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?