How do I register as an Artiste Libre here in France?

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My wife wants to register as an Artiste Libre, we understand this is with URSSAF. We are in Calvados so believe they are in Caen. We tried to do this via an online process. This has proved totally impossible for us. It is contradictory and seems to be talking about getting social charges and tax rather than actually getting a business registered. Also, we understand that an Artiste Libre does not pay any tax or social charges until about 8,600 Euros is earned in a year. Some references suggest that my wife has to register with Maison Des Artistes despite starting a business with no turnover. Maison Des Artistes is not appropriate based on what we understood from previous questions.

  1. Can you confirm that my wife applies to URSSAF to be Artiste Libre and Maison des Artistes. If not where does she apply and as what?
  2. That she pays no tax or cotisations as long as annual income is below the threshold?
  3. That she does not pay and tax or cotisations until annual income exceeds the limit. Therefore, if it is two years for example does she carry on as Artiste Libre until the threshold is reached? We have been led to believe that she has to become Maison Des Artistes after one year irrespective of income. If that is so, does she then pay tax and charges even if income is below the threshold?
  4. The online process is difficult for us. Is it better to go to the URSSAF office with the required documents. Will they provide a form and help complete it, or is there somewhere that we can get one?
  5. Do we have to make an appointment or can we just go when the office is open?
  6. What documents are required?

We have already been turned away from Lisieux where we originally thought we had to go.

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