How to close your French business down

By Valérie Aston on 28 March 2009 · Viewed 8397 times · Questions

Get in touch with the Trésor Public and the Régime Social des Indépendants (RSI) in order to settle your accounts and close your business. The Trésor Public will be looking into your income tax and TVA. When shutting down your business, your profit will become taxable. You will therefore have 60 days to inform them of your turnover and profit or loss for the ongoing year. If you are TVA registered you will settle your accounts by filling your last declaration de TVA within 30 days for the régime réél normal or within 60 days for the régime réél simplifié.

The RSI will calculate your contributions owed for the year and will deduce the social charges you have already paid. You will be reimbursed if you have overpaid, or you will have to settle the outstanding balance. As a rule of thumb, every quarter that is started is due, even if this is only the second day in. It is therefore best to plan to close down at the end of a quarter whenever possible.

If you have some difficulties in settling down the outstanding balance, ask for payment facilities as the RSI is usually quite understanding. Also remember to get in touch with the body collecting and managing your pension to settle the outstanding charges.

Closing down a SARL or EURL is more involved, your accountant will need to handle it (complete the bilan and compte de resultat, insertion in the legal publications, etc.). The procedure will also differ and be more complex if you have employees. Once again contact an accountant to ensure you follow the latest guidelines for making someone redundant.

Finally you might want to close down temporarily in order to restart your activity one year down the line. This process is called cessation temporaire d’activité and can be done for two years for a limited company and one year for an enterprise individuelle, costing respectively 140 euros and 70 euros.

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.