Covid-19 France: Aid for self-employed

Restaurants - which have had to shut at present - are among firms which will benefit from help

Sole traders and other small businesses in France are likely to be especially hard-hit by the current disruptions due to Covid-19.

State aid is available together with a range of other sources of help.

State aid

Salaried workers who have to stay at home and are not able to work at a distance via télétravail are able to benefit from a state-funded system of chômage partiel (temporary unemployment), giving them 84% of their net normal salary.

Formerly compensation was up to the level of the Smic minimum wage, but currently the state aid is up to 4.5 times this amount, or €5,330 net/month.

The solution for sole traders and other small businesses no longer able to continue work in certain sectors is a fonds de solidarité, a fund being set aside by both central government and the regional councils. This will be used in the first instance to help small businesses face up to a sudden drop in turnover linked to the pandemic.

If necessary, further funds may later be made available to firms needing it to stave off bankruptcy.

Initially the aid will be worth up to €1,500 accessed by applying to the DGFiP (central government tax department) from April 1. The scheme is open to independent businesses (not those which are part of a big group) with fewer than 10 employees whatever their legal set-up (eg. whether micro-entreprise, regime réel or a société, and for the various sectors, artisans, commercial firms, liberal professions etc).

The firm should have had turnover in 2019 of under €1million and taxable profit of under €60,000. (The official tax website, impots.gouv.fr, states ...

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