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Must I register side activities for French business taxes and charges?

Often if you make money from buying and selling or providing services then certain formalities are required

We look at the tax implications of setting up second side business in France Pic: chingyunsong / Shutterstock

Reader question: I would like to make side income to my main employment as a consultant or from selling second-hand items online. 

Do I have to register as a micro-entrepreneur for income tax and social charges and, if so, can you register for more than one activity? 

If you have regular income from a small business, you usually have to register it and pay business social charges. 

Registering as a micro-entreprise is the easiest way and it can be done at

For income tax, there is an option of regular definitive instalments at a percentage of turnover, or declaring annually and having estimated instalments taken off during the year. 

In both cases, however, relevant boxes must be completed in the tax return (on paper, these are found on the 2042C PRO). 

If you are just selling a few of your own second-hand items from time to time, this does not need registration (or declaration for tax, unless you are making significant capital gains) but if you are selling as a regular activity, you should register a commercial business, and particularly so if you are buying for resale or making items. 

Being a consultant can also be registered as an auto-entreprise but certain areas require a recognised qualification – for example, in legal or property advice. 

You can only register one micro-entreprise, but can have several activities under it. 

You should choose which is likely to be your ‘main’ activity and register others as secondary ones. 

There are income figures to be respected, depending on the sectors involved (go here for more information).

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