Following the vote of the Social Security Financing Act 2015 by the Assemblee Nationale in December, changes have been introduced for auto-entrepreneur businesses in France. One being the obligation for auto-entrepreneurs to have a business bank account.
In the past, auto-entrepreneurs had no obligation to have a business bank account. Many used their personal account to deposit sales. In order to fight against social security contributions fraud, the new bill creates an obligation for auto entrepreneurs under regime micro social, to dedicate to a bank account for financial transactions related to their business.
This does not mean that auto-entrepreneurs need to set up a professional business account. It can be a personal account dedicated purely to the business in France. A professional business bank account may 300 euros per year, while a personal bank account (with credit card and cheque book), may only cost 150 euros per year.
The key difference between these two types of account is that personal accounts are registered in your name, meaning that trading names do not appear on the account and that cheques have to be made payable to you the auto-entrepreneur, rather than the trading name.
As a reminder, a professional business account is required for a limited company, i.e. entreprise unipersonnelle à responsabilité limitée (EURL), société à responsabilité limitée (SARL), société par actions simplifiée (SAS), as well as entreprise individuelle having opted for entreprise individuelle à responsabilité limitée (EIRL).
The new act doesn't make any reference to Paypal accounts, so, even if you trade online with Paypal, I would advise you to set up a separate bank account to which you transfer your money.