American working in France, where to set up company?
Thread poster: jbtravelwriter

jbtravelwriter
France
Local time: 00:09
French to English
Jun 8, 2016

Bonjour/Hello,

I recently moved to France and am getting set up as a translator. I'm still in the process of getting my residency visa here, but already have a French client. I still have my bank account in the US, since I still have to pay taxes there, so can I just work from my American LLC company, or do I still have to set up a micro-enterprise here in France?

How do most of you handle payment issues? I saw one reference to transferwise?

In terms of payments too, in the US, I would typically ask 20-50% up front, then the rest upon delivery, and with corporate clients net 30-60 terms depending on the size of the company and the relationship I have with them. Is this similar in France and Europe?

Thanks for your help and THANKS for creating such a GREAT site!

Jeanine


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Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:09
German to English
Planning on staying long-term? Jun 8, 2016

Are you planning on staying in France for a while - as in a couple of years? If so, then you'll likely have to set up your company in France because you'll need to pay taxes there. If it's anything like Germany, then you'll need to register yourself as a self-employed freelancer so they know your status. If you think you'll go above the small business level and charge VAT, you'll have to register that as well. I don't know what the limit is in France. In Germany it's 17500€ / year and in Great Britain I seem to recall it's more like 70,000 pounds (don't quote me on that, but it's a lot higher than Germany).

I think your best bet would be to find a competent tax advisor and/or contact your local tax agency. Again, I have no experience in France but in Germany they're very helpful.


As for payments, are most of your clients in the US? If so, you could consider setting up a bank account in the US and then transferring money to yourself at certain intervals or when the account reaches a certain balance. I translate German to English and 99% of my work is done for clients in the EU, where a simple SEPA transfer does the trick. It's easy, fast, and free, so if you've got clients in the EU I would just do it that way once you've got a French bank account set up.


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jbtravelwriter
France
Local time: 00:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your help--this was JUST what I needed to know! Jun 14, 2016

Hi Kelly,

Thanks for your help! This was exactly what I needed to know--trying to find this out from the French bureaucracy was an exercise in futility. Now at least I know where to start!

Jeanine


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
You actually have a company in the US? Jun 15, 2016

I know that a freelancer resident in France has to register in France straight away (EU citizens have three months to think about it though). You can only be freelance in your country of residency. But if you're getting your income from a US company, things will probably be different. I know that a UK company can have an owner who is physically (and fiscally) resident in France, and gets paid through that company for work done in France. The company is taxed in the UK and the employee/owner in France. I don't think that has anything to do with EU procedures so it might well apply to US companies.

Where and how you receive payments is up to you and your clients. Many of us have bank accounts in various countries. As long as you declare it all there's nothing illegal in it though there are constant hassles about justifying everything. 30 days is normal in France as per EU guidelines - but not always adhered to. But if you're invoicing from the US they won't apply. As for advance payments, I've rarely asked anyone other than private individuals, apart for staged payments for large jobs. You can always propose it though.


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jbtravelwriter
France
Local time: 00:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, I have a company in the US Jun 16, 2016

My visa situation is complicated, so I have to wait until August 16th to apply for a Carte de Sejour. Since I will also be doing import/export, I'll have to have a company both here in France and in the US. Your remarks about payment terms and bank accounts are much appreciated!

Jeanine


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jbtravelwriter
France
Local time: 00:09
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Really appreciate all the support I'm getting from this forum! Jul 15, 2016

I just wanted to say "Merci beaucoup" for all the support I've been getting from this forum! It's very different from sites like e-lance, where it's so competitive that the concept of support is non-existent!

I'm also working with the Chamber of Commerce in Annecy to help me get set up. They have a very good program where you can pay 60 € and have your own private advisor to help you get set up. They also have a training program for entrepreneurs that lasts a week, and costs 525 €. I'll do this in October.

So, I'm just counting the days until August 16th when I can get my Carte de Séjour.

By the way, I came across a really helpful attorney listed online, http://www.monamiandy.com, if anyone is in need of some immigration-related assistance.

Cheers and thanks again!

Jeanine


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American working in France, where to set up company?

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