How to get ACRE social charges exoneration in 2019

By Valérie Aston on 17 January 2019 · Viewed 7602 times · Questions

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

Update March 2019: ACRE is now done automatically, so no need to complete a specific form. Just double check that your social charges are lower than normal when you get your 1st turnover declaration. 

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.

Update on ACRE on 28th March 2019

The validation of ACRE now seems to be done automatically with URSSAF and Greffe, so there is no need to send a form anymore.

Find out more about ACRE on URSSAF's website

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.