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Can self-employed workers in France diversify from stated activity?

We walk you through the different activity categories for micro-entrepreneurs, the earning thresholds and how to update your activities online

Middle aged woman at laptop

You can combine being a ‘micro-entrepreneur’ with a salaried job or a pension Pic: Phovoir / Shutterstock

Reader question: When micro-entrepreneurs register their business, they state a principal activity. Are they then limited to this activity, or can they work in other areas?

Micro-entrepreneurs can sign up only one micro-entreprise, but within that they can carry out as many different activities as they like, which need not be related.

You have to declare them when you start the business or you can add or take away different activities when and if circumstances change.

Update your activities

You do this on your personal page at autoentrepreneur.urssaf.fr on the page modifier ou cesser mon activité

It can all be done online and you have to upload proof of identity to validate the change. 

You will be sent a confirmation email.

You can also print out the declaration, sign it and send it with a photocopy of proof of identity, which could be a passport or residency card, in the post to the relevant centre de formalités des entreprises in your department.

Different earning thresholds

However, you can only earn up to the ceilings set for one activity. 

These depend on the nature of your business.

For commercial activities, the ceiling is €176,200, and for service businesses it is €72,600. 

So if all your activities are commercial, your total income from the combined activities must not exceed €176,200, or €72,600 for services.

Combining two activities

You might, however, have activities that come under both headings. 

An example given on the Ministry of Economy website is a plumber who sells you a tap (commercial activity) and then installs it (service). 

If your sales bring in the most money, the total for both activities must not exceed €176,200, and within that you can only earn up to €72,600 for services.

If your services bring in the most work, you cannot exceed €72,600 in that category, but you can add on €103,600 for your commercial activity.

Check your social charges 

The amount you pay in social charges has to be proportional to the amount you earn in each activity and must be declared under the relevant heading.

This is 12.8% for commercial activities, 22% for services, and 22.2% if you are classified as an activité libérale.

If you are in doubt about how much you can earn for each activity, contact your local business tax centre, service des impôts des entreprises (SIE).

You can search for your nearest one here.

You can also combine being a micro-entrepreneur with a salaried job or a retirement pension.

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Self-employed in France get new law to protect home if business fails

What is the difference between 'auto/micro-entrepreneur' in France?

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