Microentrepreneur and freelance job sites

I have been told ‘you need a business bank account’… however, I get most of my income paid into a sterling account, because I provide services for UK based businesses, or through Paypal (freelance sites like Textbroker, e-publishers I work for, etc).

Do other micro-entrepreneurs have experience of how to handle such payments? I really can’t ask UK clients to pay in euros, particularly since the bank charges would take a whack out of my earnings. And most sites charge extra for bank payments.

Also, for the web sites, I’m not in a position to issue an invoice…

The requirement is to have a separate bank account dedicated to your business - it does not have to be an (expensive) business account. I can’t really comment about you trying to use a UK account for a French registered business, but can you imagine trying to run a UK registered business from a French account…?

I’m mystified as to why you can’t raise an invoice for your services. Surely if the clients won’t deal on that basis you aren’t really working for them in a freelance capacity.

Paypal isn’t an issue because it’s no problem at all to convert the money in your account into euros and pay it into a French account.

After I moved I initially kept on a couple of UK clients who would only pay into a UK bank account, and I never worked out an answer. I didn’t stress over it because they were a very small proportion of income, but it’s one of the reasons that I let them go as soon as I could (the other reason being that I found it hard to compete with UK freelancers, what with charges here being so much higher and the rates I got from UK clients being so much lower than what French clients pay). If there had been more of them and I’d wanted to keep them, I suppose I would have set up a separate UK bank account as well as a separate French bank account.

But you definitely need to issue invoices for everything. Even if you never send them to the client, you still need them for your own records. If asked, you have to be in a position to provide a complete and properly numbered set of invoices with all the mentions légales on them, that exactly matches each transaction. Otherwise you are leaving yourself open to being fined big time for not keeping proper accounts.

The micro entrepreneur scheme doesn’t have a lot of rules but it is quite strict on invoicing procedures, to combat fraud. Those are the conditions you accept when you sign up so if you want to use this particular scheme, you will have to either find a way to organise your business so that you respect the rules, or else do it your own way and cross your fingers you never get a contrôle. To be fair it is very rare for MEs to be contrôle-d unless something gets flagged up.

Thanks Anna. If it is really as simple as just writing up the ‘invoice’ in my own books then I have no problem doing that.

I am not really making a lot of money - two or three good clients who need a piece written every month - and I’d probably give up, but for the fact that I need to have either a job, a business or a pension to get social security - and I’m too young for a pension, really don’t want to go back to work, and therefore microentrepreneur does seem the best option.

It’s just a case of keeping your back covered really. Useful advice here http://www.myae.fr/faq/modele-facture-auto-entrepreneur.php

  • it tells you what mentions légales you have to include etc.

That’s not actually correct - you can join PUMA as an inactive, as long as your total income (from pensions/rental/investments/whatever) is above 9 000€pa (or whatever the figure is), and you simply pay your cotisations at 8% of income above that. But then you wouldn’t be able to do any work at all…