SARL VS SAS structure for Restaurant / Café

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I am beginning the process of choosing the best business structure / status for my first restaurant with my life partner. While I’ve had accountants and lawyers explained the different status to me, (we’ve narrowed down it SAS and SARL) I am still not 100% clear and I just need someone to explain to me the pros and cons in relation to my situation as plainly as possible. One lawyer recommended SAS and one accountant recommended SARL - I still don’t know which is the better choice for me.

From what I understand (reading your past articles) :

“Becoming a SASU (or SAS?) does give you a better social cover, as your status is similar to an employee. But again it’s a long term gain : employee version versus self-employed. More ease to buy or rent a property as you have a salary. More tax efficient if you pay yourself a small salary and wait for dividends.”

“SAS - Salary (employee + employers social charges can be very expensive)  + dividends.”

With SAS you would be paying:
* Social charges on your salary: 22% for employee’s social charges and 42% for employers’ social charges. No social charges to be paif if you dont pay yourself a salary. ( if you take out 1000€ in salary, this will cost 1,704€. )
* Choice between income tax or incorporation tax.
* For dividends, choice between a flat tax of 30% or submitting your dividend to your personal tax (after a rebate of 40%)

1)  Can you explain what it means to take out dividends and what are the pros and cons?
2) Does this mean that I will pay a lot of social charges if I take out a salary + if I pay for an employee? How much?
3) Why/ how does SAS give me better social protection as my status is similar to an employee?

“(SARL de famille) - based on 46% of profit, no dividends, better protection as the business has it’s own legal entity.”

With SARL, the social charges roughly represent 46% of your profit. This regime works if you have high expenses, relatievely small profit and/or can keep reinvesting in the business.


Here is our situation / objectives:

- We are pacsed with 1 child
- He is a freelance consultant in digital communication (he is looking for a CDI)
- We have no assets (no property)
- We plan to go 50/50 for now (so we can both benefit from ACCRE?)
- I imagine we will have high expenses and relatively little profit the first few years; and, and we may need to take out a low monthly salary, BUT,  I have about 1 year of chomage left that I plan to save / use for once I open the restaurant (so I shouldn’t have to take a salary the first year) Apart from that we may reinvest in the company?
- We would like to minimise income and social taxes
- I would like to be able to “cotise” for retirement
- Would like to be able to write off the initial large expenses to start the restaurant
- I will likely have to hire one full time employee or stagiare

4)  Would it be beneficial to me to establish the business as SAS the first year (to not take a salary to take advantage of my 1 year of chomage); and then to switch to SARL as after the first year I will need to take a small salary and reinvest in the company? Or it wouldn’t be worth the trouble?

Thank you!

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