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What are the formalities to become an entrepreneur?

What are the formalities to become an entrepreneur?

Established in 2009 by the law of modernization of the economy[1], the status of the autoentrepreneur, which was succeeded by that of the microenterprise in 2016, essentially aims to open the doors of entrepreneurship to those carrying out small projects. One of its objectives was also to encourage the formalization of sole proprietorships through a more simplified tax and social status with many advantages. Finally, the micro-enterprise is also presented as a technique for carrying out a secondary activity.

Indeed, it is possible to combine this status with a main activity, salaried or not.

In principle, the quality of autoentrepreneur is acquired by simple declaration of existence of the auto-entrepreneur. However, conditions relating to the activity carried out as well as thresholds concerning turnover must be observed.

The declaration of existence of the activity

In principle, any natural person can become a self-employed person[2]. Indeed, no diploma is required to acquire this quality. However, no one doubts that a qualification or a title will be necessary for the exercise, under this status, of a craft or liberal activity. Similarly, compliance with certain conditions is required for minors and foreigners wishing to embark on the adventure.

However, the originality of this status lies in its simplicity. Indeed, the benefit of the status of micro-entrepreneur is acquired on simple declaration of existence of micro-enterprise.

Indeed, this declaration constitutes the first step towards the acquisition of this status.[3]. Also called registration, it aims to inform the social and tax authorities concerned of the project envisaged by the future auto-entrepreneur.

To do this, it must contain proof of address and a declaration of non-conviction of the future micro-entrepreneur. This statement must also provide information on the identity of the self-employed person, the correspondence address, the nature of the activity as well as the social and tax system.

To be made in the month preceding the start of the activity or at the latest, within 15 days following this date, the declaration procedure is completely dematerialized and the CFE[4] competent differs according to the nature of the activity envisaged[5] :

Commercial activityChamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI)
craft activityChamber of Trades and Crafts (CMA)
Liberal activityURSSAF
Commercial agentRegistry of the Commercial Court

Then, the registration of the micro-enterprise is acquired automatically due to the declaration of existence of activity. Indeed, it is the competent CFE who will directly take care of making the request to the competent bodies.[6].

However, the competent body for registration also differs according to the nature of the activity.

craft activityTrades Directory
Commercial activityTrade and Companies Register

Note that from 1er January 2023, the secure e-procedures internet portal, managed by Inpi, will be the one-stop shop for the completion of business formalities[7].

The conditions relating to the activity carried out

Indeed, not all activities can be carried out under the micro-enterprise regime. Admittedly, this system allows you to exercise all craft activities and even most commercial activities, however, certain liberal activities are excluded.

Activities that can be carried out under the micro-enterprise regime

Craft activities

The craft activity is defined as any activity consisting in manufacturing, transforming or repairing in a unitary and non-serial way, products requiring manual intervention and justifying a professional qualification as well as registration in the directory of trades.[8].

The exercise of such an activity is possible under the micro-enterprise regime. However, auto-entrepreneurs who wish to carry out these activities are required to respect the obligations relating to these professions. (professional qualification, professional insurance, general regulations, professional technical standards, etc.)[9].

In addition, they will have to register in the directory of trades whether the business activity is exercised as a main or complementary activity.

Commercial activities

These are the activities defined by the Commercial Code in this case, those consisting of the purchase and resale of goods and merchandise or the sale of certain services related to the commercial field.[10].

These activities can also be carried out under the status of auto-entrepreneur provided that they register with the Trade and Companies Register.

Liberal activities

The law allows self-employed professionals covered by the Cipav or the self-employed workers' pension scheme to undertake as micro-entrepreneurs.

Note that the Cipav brings together many activities such as: architects, consulting engineers, expert surveyors, agricultural and land experts, mid-mountain guides, construction economists, etc.[11].

And the other liberal professionals not covered by this one, are affiliated to the pension scheme for self-employed workers (Ex: consultants, draughtsmen, designers, driving school instructors, palmists, magnetizers, etc.).

Activities excluded from the scope of the micro-enterprise

As we have already noted, not all activities can be carried out under the micro-enterprise regime. Indeed, certain activities have been excluded by the legislator.

In this case it is[12] :

  • The agricultural activities attached to the social system of the MSA;
  • Liberal activities that come under a pension fund other than Cipav or social security for the self-employed;
  • Activities subject to real estate VAT: property dealers, developers, real estate agents, etc.;
  • Building rental activities;
  • Artistic activities remunerated by royalties which depend on the house of artists or Agessa.

Turnover thresholds

To continue to benefit from the advantages attached to the micro-enterprise regime, the turnover or receipts of the micro-entrepreneur must not exceed these thresholds:

  • 176 200 € for trade and accommodation provision activities;
  • 72 600 € for all services and liberal professions dependent on Non-Commercial Profits (BNC) or Industrial and Commercial Profits (BIC).

Beyond these thresholds, the auto-entrepreneur loses the benefit of the status and then switches to that of the sole proprietorship.[13].

Choosing a bank

For the sake of transparency in the management of the micro-enterprise, the PACTE law requires auto-entrepreneurs whose turnover exceeds €10 for two consecutive years to open a dedicated bank account.

Dedicated to the professional activity, this account in bank for self-employed makes it possible to separate professional transactions (collection of your invoices, payment of your expenses and professional taxes, etc.) self-employed person's personal expenses[14].

To do this, the choice of a bank offering financing facilities or functionalities adapted to the needs of the micro-enterprise is essential.

Note that the auto-entrepreneur can choose his bank online. The advantage of this process lies in fact that it allows the micro-entrepreneur to have a holistic view of the same services offered by different ones, to compare the prices and to choose accordingly. Finally, this exempts the entrepreneur from having to travel just to create his account, especially since he has the possibility of contacting the bank from their platform.

  • [1] The law of modernization of the economy n° 2008-776 dated August 4, 2008
  • [2] https://www.legalstart.fr/fiches-pratiques/autoentrepreneur/statut-auto-entrepreneur-quelles-demarches/#ancre2
  • [3] https://www.legalplace.fr/guides/devenir-auto-entrepreneur/
  • [4] Business Formalities Center
  • [5] https://www.legalstart.fr/fiches-pratiques/autoentrepreneur/statut-auto-entrepreneur-quelles-demarches/#ancre2
  • [6] https://www.legalplace.fr/guides/devenir-auto-entrepreneur/
  • [7] https://www.federation-auto-entrepreneur.fr/actualites/nouveautes-autoentrepreneur-2023
  • [8] https://bpifrance-creation.fr/encyclopedie/micro-entreprise-regime-auto-entrepreneur/lessentiel-ce-regime/quelles-activites
  • [9] https://www.economie.gouv.fr/entreprises/micro-entreprise-auto-entreprise-activites#
  • [10] https://bpifrance-creation.fr/encyclopedie/micro-entreprise-regime-auto-entrepreneur/lessentiel-ce-regime/quelles-activites
  • [11] Cipav list (https://bpifrance-creation.fr/encyclopedie/trouver-proteger-tester-son-idee/verifiertester-son-idee/liste-professions-liberales)
  • [12] https://www.economie.gouv.fr/entreprises/micro-entreprise-auto-entreprise-activites#
  • [13] https://www.captaincontrat.com/creer-son-entreprise/micro-entreprise/devenir-auto-entrepreneur-demarches
  • [14] https://www.portail-autoentrepreneur.fr/academie/comparatifs/banques/top-3-banques-en-ligne

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