How to invoice UK customer (sole trader) as an Auto Entrepreneur

Hi, I am a Freelance Web Developer and have just set up as an Auto Entrepreneur in France. I have been struggling to find clients in France and so have found a potential first client who is a sole trader in the UK. I am not sure if there are any complications with this situation. I assumed I wold invoice him as normal, however, he is put off as he says he will not be able to claim costs for the website as expenses due to me being in France. Is this true? Are there any other considerations I need to take before working with UK clients? Thanks in advance.

Hello @LOLeary . Bonjour!

Based on the scenario you have described, your potential clients thinking is daft. You can invoice any UK company from France in Euros or in GBP. The UK company show that as a purchase in their accounts, just as with a UK supplier.

This is a really good business forum where you might get more guidance.

Trying to think of anything that might cause your client to react as they have done, all I can think of is VAT. I presume you would not charge VAT as a new business? In that case they could not offset any input VAT from you against their output VAT. But still that should make no difference, unless they do not understand VAT.

I’ve been doing the same thing in reverse working with US website clients for years, and it’s never been an issue - I don’t see why it would be a problem - if you were not allowed to offset goods and services bought from overseas as a UK business expense then trade would collapse!!

What he said :point_up:

Thankyou everyone for confirming what I thought. There is no VAT therefore should be straightforward.


If it is true, then it seems that that would be specific to UK tax law, and not French tax law, and a question for a UK accountant or tax advisor, but also the following link gives some further insight: TVA : comment facturer un client étranger ? I CIC.

I’d be more concerned that if I am providing a service working in France even to a different country then I’d be paying social contributions and tax on it to France same as if service was being invoiced to a French company.

But that’s nothing to do with who you are invoicing in the UK assuming it’s a true arms length services contract and not a disguised employment contract.