Ask the Expert: Chartered Accountant Answers Expat Questions

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Faten has 15 years’ experience establishing and registering businesses in accounting, taxation and social matters. Faten provides entrepreneurs with professional advice and support for setting up a company. Member of the French Chartered Institute of Accountants and founder of ESCEC International.

Q. Hi Faten, how do I declare my pregnancy as an auto-entrepreneur?
A. Pregnancy can raise many questions for auto-entrepreneurs and you’re right to ask. You’ll need to contact two bodies; firstly the social security for independant workers in your region. Visit the website, you can find all the information including social security coverage located on /prevention/etapes-de-vie/maternite. Secondly, you will need to contact and inform the CAF (Caisse d’allocations familiales), more information can be found on their website Good luck and congratulations.

Q. I’m an auto-entrepreneur working as an independent teacher, if the courses are conducted at home does it count as «soutien scolaire» and if so does that mean my clients are eligible for ‘defiscalisation sur impots’?
A. A «soutien scolaire » can be eligible for défiscalisation for your clients (50% of the invoice as credit tax for them) if you get an agreement (agrément préféctoral) from Direccte (Direction Régionale des Entreprises, de la Concurrence, de la Consommation, du Travail et de l’Emploi) of your region. information can be found on their website –

Q. I’ve set my business up as a SASU is there any simple short term contract by which I can hire a decorator to assist me without engaging them permanently?
A. Yes, you can hire a decorator as an employee on a CDD contract (contrat à durée déterminée), simply put, a contract with a defined duration and end date. Or, if the decorator is a registered auto-entrepreneur you can sign a partnership contract for any duration you agree. Both options require diligence and I would recommended using a lawyer or chartered accountant to draft up the paperwork.

Q. I have been asked to provide a proforma invoice. How does this differ from the standard invoices I’ve been issuing?
A. The proforma invoice includes the same information as a final invoice but serves a different purpose. It presents an offer before completing the formalities of placing an order. The proforma is not used to record accounts receivable for the seller and accounts payable for the buyer.

Q. I am now preparing to pay my first trimester taxes. Do I really need a separate bank account?
A. Yes, If you are an auto-entrepreneur, you do need to have a separate business bank account.

Q. I’ve been approached to provide marketing services for another company, can you let me know any important considerations about working freelance as an employee on a CDI contract?
A. The answer to this question depends on how you want to provide this service. If you’re considering offering this on another CDI or CDD contract there are a few areas that need to be considered before engaging with a third party whilst holding a full time contract. Firstly, check your existing contract with your current employer to ensure there isn’t anything in writing that forbids you enagaging in such an activitiy. Secondly, verify that you don’t need permission from your employer. Thirdly, you must be aware that French law stipulates you may not work in excess of 9 hours a week on another job.

If instead of a CDI/CDD you choose to provide the service as an AE you need to be careful to not exclusiviely serve that one client, URSSAF may consider it as « salariat déguisé » (a hidden salary) and you may risk being fined.

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