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Is French business set-up needed to sell a few items?

My husband is retired and has a hobby making wooden items. He occasionally sells them at a fête or after an inquiry. How much can he earn before he is required to register a business? Can we show the work on internet groups and occasionally sell items? A.B.

30 October 2019
By Hugh MacDonald

The French tax authorities consider that when you make items with a view to selling them, you should set up a business.

So if you promote the items as for sale, it will usually call for setting up a business and paying business social charges, for example as a micro-entrepreneur.

You can do this at There is no specific income threshold.

In other cases where someone sells on an occasional basis items they have at home – but not items they have made or bought for resale – no business set-up is needed and no tax or social charges, unless the sale is for more than €5,000.

In the latter case, a declaration and payment is needed for a capital gain for moveable property (biens meubles) within a month of the sale.

This also has to be declared in a set box on the annual income declaration.

Other exemptions exist where no business or declaration are needed, eg. when someone sells excess fruit, vegetables and flowers from their garden and for sales at vide-greniers (no more than two a year).

For the first exception, the production must be from a garden attached to your home and it must not be over a certain size.

Your husband is intentionally creating the items, so the income has to be declared and made liable to tax, irrespective of where he shows his work. He should register a business.


Reader's query answered by Hugh MacDonald

The Connexion welcomes queries and regularly publishes a selection with answers. However, please note that we cannot enter into individual correspondence on money topics. Queries may be edited for length and style. Due to the sensitive nature of topics we do not publish full names or addresses on these pages. Send your financial query to

The information here is of a general nature. You should not act or refrain from acting on it without taking professional advice on the specific facts of your case. No liability is accepted in respect of these articles. These articles are intended only as a general guide. Nothing herein constitutes actual financial advice

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