Up-date on 31 March: The Government has announced that this measure would be extended to businesses and freelancers having lost at least 50% of their turnover and not just for those having lost over 70% of their turnover. This should be applied from Friday 3rd April once the law has been published.
I recently published an article on the help available for French businesses impacted by Covid 19 including how to postpone URSSAF and Impots' bills. Many business owners and freelancers are confused about the financial help for 1,500€ from Fond de Solidarité. Who can benefit from it, which proofs of loss of income to provide and what about future loss?
This article gives you more background information and will be updated over the next few days when the Government announces that the online form is available.
What is Fond de Solidarité
The solidarity fund is set up for the payment of tax-free aid to the smallest businesses, micro-entrepreneurs, self-employed and professions liberales whose activity is strongly impacted by the health crisis due to covid 19. This fund is managed by the State and Regions.
Two financial helps are available for small businesses in France:
From 1st April, a first state aid of 1,500€ maximum for companies having suffered a sharp drop in their turnover in March 2020.
From 15th April, a second aid of 2,000€ from the Regions for companies with a minimum of one employee risking bankruptcy.
There are no references to future loss yet. The request for financial help is based on companies having lost income and in existing financial difficulties.
Who can benefit from the 1,500€ financial help in France
The financial help is open to businesses, with less than 10 employees, regardless of their status - sole proprietorship, including micro-entrepreneur, self-employed and companies:
- With a turnover in 2019 of less than 1€ million. For companies that did not exist on 1st March 2019, the turnover to be taken into account will be the average monthly turnover, which must be less than 83,333€ between the creation of the company and 1st March 2020.
- Closed by decision of the administration or belonging to a particularly affected sector such as accommodation, catering, cultural and sporting activities, events, fairs and shows, transport-storage.
- With at least a 70% loss of turnover during the period between 21st February and 31st March 2020, compared to the previous year.
How to benefit from this financial aid of 1,500€ in France
The tax office is currently working to add a form directly onto your personal impot account under “votre espace personnel”. You will have to log in to your business account to fill in the financial help request. This should be available from 1st April.
The information that you will have to provide is your:
- SIREN/SIRET number,
- Your loss of turnover,
- An attestation that you meet the conditions for this financial aid and the accuracy of your information - “attestation sur l’honneur”,
- Your RIB.
Proofs of loss of income should not be requested at this time, but it is best to keep a track of them. For instance emails of cancellations, lack of raw materials or stock, impossibility to go on-site to work, etc.
How to benefit from the 2,000€ help to prevent bankruptcy
From 15th April companies experiencing the most difficulties will be also able to obtain an additional aid of 2,000€ from the Region. This will be on a case-by-case basis and we currently do not know the process for this request. I would recommend getting in touch with your Chambre de Commerce or Chambre de Metiers, as they are likely to help prepare these requests.
The financial help is open to businesses, with
- at least 1 employee,
- cannot pay their bills due within 30 days,
- a refusal from their bank for a cashflow loan - prêt de trésorerie.
I will update this section when new information about the regional financial help is published.
What else can you do if you cannot benefit from this financial help?
If you cannot claim any of the above financial help for your French business, here is what you can consider:
- Ask URSSAF to defer your social charges contributions (online use the messagerie),
- Ask Impots to lower your personal income tax rate for people paying Impot à la source (see Impot’s guideline ),
- Ask to postpone your business bills such as rent, water, gas, electricity (new blog article on this subject coming soon),
- Ask your bank to carry over bank loans repayments,
- Apply for a state-guaranteed loan with BPI France (Banque Publique d'Investissement). You have to speak to your bank, before applying for a loan from BPI.
Reliable sources for business information in France on Covid 19
This is the most reliable information I use for businesses news on Covid 19