employed non-salaried

2 of us live permanently here in France and two of us live permanently in the UK.

The main shareholder lives in France and the company is to be registered here in France. Both the directors from France already have Cartes Vitales via RSI and one of the UK residents has an old carte vitale from 2011, but lives in the UK. The 4th has never lived in France or worked here.


I've searched a LOT on the www.

I've written to the RSI and had a chat with one of it's new business advisors, who knew nothing.

Chambre de Metiers think we'll have to pay FULL minimum cotisations for ALL four directors, even though two of them will be only be working here for a few weeks per year. I can believe this might be the assumption but I doubt it would be fair under EU law as it seems prohibitively expensive to pay for a whole year. Should I ask URSAF?

THe UK side seems easy enough to work out - we pay weekly self-employed NI contributions of around £13.75 each - is this right do you think? How do we register as working & self-employed in the UK after living here for so long? I was planning to just find a private insurance company but they only seem to do holiday travel and not insurance for working.

And of course we ALL need the EHIC health EU card...not a problem - it's the 35% top-up that is going to be hard to cover, because we're all very low waged to start with.

I have a RDV with a french Chambre de Commerce legal advisor tomorrow, so I may get some answers before anyone here can help, but I fully expect "contact the RSI/Chambre de Metiers" to be the standard reply.

Update over the weekend and ANY extra advice will be very much appreciated - visit us at our events after March 2015 (work n Progress)

Oh, and if anyone knows of an event worthy of a new caterer, we're always interested in collaborating with the organiser.

Check us out on our website soon

update... legal advisor was completely useless. She told me I couldn't be a manager/owner of a French company because I'm British. She told me (when I questioned that this was real or not) that I HAVE TO go to the GREFE and ask them, because, fro sure, they would probably make it really hard for me to do it, or say no.

After that, I had trouble believing anything she said. I've never heard such discriminatory nonsense.

I know she wasn't being deliberately racist, she was really very nice and she seemed to genuinely want to help me, but to tell someone they can't do something so important, so definitively, in an official capacity, which might stop them getting work, based on their nationality, is just outrageously negligent and well, wrong!

I feel I ought to stop her from doing the same to other people, but I'm scared of sticking my neck out - especially as the Chambre de Commerce might have some ability to help/hinder me get work in future.

Ironically, I've just come from a government website, about how to set up a LTD company in the UK if you are French!