New laws impacting on your French business in 2012

By Valérie Aston on 8 January 2012 · Viewed 4780 times · Questions

A few changes were voted in the Loi de Finance rectificative and will have a direct impact on your French business in 2012. Here is a summary of the key changes including: new turnover threshold for micro entreprise, minimum wage increased, new rules for sub-contractors and simplified public tenders.

1. New turnover threshold for micro entreprise

The maximum turnover threshold for micro entreprise (BIC, BNC, entreprise individuelle micro)  and for businesses not liable to VAT, may be slightly increased. This change still has to be voted as part of the 2012 plan de finance. Once voted, the new turnover threshold would be

  • 83 200€ for trade (also called Micro-BIC Benefices Industriels et Commeriaux), against 81 500€ en 2011.
  • 33 300€ for our services (also called Micro-Benefices Non Commerciaux BNC), against 32 600€ in 2011.

For now this changed would not be applied to auto-entrepreneurs, since their tunover threshold was frozen for 2012 and 2013. 

2. Minimum wages SMIC increased on 1st January 2012

The minimum hourly wage, SMIC, has been increased twice on 1st December 2011 and again on 1st January 2012, increasing from 9€ per hour gross to 9.19€ in December and to 9.22€ on 1st January. The minimum monthly rate has increased to 1.398,37€ gross per month (against 1.365 euros on 1st January 2011).

3. Sub-contractors will have to provide certificates

From 1st January 2012, code du travail requires companies subcontracting work to ensure that their subcontractors are up to date with their social charges payment. This decree voted on 1st November 2011 states that subcontractor will have to provide a certificate dating less than 6 months. This certificate will be issued by URSSAF. More information on cotisations des sous-traitants (in French). 

4. Simplified public tenders: marchés publics

From 1 January 2012, for all public tenders in excess of 90,000€, the public purchaser will have to accept applications and offers transmitted electronically. Until now only paper applications were accepted. The threshold for which not public tenders are required has also been incresed from 4000€ to 15000€. This wil save time to many small businesses having to complete complicated tenders for small jobs.

5. 14 days retraction delay for e-commerce

Online customers will now have 14 days retraction delay to cancel their order against 7 days in 2011. This  new rule is the direct implementation of a European decree voted in June 2011. The customer has up to 14 days, upon receipt of the parcel, to cancel the order. The customer then has another 14 days to send the parcel back. The seller has 14 days to refund his customer from the moment he is informed of the cancellation. Alternatively the seller can delay the refund until he has a proof that the parcel is being sent back. Read more on the implementation of art 10 Directive Europeenne ecommerce .

6. Reduced VAT rate of 5.5% increased to 7%

Until 1st January 2012, renovation work within the buidling trade, restaurants and fast food outlets were benefiting from a lower VAT rate of 5.5%. This VAT rate has been increased to 7% in 2012.  


Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.