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Rules for providing a quotation, or 'devis' for work in France

Providing a quote for services or work is obligatory by law for businesses in certain cases. We explain

Quotes, or 'devis' in France are usually valid for three months, although this can be varied Pic: WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock

A devis must always be drawn up for clients in sectors including building repairs and maintenance, home removals, car hire, funeral services, hearing aids, cosmetic surgery and glasses.

In dentistry and chiropody, there must be a quotation if high costs are involved, though at what exact level this cuts in is not explicitly defined.

For services à la personne (personal services), quotes are obligatory if the amount is equal to, or more than, €100 a month (including tax and VAT), or if the client requests one.

This includes a wide range of 26 services in the home, including housework, gardening, DIY, tuition and childcare. A full list is available here

There must also be a devis if an exact price cannot be calculated in advance and the client asks for one.

Fines for not providing sufficient pre-contractual information can be as much as €3,000 for a private individual, and €15,000 for a legal entity. In theory, quotations are free, and in certain cases this too is a legal obligation. This is the case for house removal services, funeral services, the sale of medical optical equipment, home services and car hire.

In other cases, a professional can charge, especially if it includes costs such as transport, but they must inform the client in advance.

A quotation must include the date, name and address of the business, the name of the client, the start date and length of any works if relevant, details and costs of each service or product, labour and travel costs if relevant, and the total amount, both excluding (HT) and with taxes (TTC). It should also indicate the date that the service or product will be delivered.

If not, consumer law says it must be carried out within 30 days of signing the contract.

Quotes are usually valid for three months, although this can be varied. Any timeframe should be clearly stated.

It is important to get the devis right as, once signed by the client or if there is a down payment (acompte), it becomes a binding contract.

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