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Auto-entrepreneur not for gardeners

Gardeners should not be working as auto-entrepreneurs, says the national body overseeing the chambers of commerce

GARDENERS should not be working as auto-entrepreneurs, says the national body overseeing the chambers of commerce and industry.

The ACFCI says the simplified business regime set up last year is not for gardeners, as the Code Rural says gardening comes under the mutualité sociale agricole (MSA) for social security purposes, not the RSI, as used by auto-entrepreneurs.

Work coming under the MSA is explicitly excluded from the auto-entrepreneur system in official government guides. Landscape gardeners and those doing gardening for businesses are included, but there is a grey area over people doing gardening jobs for private individuals as a service à la personne.

A spokeswoman for APCE, the agency that helped the government set up the auto-entrepreneur status, said an exception was made for gardeners and they are on the approved list at

However, an ACFCI official in charge of the centres de formalités d’entreprise (offices that register new businesses), Lawrence Lacaume, said the Code Rural ruled this out.

“We have spoken to the national body for home services and the RSI, who accepted our point of view, though the home services body said it would ask for an exception.”

She said anyone signed up as auto-entrepreneurs in error would be allowed to stay, unless the MSA objected.

The MSA says on its site workers must do at least 1,200 hours a year, which could be prohibitive for people who want part-time work; often the case for auto-entrepreneurs.

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