Great news to start the New Year: The French Government has voted a social charges exoneration for all new businesses created in France in 2019. This exoneration called Aide aux Créateurs et Repreneurs d’Entreprises (ACRE), means that you will benefit from lower social charges for four quarters, whether you register a sole trader, micro entreprise or an incorporated business such as EURL, SARL, SAS or SASU - provided you own at least 50% of the shares.
ACRE used to be restricted to unemployed people starting a business in France. You will notice that I mention ACRE in this article, while the form refers to ACCRE. This is because the new form has not been released by URSSAF yet. The extra “C” used to refer to Créateurs Chômeurs.
Since 1st January 2019, anyone creating a brand-new business can request this exoneration, by returning the ACRE form to URSSAF. Be careful, the ACRE form must be returned when registering or after (within 45 days of your business registration if done after).
New social charges in 2019 with and without ACRE
Professions libérales and artisans (consultants, crafts, manual activities):
- Normal social charges rate 22%
- 5,50 % for first 3 trimesters
- 11,00 % for 4th quarter
Activités commerciales (sales, gites)
- Normal social charges rate 12.8%
- 3,20 % for first 3 trimesters
- 6,40 % for 4th quarter
How to get the ACRE social charge exoneration
ACRE is not automatically given for now! You need to return the completed ACRE form to URSSAF by post. URSSAF will write back to confirm that ACRE has been validated. If you are currently registering your business, include the ACRE request at this stage to your Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (Greffe du Tribunal de Commerce, Chambre de Commerce, Chambre de Metiers or URSSAF).
The Government’s website states that the request is treated automatically, but having called a few URSSAF and handled a few business registrations already in 2019, I confirm that this is not the case in most places. So, better be safe than sorry!
Here is a link to download the ACRE form (Cerfa n° 13584*02). Customers and forum members can send me an email to receive a copy of the “How to fill in ACRE form” document.
Here is what do to for ACRE:
- Complete the blank ACCRE form. Add your personal details, indicate whether your request ACRE before or after your business registration and give some background information about your profile (study level, last job, whether you are listed with Pôle Emploi, number of jobs created including yours).
- Print a copy and include a copy of your micro entrepreneur/business registration form.
- Post it to URSSAF’s address. Address mentioned in the “Factsheet” for my customers.
- For your 1st turnover declaration form, double check your new social charges rate.
ACRE Social charges exoneration up to 40,524€ of income
Be aware that entrepreneurs whose business income goes above a certain threshold, will not benefit from the lower social charges anymore. The exoneration is degressive, based on the entrepreneur’s business income. The rates will increase between 30,393€ and 40,524€ of income (not turnover). Above 40,524€ of income it will go back to the normal social charges rates. Find out more about ACRE on Urssaf’s website.
- Tip No1: don’t mix up your turnover and your income. The turnover chiffre d’affaires is the total of your sales. Your income revenu as a micro entrepreneur represents a fixed percentage of your turnover: 50% for artisans, 66% for professions libérale, 29% for sales/gites. For instance, a programmer with a turnover of 60,000€, has an income of 60,000€ x 66% = 39,600€.
- Tip No2: You could theoretically ask to renew ACRE in your second year in business, if your income is still below 40,524€. This may not be a good option, as it means that you will not be paying into your French pension.
Find out more about ACRE on URSSAF's website.