Chartered Accounted answers expat questions (Q&A)

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Issue 50 – Expatriates Magazine

Which software would you recommend for issuing invoices and tracking expenses?
I recommend you check out Quickbooks, Cégid, Debitoor or the free option – Henrri.

When I get paid in monthly installments, do I need to provide a bill for every payment or one for the total at the end?
The advance payment invoice has been mandatory since 1st January 2004 in France and throughout the European Union, so you need to provide a bill for every payment.

How does one go about changing a business address?
For a company, you must hold an extraordinary general meeting, change the company’s articles of association « les statuts», write and publish a legal announcement of the new address and carry out all the necessary formalities with the Chamber of Commerce.

For a sole trader status (entrepreneur individuel or micro-entreprise), you need to fill out the P2 declaration and send it to the CFE (Centre des Formalités des Entreprises) with other documents, like proof of the new address.

I’m trying to understand the difference between the «activities» when registering as an AE? Does it really matter what you choose?

An auto-entrepreneur, AE, may have different activities: a main activity and a secondary activity. The auto-entrepreneur status is limited by revenue thresholds, which depend on the main activity (trading: 170 000€ or service 70 000€).

The fact of having several activities does not in any way increase these thresholds.

The rule is as follows: if you have several activities as an auto-entrepreneur, you must comply with the conditions of the revenue thresholds that apply to your main activity.

My client is late in paying their bill, what steps should I take to recover late payment?

You can first try to resolve the issue amicably by encouraging your debtor to pay you, by sending a reminder letter and then a formal notice to pay.

If you are not paid after these formalities, you can initiate legal action against your debtor by sending a payment order. Your legal action may eventually end with the distraint of the debtor.

I’m trying to figure out how to declare my ‘chiffre d’affaires trimestriel’ (quarterly turnover) as a microentrepreneur. It is my first time doing it, so any help would be greatly appreciated!

Go to the home page of the website and click on the «My account» section to access the authentication area. If you have or Net-entreprises identifiers, log in to the dedicated section and access your declaration. If you don’t have an account yet, create an online account in a few clicks.

My wife is still on maternity leave, but would like to go on a business trip. The company agreed, and will let her sign a non-liable letter if anything happens. Would a basic travel insurance cover her in the event of sickness or other?

The employee is not required to suspend her contract during the entire maternity leave. Nevertheless, she is required to stop working for at least 8 weeks, including 6 weeks after delivery. This period corresponds to a prohibition of employment by the employer, which is punishable by law.

So she may reduce, at her request and subject to a favourable opinion from the doctor following her pregnancy, the period of suspension of the employment contract that begins before the expected date of delivery (prenatal leave) by a maximum of 3 weeks. In this case, the period after the expected date of delivery is increased accordingly.

During the remaining period of employment, and if she goes for a business trip, the employer has a duty to inform and protect her. To do this, the employer must identify and assess the risks (both before and during the trip) to which she may be exposed.

By taking out insurance for employees abroad « assurance pour salarié à l’etranger » the employer can protect both employees and the company itself.

What are the main pros and cons of having a US-based business vs. a French-based business?

There are no advantages or disadvantages. It depends on many criteria. For example, it is advisable to have a company established in France if you want to prove that you are a French tax resident with a French source of income in order to obtain a residence permit.


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

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