Stop messing with the AE regime!

Ever since its introduction, the AutoEntrepreneur (AE) regime has proved extremely popular and apparently, by last month over 893,000 people had registered as AE’s.

One of the attractions is a very simple set-up procedure; this can be completed on-line and is entirely FOC. The original aim of the AE regime was to provide an easy, uncomplicated way to set up a part-time business or to get a (potentially) full-time business up and running without the punitive charges that so often stifle fledgling start-ups.

However, right from the off, there have been vociferous complaints of "unfair competition" and extensive lobbying of Business Minister Sylvia Pinel, by various bodies representing the ‘artisan’ community, in particular, the building trades.

The on-going debate has led to uncertainty and confusion regarding the future of the AE regime. Preliminary reports suggested that Ms. Pinel planned to reduce the income limits (from €32,600 to €19,000 for services and €81,500 to €47,500 for sales) but when the draft law was presented to the Cabinet, these figures were left out. A parliamentary working group has now been set up to hold discussions on the AE regime and to decide on the precise figures.

This draft law could have a number of consequences for AE’s. If they exceed the specified thresholds in two consecutive years, they may be forced to leave the regime. This would oblige them to switch to one of the standard regimes and could include higher social charges. However, for those AE’s who do not exceed the earnings threshold, the draft law appears to state that they can remain within the AE regime indefinitely. The law will also require auto-entrepreneurs who carry out ‘artisanal’ trades on a full time basis, to register with the répertoire des métiers at the chambre de métiers.

The two opposing camps have reacted strongly. The Féderation des Auto-entrepreneurs claim that imposing turnover limits will force people into working on the 'black', whilst Caleb, the building trades body, have asserted that the law does not go far enough.

There are loads of us on here who are AE’s - me included - so I suggest we should ‘watch this space’ - very carefully....

What do you think?

It’s very simple. The vested interests that are making France uncompetitive want to maintain the status quo and have succeeded in forcing the Minister into doing the exact opposite of what is needed, drive less paperwork and more productivity. A great pity.

Thanks for that clarification, Clare.

CFE was based on the rateable value of your home but there were a lot of complaints because in most cases it bore no resemblance to the AE's income as a lot of these were businesses set up to supplement retirement income (ie gites ) some only earned 3-4k but were presented with 2k CFE bills,so, they promised that it would now be based on a percentage of turn over. Watch this space. As regards the one client when registered as an AE, you may get away with it if you never get inspected, but you only need one tidily little invoice to make a difference of either qualifying or not. With all the new changes it wouldn't surprise me if they invent a new job to inspect AE's on an adhoc basis. What everyone is forgetting is that AE is not right for everyone or every business and perhaps some professional advice should be sought in some of the cases in this thread. Try Valeries at she knows her stuff and can advise about what type/set up your business should be and the tax advantages or pitfalls that exist.

I think, but not sure, CFE is based on the rateable value of your home - ie Taxe Fonciere/ Tax Hab, if that is where your work base is - and where your brain is based ! No idea how its calculated though.

David, for over a year and probably in the immediate future I have had a single client, which is actually coincidence/chance rather than design. Luckily I have had a couple of payments for royalties and copyright fees that have put less than €100 in to split it, but so far no comments. I do not have a single client, indeed I have been lucky to have any recently.

Ley am sure its pointed out kindly...I have an English teacher daughter who delights in correcting the family, but has pulled in her horns when doing it to part because her father does it too and has been hauled over the coals for it publicly, most frequently by his wife! but having a friend with dyslexia, I know how upset she can be when corrected.

This is the connexion's take on it.

Not seen the link to the minimum wage mentioned before. If those reduced thresholds are based on the minimum wage, we should not see them lowered in the final act of law. Then again........

Off I go again...

Sorry to say this to all of you.

Spelling should be the last of your worries.

Good spelling hardly ever put food on yhe table.

My spelling is crazy but I manage to put very good quality food on the table.

You are either self employed or employed by them. If you are self employed and say sub contracted to them, you can still be self employed but you cannot do it through the AE scheme and have to declare through your normal annual tax return and then pay the relevant tax & cotisations through this system, but as Catherine says theoretically if you are technically employed by them, then the employer should pay your cotisations. I know for example, that you can work abroad (ie France) for a UK company and they pay your NIC's in the UK but you get and E101 or E102 form ( now know as an A1) for you healthcare in France therefore have no further liability here, but you are still potentially liable to pay tax unless covered under the double taxation treaty . Jonathan, I am not quite sure where you are from or where the company you work for is based so can't really fully comment on your individual circumstances, but I do know that you cannot use the auto entrepreneur system for one client.

With you 1000% there Catharine. What I have been doing is effectively invoicing the final document, which is a report, training manual or whatever as a means of getting round this issue.

In theory Jonathan (I think) you are not meant to work for them if they won't pay employee cotisations.

I remember all kinds of shenanigans when I was working as a journalist for UK mags (pre AE days) as they were theoretically meant to pay my employee cotisations. Yeah right. The NUJ advised me to register as a "conseil en communication' rather than a journalist.

I think the French state needs to accept that work patterns and practices are changing.....

Catherine is quite right the AE system does not allow the AE to have only one client otherwise you are deemed to be employed by that one person, who should then also be liable for a contribution to employee cotisations. You must have at least one invoice to another client to validate eligibility under the AE scheme.

Jonathan, the German system is kid's play compared even with the UK. I had a fellowship 'shared' between an English and a German university and a large chunk of my funding was German. It meant I had to make German social security contributions. The university told me what I had to do and then actually did it and occasionally I received a statement of my contributions. When the work was cut short by two years because of the terrorism in Peru my funding was honoured anyway. So I paid over a period of 20 years albeit I spent 'half' of my time with them (roughly one third overall was in Peru actually). When I was about 55 I heard from the pension people because it was due to start when I reached 60 five years ago. I had my private pension as far as I was concerned, so I deferred drawing a smallish pension from them until I am 70. Then my private pension went up the Swanee. I have no problem other than once an arrangement is made it is all but set in stone. Yes, Switzerland is in the system but one needs to be resident for X, which I do not qualify for. Ironically, because both of my daughters are Swiss, we could claim support for them... However if I did that and remain an AE they take their chunk.

On the EEC regulations, in theory but seldom practice, as you say it is country of residence that should determine entitlement but not the amount which depends on what has been paid in to the system(s). If I tried pursuing amalgamation of pensions and then payment here in France following Jane's European Commission example, it will take years. It would, however, see me removed from the AE system which would cost me my RSI/RAM health cover. I also like working and actually want to, especially writing and from that point of view if I find myself in 'no man's land' by going to the Commission, I would have the social payments anyway but be forced into another regime. Great! No health benefits and large chunks of my income given away for what?

It is a devil and the deep blue sea situation that becomes more complicated each time somebody in government even mentions AE status. The people at URSSAF, RSI/RAM know less and less, instead of the opposite, and thus far I cannot complain about them at all as some people have. If they do not know what is happening I do not think it is their fault anyway. Moreover, I am looking at it perhaps pessimistically but at least quite clear minded and willing to act. What about people who are just frightened, confused and lost? I feel there are far too many of them, not just ex-pats of any origin but also French and we are all being incredibly disabused by this government by illogical regulations, rumours and general confusion.

Many apologies if I have upset anyone. Just to be clear, I wasn't correcting anyone's spelling (no names were used). I was simply pointing out what I see as a mistake. I, too, was a restaurateur for 25 years in the UK and this one is close to my heart. I often make spelling mistakes and I never mind being corrected. My child is dyslexic and we have fun spelling and learning to do it as well as possible. Communication needs to be as clear as possible, surely.

Carol, agree! It's a drum I've banged before here on SFN. Please don't correct other people's spelling - that person might struggle on a daily basis with dyslexia, or in many cases, English is not their mother tongue.

Its American and therefore wrong.....;-) then again it's a word that it used and often (spelled or spelt...according to whether you use US or UK spelling) in the UK with an 'n'. Language changes with time and is a living entity. Also maybe a little unkind and unnecessary to correct others spelling.

I thought you were NOT allowed to work for one client as an AE?

Carol, the free dictionary is free because no-one would pay for it as it is not correct.

The French word for a person who owns or runs a restaurant is restaurateur, with no n, and this is the spelling used most often in English, especially in edited writing. Restauranteur, with an n, appears in English about once for every ten instances of restaurateur. But while this spelling is common and has a long history, many people consider it wrong.

The Oxford English Dictionary notes restauranteur as originally from the U.S. and lists examples from as far back as 1859, though a historical Google Books search covering the 19th century uncovers no more than a handful of instances of restauranteur. Many more examples are found in texts from the first half of the 20th century, including many from outside the U.S. Today, the misspelling appears about equally often throughout the English-speaking world.

It's American and therefore wrong ;-)