Moving to France Checklist


I’m just trying to draw up a checklist of everything we’ll need to do to transfer our lives to France and the different things I’ll need to research and do. I’m just wondering if anyone has a comprehensive checklist already prepared.

So far, I’ve got:

Set up a micro enterprise for myself (consultant) and partner (running a Gite).
Source an accountant to manage our tax returns. (Our other source of income will be dividend payments from UK company.)
Broadband and telephone service.
Television Licence.
Local Taxes (Tax frontiere and tax d’habitation?)
Health Insurance.
Life Assurance.
Register with Vets (for our dogs and horses).
Find farrier.
Register with doctors.
Register with dentists.
Transfer car to France.
Car insurance.
Sort out residency (should have come top perhaps but I’m working on the principle that if everything else is in place, we’ve got until July next year to sort that).

I’m sure I’m missing loads off this list! Any thoughts?


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Seems to be pretty comprehensive - and you seem to be a lot better organised than we were when we came!
You don’t need a television license here by the way - but there is a specific audio-visual tax for gites (if they have television). I wouldn’t worry too much about it though - it took us several years to sort it out - as it did a number of the things on your list!

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Get to know your local mayor / mayor’s office and make sure you get on with them. They help smooth things over (like getting planning permission and sorting things out with neighbours).

In the early days, although we never expected it, making friends with English people who’d been here longer than we had was hugely useful for finding doctor, vet, dentist, local car repair garage, etc (French I hasten to add). No doubt it could all have been done in French with neighbours, but it all just went that bit quicker.

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Where are you starting from? Do you already have the property because, if so, many of the things will already be in place. For example your utilities and property taxes, which include your TV licence by the way, will already be in place. A lot of these things could be placed under a sub heading, house. Getting a TV and Internet connection should also be straightforward especially if the property is already connected.
By health insurance do you mean entering the health system? If so that will be part and parcel of setting up your business. You can’t register with a doctor until you are in the system but you can make an appointment and see the doctor before you are registered.
Your vehicle insurance plus top up health insurance might best be arranged through a local agent although your bank may well be keen to become involved to. Talking of banking, it’s not on your list so I presume you already have accounts up and running.
Residency is in the first instance just a case of turning up with the intention of remaining and getting on with it. After three months you can technically apply for a CdS but the portal to do that will not be open until October so that’s one less thing to worry about.

I’m guessing you are using shorthand for the business aspect, as you can’t establish an auto-entrepreneur business with an associate/partner. It has to be either a conjoint-salarié or conjoint-collaborateur. Do as much research as you can on the legal structure of your business as makes a lot of difference.

I can’t remember whether you already have a house, as utilities don’t feature on your list.

And what do you mean about life insurance? The French Assurance Vie which is tax free savings that pay out to nominated people when you die, or the UK concept or insuring each other’s lives?

If you are running a business you will also have to pay CFE tax, cotisations foncières enterprises. You will be exempt for first year but as well to look at it so it features in your business plan. Some areas have quite a high rate.

Utilities is on the list, at the bottom. :slight_smile:

and you will have to pay but request the “brown form” - feuille de soins from which you can make reclaims so keep them safe until able to deal with them.


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Green card
Proof of ‘No Claims’ going back as far as possible
European breakdown cover
Car – Certificate of Conformity
Car headlights adjusted & rear fog lights changed for driving on the right
International Driving Licence
Crtit’Air certificate?
Car purchase invoice

Proof of income
Copies of bank statements

Birth, marriage & divorce certificates
Proof of professional qualifications
Passports with at least a couple of years validity left
Legal Power of Attorney?

Ride-on lawnmower?

UK medical records
Say 3 months supply of prescription medication

Lots of French electric plugs
“Kettle” leads with French plugs
LED E27 screw lightbulbs
Dettol soap, wipes & spray
Decent printer/scanner, plus supply of paper and ink
Bug zappers
Spare vaccum cleaner bags

Bovril, marmite, English mustard, brown sauce etc
Horlicks, teabags
Spices and curry sauces




Cooper’s Oxford Fine/Coarse Cut marmalade.
Smokey back bacon [for lardons in moules marinere - the killer ingredient]
Tesco parmesan 200g is €16.35/kg. E.LeClerc €21/kg. At today’s dismal FX Tesco’s is €4.65/kg cheaper.
That’s why I had 1 kg of it shipped [along with 1 kg smokey back bacon] and the marmalade, in my last ‘care package’ from UK.
Tomato concentrate 200 gm tube. Tesco €.037 - E.LeClerc €1.33. In the only stall that sells it in the superb Mercado Central in Valencia … €2.50/200gm tube!

When I get stuff sent out from UK - the last was a guitar in a big box - I make up to just short of the next level of shipping charges with things like the above. I asked my pal to buy 20 tubes of tomato puree. The saving would have paid for the shipping and all the other groceries but when he went to buy, the shelf was bare. Nary a one! Panic buying …

Another box coming: weight being made up with more bacon!

How do you manage to keep the bacon cool?

In transit, I don’t

A friend reckons I am some variety of Terminator. I do seem to have a digestion that will process anything, with little regard for sell by/use by dates.

On a trip in India I refilled my water bottle from a 6" stub of hose emerging from the middle of a muddy unpaved street in a Himalayan village, used by buses, trucks, pedestrians [barefoot and shod] and a variety of animals. No problems

I once offered him a share of a pack of smoked mackeral that was 1 year past its sell by date. He declined - wuss. It was fine.

I have a fond belief that smoked foods last for a very long time. And they do. My pal back in UK was worried about the bacon. “Smoked. No probs” And so it proved. I’m not sure how it was stored at his place but it spent about 10 days in transit in a cardboard box with a guitar in it. The guitar was in worse condition than the bacon…

The bacon had released water - about a tablespoon full - but was perfectly fine. It made what I bought it for - lardons for moules marinere. Brilliant.

The latest batch will have been in his freezer till being packed. Once landed in Spain it will be subject to pretty warm temps. It’s 30C in my office as I write. I have every confidence in my ‘smoked’ theory

When we first moved here I did bring favourite and useful things from the UK. But over time I’ve found alternatives (or improvements!) so no longer bother. My butcher does smoked pork belly and back and will cut it thinly for me, I make marmelade, and I’ve found its pointless bringing over tools and equipment, etc etc for example I can’t imagine bringing a ride on lawnmower that no-one here would repair.

Yes some things are cheaper in UK, but I live here. And some things are cheaper here. So overall it all balances, and if it doesn’t I think the hassle’s not worth the savings.


Recommend lots of UK six gang sockets/trailing leads. Just swap the wall plug for EU when you arrive and you can do six appliances at once with the time and cost of one :wink:

Gradually you can / will switch to EU products but then the leads will be useful for UK visitors.

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Bacon: order from Les délices de la Ferme, superultramegadeliciousness utter bliss on a plate.

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I agree Jane.
Except pork pies, of course.

I am perfecting my recipe! Our garagiste’s son recently spent a holiday in the UK and adored pork pies. So I am trying to see if I create one for him. Not quite there yet as they are not as easy as it sounds.


Did I read bring printer paper? Have I missed something?

At least until your house burns down


The Morrises whose Farm Shop I mentioned earlier make fabulous pork pies including some with quince jelly on top. Heavenly.


Now that is just showing off! :nauseated_face::nauseated_face:

(Hope that’s a jealousy emoticon not a throwing up one!)

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