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Can I sell my micro-entreprise business in France?

The micro-entrepreneur scheme allows you to set up as self-employed with simplified means of paying social security contributions and income tax

Micro-entreprise status depends on the business being attached to one person Pic: G-Stock Studio / Shutterstock

Reader question: I have built up a business with micro-entreprise status. Can I sell it, and for what price?

You cannot sell it as it is as micro-entreprise status depends on the business being attached to one person, yourself. But you can sell the fonds de commerce, either to another individual (who can then take micro-entreprise status) or to another company with a different status. Make sure any sale is done via a legal document through an accountant or notaire.

Fonds de commerce include tangible things such as tools and materials, as well as virtual things such as the commercial name, website name, a phone number or email address associated with the business, and a client list.

Finding a price is not straightforward. Micro-entreprise status means you do not have to keep books to the same level as more regulated forms of business, and it is usually the books that people use to determine price.

A guide is the operating profit (broadly, sales minus the cost of sales, excluding taxes and loans) over the last three years, or net profit (sales minus cost of sales, taxes and loans) over the last 10 years.

A high price can sometimes lead to a bad tax surprise as it is counted in the final sales figures of your micro-entreprise when you shut down.

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