Inactive ME automatic closure?

  • Evening, lovley peeps… sorry if this is the wrong section this old dinosaur is not very techie, first time on anything like this and not sure how it all works?..

My ME status has now in theory come to an end. Zero declared with URSSAF for 2 yrs Unfortunately my business failed to take off first due to Covid then sadly ill health meant I was unable to work.
I’m aware that if you close your business down, you have to notify all the organisations involved but since mine has automatically ended, is there anything that I have to do? Do I have to contact the Chambre de métiers, URSSAFI?.. ’ll be grateful if someone could confirm please and advise where to start as I really don’t have a clue?.. my french is dismal too which makes it even harder.
Thank you so much.

Oh dear!

Sorry about your ME failure and hope you’re able to to sort things out more easily than my wife could (it took six months of phone calls and emails).

I’d advise making an appointment with your local branch of France Connect and asking them to help you deal with everything from the start. It’s free and means there will be an official record of you starting the process of closing your business.

When notifying URSAAF keep a separate record of every contact, with date details and if possible contacts’ names particularly as their web site doesn’t always save correspondence and seems to be run by bots.

Lastly, I’m sure @JaneJones will appear and offer further, more detailed advice.

Bonne chance !


Thank you so much for replying. It doesn’t automatically end then by the sound of it then … should have know really, as very little is that straight forward here.

I clicked the link you sent but it took me to the impots sign in page but I don’t where I’m supposed to go from here.?.. sorry to sound dumb but I’m so stressed from so many other things to deal with I simply can’t think straight. … feeling lost and totally alone, my hubby is useless at admin and sadly we are isolated with no one to even talk to so I appreciate your kind response.

Don’t worry, instead try using a search engine to look online for the contact details of your local branch of France Connect - ie. enter the name of your commune or town and the phrase ‘France Connect’. They’ll probably re-open tomorrow and you can phone to make a rendez-vous.

As with many things in France, it’s worthwhile taking along hard copy of every possibly relevant document!

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Generally called France Services now, so try here

And yes they are generally very useful.

Please don’t feel stressed and worried. There are people on here who have experience of most things and can help you through. It’s time for me to head to bed so will re-read your post tomorrow


Thanks - I was actually thinking of France Services, but old man, late night, failing brain…

Yes it’s France services I believe.

And now the challenge begins, trying to converse with them or finding someone who speaks english ?

Thanks again.

Thank you so much Jane, what a relief to find such a great site with such a lovely, kind helpful bunch of people. :pray:t2:

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When I shut the business down I had to go to the Chambre de Mètiers and get them to resiliate the business thus in turn informing all the relevent bodies and giving me certificates of resiliation. A business is not automatically closed, same as an insurance policy in France unless you officially cancel it all. Make sure you print out copies of absolutely every bit of resiliation paperwork as proof for the impôts etc.

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I have done a bit of digging this morning. And of course, being France, it is far more convoluted than it needs to be.

I do think you do need to go through the process of formal closure as otherwise the likelihood is that you will be chased sometime in the future. It seems that the process now can be done online via the INPI site but you will need an electronic signature. So may have to tackle that first!

France Services can help you with both, but may need several appointments to do it in stages.

Comment signer sa formalité sur le Guichet unique ? |

Formalités d'entreprise : fermer une micro-entreprise |

If your french is poor, write out what you want them to help you with pop it into to translate and print it out and take with you (along with all your other documents).


Just to reinforce Jane’s comment about Deepl. It is an excellent translation engine (makes occasional mistakes, but rarely).
I belong to a photo club here and I send out weekly emails to club members in French and English. I live on Deepl. :grin:

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Thank you Jane.
Ive been on this all morning and looking like it’s going to be the usual agonising process. :weary:

. I don’t understand if they say it’s only open for 2 yrs then why do I need to close it, surely it would be closed automatically? And if not then why am I not allowed to
continue, in hope that I may at some point be able to work? It begs the question then, is it open or is it closed?
Also Curious to know what the implications are for not informing them?

If you have registered a business if you don’t make declarations you can be fined for failing to do so, even if you earned no money. They are usually very relaxed about this, but it can happen si best to get it sorted.

And a business is open/active even if in abeyance until the business owner takes the steps to close it. I think people might complain if URSAFF shut down their business unilaterally.

Yes this will be frustrating and awkward but best to grit your teeth and do it,

How far have you got? Ask if there is help we can offer,


If you don’t close the business officially, both INPI and URSAFF may continue to chase you for outstanding amounts of money, such as social charges.

My wife had an S1 and a Carte Vitale before she started her business, but throughout the period it existed, and for six months after she closed it, they continued to try to bill her for certain services that were already being covered by the UK government. This was explained numerous times in emails and on the phone, but it took an age to resolve. It was only after she went through France Services that these errors were rectified

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Thanks again DrMarkH,
Because my french is pretty abysmal especially understanding and on the telephone I was too embarrassed to make a call to them today. I have been doing a lot of reading and translating and I’m currently attempting the form filling, however I’ve just stumbled on the bit about electronic signature requirement that haven’t a clue about so now It seems im stuck until I can sort how to figure this out now. :worried:

You can do the e-signature verification at a local post office.

It would make life much easier if you had a friend or neighbour with a reasonable command of French, who could phone and explain on your behalf and maybe give a little extra support.

Keep plugging away, you’ll get there!

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When i closed an AE account a few years ago i went to my nearest Chamber of Commerce.They printed off the forms and i signed them and sent them to the places that they told me to and returned my trading card to them also,job done and no nasty letters afterwards,would strongly recommend that you do this if you can.

The problem is that much has been replaced by the INPI guichet unique so is generally done online. It’s worth a try of couse but you might find you are sent away.

Don’t have a neighbour or anyone. either English or French that can help sadly.

From what I’ve read today, you cant go La Poste route if you only have a 5 yr residency card unfortunately.