Covid 19 - Government support to small businesses in France

By Valérie Aston on 16 March 2020 · Viewed 3160 times · Questions

Due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic on economic activity, the Government has launched some exceptional measures to support French businesses. I have listed below the key measures announced by URSSAF, Impots and other bodies you could contact for support.

All these guidelines are here to help you, but I would strongly recommend that you get in touch with your accountant, Impot or URSSAF for precise procedures and for support.

Which practical help can you get if your business is affected by Covid 19

1 - Ask URSSAF for payment delays

If you have some difficulties for the declaration or the payment of your social charges, URSSAF will allow you to reschedule your payments - échelonnement des paiements and will cancel surcharges and late penalties, which are normally applied for late payment - majoration et pénalités de retard.

How to request a rescheduling of your payments with URSSAF:

  • Online : for micro entrepreneurs log in your online account and send a message via the Messagerie > Nouveau message > Gestion de mon auto-entreprise > Je rencontre des difficultés de paiement. For businesses under reel simplifie, log in your SSI account. I would strongly recommend that you get in touch with your accountant first.
  • By phone : Call Urssaf on 3698 (free service + cost of a call).

More information from URSSAF for people under reel simplifie

For activities relating to MSA, such as gardeners, landscape designer, farmers, wine producers, you will need to get in touch with MSA to request similar help. 

2 - Request help from Action Sanitaire et Sociale

You can request assistance from Action Sanitaire et Sociale (ASS), which helps small businesses and freelancers cope with difficult situations. This help is granted and managed locally by Instances Régionales de la Protection Sociale des Travailleurs Indépendants  (IRPSTI).

This exceptional financial help is for freelancers and entrepreneurs confronted with exceptional difficulty which can threaten the sustainability of their activity.

You will have to complete an application form for ASS, where you will need to state your financial situation, level of debts, cash flow and give clear information showing the loss of trade. For instance compare sales for the same period last year, proofs of customer cancellation.

You can look at the sample ASS application form to check which information is requested.

Put together a complete file with a clear letter so that the commission who will process your request has the necessary information on hand. You can get help from your accountant with this. For micro entrepreneurs, FEDEA provides phone support to help you prepare this file.

3 - Getting help from the business Mediator - Médiation des Entreprises

Mediation des Entreprises provides assistance in the event of a conflict with customers or suppliers. They will help you resolve the dispute, such as a cancellation of services under false pretences. This service is free and a mediator will contact you within 7 days.

Get in touch with Mediateur des Entreprises.

4 - You have caught Covid 19 and want to declare your sickness - Déclaration arrêt de travail

You are poorly and want to declare your sickness to CPAM/Securite sociale? You can do this online with Ameli

  • Go to Ameli’s dedicated site https://declare.ameli.fr/
  • Under “identifiant” , choose SIRET
  • Add your SIRET number in “numero employeur”
  • Add you name and surname in “raison sociale”. As a sole trader, your official company name is your name and surname.
  • Add you email address
  • Tick “je certifie que cette declaration concerne des employes ne pouvant pas travailler”. You are not an employee, but this refers to you still.
  • Click on “ajouter un employé and add your details which will be used for the attestation.

5 - Getting help from Impots

Suspend your CFE payment

If you have opted to pay your Contribution Fonciere des Entreprises (CFE) on a monthly basis, you can suspend the payment of this tax. Log in your impots.gouv.fr account.

Modify your personal income tax rate

This is referring to people who are paying their income tax at source (and not impot liberatoire for micro entrepreneurs). It is possible to adjust the rate and the down payments at source at any time. This procedure is accessible via your personal impot account “impots Particuliers”  under “Gérer mon prélévement a la source”. This has to be done before the 22nd of the month in order to be taken into account for the following month.

More from Impot Gouv

Personal income tax declaration delayed  - Impot sur le Revenu

Gerard Dramanin, Minister of Action and Public Accounts announced on 31st March that the launch of the income tax declaration campaign is postponed for ten days. We should have declared our 2019 income from 9th April 2020, but we will do so from 20th April 20.  Paper declarations will have to be returned by 12th June, while online declarations will have to be completed between 4th or 11th June depending on the department you live in.  


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.