Which Auto Entreprise?

Hello everyone,

My husband and I have the project of setting up an atelier, to try and sell our art. My husband is older than me and has a (small) teacher's pension from the UK. I will not be able to claim any pension for another 20 years. The advice we have been given is either to start an A.E. with me as "chef d'entreprise" and my husband as conjoint-collaborateur, so that he can have a status and some social protection, but someone else (an accountant) has said to us there is no point in him being a conjoint-collaborateur as he does not need a pension / won't live long enough to claim any in France! We should therefore start an A.E. in my name, and I would sell his art as he is my husband and our atelier is also our home, so it won't be illegal. However we have a website (carried on from the UK) and a Facebook, page, which both advertise his art. He has also been invited to join a local exhibition. My stuff will sell for far less than his, if his sells. Therefore it looks like his contribution to our earnings will be greater _ though you could argue that as I am French my contribution is invaluable as he doesn't speak the languag very well! Because of our age gap, we need me to have a status and social protection, so the business has to be in my name in case he dies before me, but by not putting him on the paperwork, wouldn't we be treading a very fine line? Any advice would be gratefully received.

Thank you.

Thanks Brian, your situation seems more complicated than ours. Will try not to bang my head against the wall too much, I need all my braincells to find my way around this issue!

So you think that's OK even though he's got a website? Thanks for the answer, by the way!

It is a very difficult line to cross. My wife and I have both been AEs since we came which was just months inside the present AE regime. Since then I had a period of almost no work owing to health problems but just enough to continue to contribute. I am over pension age, she is quite a long way off being much younger than me. Together we seem to have crossed the income line that means at least she cannot be an AE any longer. In tax terms, as you say it makes no difference. We have had varying advice, including from RSI. One said she starts a company, because I have some income I stay AE, another told us that is not possible so we should start a company in her name with me as a 'junior' partner, yet another said we should join together. I have income from book publications and copyright fees, neither of which needs to be declared as an AE, no 'creative' work need be as far as I can follow advice, but if we had a company it would be. I am not writing fiction but specialised academic books, therefore they count as part of a profession (people who write fiction are not professionals, or what?).

The advice has come from two different people at RSI, URSSAF, a couple of apparently very good accountants and a 'financial adviser'. In all six advices of which no two correspond entirely, indeed the two RSI ones are so different it shocked us. We have to act in the new year but despite half a year of trying to find out are none the wiser.

So, to sum it up. Actually finding out is almost impossible as you are finding. This theme has in one form or another arisen before and then as you may find now, the responses and advice will be so diverse that you may wish to bang your head against a very solid wall several times - but still be none the wiser.

I can't think of any reason for your husband to need a status within the business. It's not going to change the amount of tax you pay in total and if he isn't going to pay in enough to get a pension anytime, there's no benefit I can see. He will get a carte-vitale either on the back of his own pension or as your dependent. It sounds like the tax paid on earnings may as well go into your pension pot if your husband is happy to do that.