Proposed Micro Enterprise changes - June 2017

If like me, you’re a bit of a Macron fan, you probably see him as a breath of fresh air in French politics. And even if you’re not a big Macron advocate, if you are a small business owner, then his suggested measures are almost certain to put a spring in your step.

Obviously this is early days and at the moment these proposals are just that, but it does seem as though he does want small businesses to thrive.

The most contentious is probably the abolition of the 'Regime Social des Independants (RSI) - the social security agency for around six million self-employed workers and their families. It’s a huge administrative task but as dealing with the RSI is enough to reduce grown men to tears, any reform has got to be a good idea.

He also plans to reduce Social Security Contributions and is proposing to reduce ‘cotisation’ rates, with a promise of an increase in net revenues of between €500 and €3,000 a month. He’s also suggested granting any new micro-enterprise an exemption from said social security contributions for the first year, irrespective of turnover.

Micro-entrepreneur turnover limits (which are currently €33,200 for service based activities, ‘professional’ activities and unclassed gîte accommodation, and €82,800 for commercial activities, cafes, restaurants, hotels, chambre d’hôtes and classed gîte accommodation) are set to double meaning that people will be able to stay as a micro-enterprise for longer whilst they get better established. to double these limits.

In terms of corporate taxation, the reduced rate of 15% for companies with net profits of no greater than €38K will continue to apply and the rate for larger companies will also be reduced to 25%.

The Macron government also wants to allow the self-employed to be able to access unemployment benefits - something which at the moment is restricted to
those with a salary.

And last but very much not least, he wants to create an environment where business owners have a ‘right of error’ in their dealings with tax and social security authorities. The goal is to end the systematic imposition of penalties for all infractions and end the ‘guilty until proved innocent’ approach which is the current norm, with his programme stating ‘le cœur de la mission de l’administration ne soit plus la sanction mais le conseil et l’accompagnement.’

As someone who is currently arguing with URSSAF about a fine they administered even though they had failed to collect the money I owed them, I think this is fantastic news and hopefully the start of good things to come!

What do you think? And more importantly, what would make your life better as a small business owner?


What’s not to like, I have hopes that Macron will be small business friendly, but let’s see what happens.
On a more practical note, might be worth flagging up the new law scheduled to come into force from January 2018 that obliges every business to use an approved accounting system for invoices etc. There is lobbying to get micro entrepreneurs excluded from this obligation but at the moment it applies to them same as everyone else. 7 500€ fine for non compliance.

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The one thing that I find annoying in France is that employing someone is just not something we would ever consider, due to the ridiculous employment laws, relating to the fact that once employed you can not get rid of them. Does no-one in government/unions realise that this is keeping the unemployment rate high???


Just the one???

Catherine, an end to the stupid system where you have to have a separate enterprise to do items which are all really interrelated.
For example we know a cabinet maker who would have to have a separate enterprise to mend the table he had made. He didn’t bother.
Also garage owners having to separate sales and after sales service upon threat of huge fines. This meant that we are now isolated in a small part of the showroom, perhaps we are contagious.
This is one of the major inhibitors of business.

I don’t understand that, lots of people do that and it isn’t problem. On micro for instance you don’t need two separate enterprises (which obviously you can’t have), you simply have one “mixed” activity, you keep separate records for the turnover from artisan activities and the turnover from commercial activities, you declare the two turnovers separately and pay cotisations at the appropriate rate for each, job done.

Explained here

that’s a bit scary BUT the first sentence in the link you supplied states
"In order to combat VAT fraud related to the use of revenue-concealing software, the Finance Act for 2016 introduces the obligation for traders and other professionals subject to VAT to register Payments to their customers using a secure or certified accounting software or cash register system."
The key here is the phrase SUBJECT TO VAT - If you are an auto/microentrepreneur you are not subject to vat and thus should not be obliged to get a cash register. Am I wrong??

This has been discussed a lot on French professional forums and the consensus is that it does apply to micros because unfortunately it also says
"L’administration précise expressément que l’obligation concerne tous les assujettis à la TVA qui enregistrent les règlements de leurs clients dans un logiciel de comptabilité ou de gestion ou un système de caisse qu’il s’agisse de personnes physiques ou morales, de droit privé ou de droit public, et même s’ils réalisent en tout ou partie des opérations exonérées de TVA ou s’ils relèvent du régime de la franchise en base."
ie even people who are zero rated for VAT, ie micros.

The Federation des auto entrepreurs takes that view and is lobbying to get micros excepted.

The only exception is if you only keep manual records and don’t put anything on computer.

EDIT " should not be obliged to get a cash register" - not sure where this came from, there is no suggestion that everyone should get a cash register. All it’s saying that if you use any kind of computerised accounting system to record the income you receive, or any kind of till/checkout system, you have to use software that is approved as fraud-proof. So it will no longer be acceptable to keep records of receipts on excel spreadsheets for instance, because you can go back and make alterations retrospectively, or to use any of the free online accounting tools or an old fashioned till, because it’s unlikely any of these will get approval. Either you have to go back to using handwritten ledgers, where if you cross things out it will be visible, or you have to use an approved system that is designed to prevent fraud.

Thanks Anna - you beat me to it! X

And by sheer coincidence, a notice about this from the Federation just landed in my inbox half an hour ago:

It doesn’t list them :frowning:

Do you mean it doesn’t list the approved systems yet? No, that’s because the government hasn’t approved any yet :grin: At this stage they’re giving advance notice of the change, next they need to come up with a tech spec that has to be met, see what software providers want to put in for approval for their products, and then issue list so that everyone can get their act together before 1.1.18.

And there is still a chance micros may be exempted.

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Yes, no list of approved software. Let’s just travel expectantly!

Must be something in the air today, everyone’s been talking about this and the government has just issued a press release saying that in response to concerns expressed it has decided to simplify the new obligations and restrict it to people who do actually use a checkout/till system to record sales receipts. So I guess it just concerns retailers? (Anyhow, I think I’m off the hook!)


Cat I have been “with” the RSI since 2009. Won’t miss them. But for a Brit this is only part of the problem. There is a separate srtucture ( in my case it’s the RAM) who reimburse health care payments. I would love to think all his will be simplified by EM but it won’t .


Just wondering why that’s a problem? Somebody has to reimburse you after all, I’m with RAM Gamex too, I think their website is pretty good, it lets you do what you need to do and you can track progress and see what’s been processed and what is still awaiting action. Have to say I’ve always found RAM extemely efficient.

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Are you British ? The fantastic thing in the UK is that there are just 2
players involved - the NHS and the Inland Revenue. SIMPLE! And so worth
fighting for.

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Worth fighting for? I don’t understand.

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No, nor did I.

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