Once you start freelancing in France as a Micro Entrepreneur or another legal structure, you will be using 6 key websites to run your activity. In this article, I’m covering the sites you want to know about.
1 - INPI to register and update your business
All business registrations in France, business updates and closures are now going through one central website www.procedures.inpi.fr. Create your account and keep your login details safe. You will need them if you move house, want to add a new activity, update your details or change your business type.
If you registered your business before 1st January 2023, just keep this website as a reference without creating an account. You now know that this is the place to go to manage the above-mentioned changes.
2 - URSSAF to declare and pay your social charges
Once your French business is registered, you will be paying your social charges to URSSAF. As a Micro Entrepreneur, you will log in every month or quarter to declare your sales and pay your social chargers on www.autoentrepreneur.urssaf.fr. If you have a French-incorporated business, such as EURL, SARL, SAS or SASU, you will use URSSAF’s main website www.urssaf.fr. Actually, chances are that you will ask your accountant to handle this part!
3 - Impots to ask questions, handle your VAT and pay your CFE tax
Most Entrepreneurs forget about this one, as they confuse it with their personal income tax account. Just know that you will eventually have two accounts with www.impots.gouv.fr : “espace particulier” for you as an individual to declare and pay your personal income tax - this is the blue account. And a professional account “espace professionnel” to speak to impots, declare your VAT once you become registered and pay your CFE tax (more on CFE here).
Focus on your business impots account first. Well, no hurry... Within the first 3 months is good enough. You won’t be able to have a personal income tax form until you have filed your first paper income tax form by post. Write it down for next year’s to-do list.
4 - Ameli for your health cover
Your micro entrepreneur or French business will generate your health cover with CPAM - Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie. This is often referred to as “assurance maladie” and the website is www.ameli.fr. Creating your account with Ameli, will enable you to check your health cover status, download an attestation of cover (needed for a visa and carte de sejour renewal), add your kids on your cover or request a European health card.
Unfortunately, you will have to wait until you have your permanent French social security number in order to be able to create this account. Another one for your to-do list in a couple of months.
5 - CFP to access your training fund
Did you know that as an entrepreneur in France, you are contributing toward a training fund called Contribution à la Formation Professionnelle (CFP). Be careful about emails and sms sent to you with this title, as there are a few scams about this. Write down this website and access it directly, never via a link you received by email or sms!
No hurry for this one, but take the time to create your account with www.moncompteformation.gouv.fr. Once you have contributed for a year (i.e. paid some social charges), you will see a budget available for training from your 2nd year in business. Why not use it for French lessons or business training from a company based in France?
6 - Assurance Retraite to check your French pension
This is a sensitive subject in France at the moment, as the French government is voting on the pension age being increased from 62 years old to 64 years old… Today is actually a national strike day “la grève”, as I’m writing this article (no school, no public transports, no or low petrol). As a micro entrepreneur or self-employed person in France, you are contributing towards a French state pension.
Create your account with www.lassuranceretraite.fr to see your entitlements over time and generate a report of your history in France. If you worked as an employee in France, the report will show you everything that you have collected since being in France.
This is also the best place to find reliable information on French pensions and pension as a self-employed person.
7 - Start Business in France and Manage Your Micro Entrepreneur
I’m explaining how to create and use all these accounts in the Manage Your Micro Entrepreneur course. Join Manage Your Micro Entrepreneur (MME) to follow the step-by-step guide to create these accounts and to get a tour of each site. It’s one thing to create the account and another to actually know what to look for and where to find it!
Join the next group sessions of MME mid-February and October or ask to be added to the waiting list.
It will be available in self-tuition mode from July 2023.