“Auto Entrepreneur” is Great News for French Entrepreneurs
French entrepreneurs who wish to start businesses in France and the U.S. have certain (often formidable) administrative hurtles to overcome in both countries. In the U.S., for instance, they must be able to set up a business while, at the same time,not actually earn an income from any U.S. source. This is a delicate balance that is almost impossible to achieve without first establishing a business in France.
As of the 1st of January 2009, France has introduced major changes to the self-employment system. The new system called ‘auto entrepreneur’ makes it easier, quicker and cheaper for an individual entrepreneur to start up a small business in France. Later on, using the new French business as a base, the entrepreneur can open a branch, affiliate or even a separate business in the U.S.
Under the auto entrepreneur system, the new business an entrepreneur will set up in France can be started “on a shoestring”, i.e., with only a minimal business presence. For instance, the business can be based in a “virtual office” in France (i.e., in an office arrangement in which mail and the telephone are covered, and furnished office space is available on an hourly basis). If the new business is located in the entrepreneur’s home, the necessity to have an administrative permit to use the ground floor of the main house as an office or as commercial premises will be no longer compulsory under the auto entrepreneur system.
After it is set up, the new French business can then support a French entrepreneur who wishes to start a business in the U.S. The entrepreneur can almost immediately apply for a B-1 (business visitor’s visa), followed later by an E (Treaty Investor visa). Another option is the L (intra-company transfer visa). After a year in operation in France, the new French company can support an application for the L visa, which in turn can lead to permanent residency in the U.S.
With auto entrepreneur, a small business can be set up online. Registration in the “Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés (RCS)” or in the “Registre des Métiers (RM)” is no longer compulsory.
Under the auto entrepreneur system, there will be limits on turnover of €80,000 for commerce businesses and €32,000 for service-based businesses. Social charges will much more affordable. For instance, businesses engaged in commercial activities should expect to pay 13% of their annual turnover in social charges and taxes while service-based businesses will pay 23% of their annual turnover in social charges and taxes.
Probably the main advantage is that, if an auto entrepreneur does not have a turnover, s/he won’t have to pay social charges at all. Another benefit is that the auto entrepreneur does not have to pay the “VAT” on their business activity.
Registering into the auto entrepreneur system is much simpler as there are no courses to attend and no registration fees. The entrepreneur will simply visit his/her local ‘Chambre de Commerce’ or ‘Chambre de Métiers’ and fill out a form, either in person or online.
Immediately thereafter, with the help of an experienced immigration/business attorney, the auto entrepreneur can begin to plan the details of his/her future successful life in the U.S.
Note of the French Federation : Sure ? Joke or reality ?
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