Running a UK limited company from France
Hi, I am the owner/director of a UK limited company. We are a publishing house and we have clients all over the world. I am now planning to relocate to Paris and I was wondering if (1) I can pay myself in dividends to avoid the thorny issue of French social security and employer’s contributions and (2) my French living expenses are deductible from UK corporation tax? Many thanks, Nick
You can pay yourself dividends. Your French living expenses will not be deductible from UK corporation tax just as your previous UK living expenses would not have been deductible.
Anna Chandley ACA CTA Lewis Curtis Ltd www.Lewiscurtis.co.uk
Hi, I have a similar situation but with an added twist. I am an American director of a limited company, and would like to know if I can perform work in France and bill through my UK company.
I am intrigued by your post because it’s what I have just done – here in Paris – set up my own UK company as a non UK-resident. I will pay corporation tax in the UK and tax on my dividends in France… and, thanks to a very helpful accountant, I think it’s going to work out well.
Let me know if you want to exchange ideas.
EricRevised on 27/10/2008 09:02And Michael / artfusion, in this instance your nationality is unimportant – it’s a. where you set up the company and b. where you are tax resident that counts.
Thanks for your email. It would be great to exchange ideas. I’m in publishing and in fact still technically a UK resident (but a French citizen) so wondering if it even makes sense to change residency if I can get away with it… but I find it a bit confusing!!!
If you give me your email address I’ll write outlining my situation and then you can see if it pertains to yours.
Hi Anna & all.
Please forgive me if I am missing something here, but this advice and conclusion set here just looks wrong by EU, UK and French law.
I have looked extensively at this and taken professional advice from many sources over several years because like many small business people in France my business has been virtually strangled to death by 45 or 50% mandatory French social contributions.
To confirm my understanding:
a) Nationality here is irrelevent unless one is a non-Eu national.
b) French and European law demands that social contributions are paid based upon place of normal residence of the person engaged in activity whether that activity is conducted in France or overseas. There is no exemption for France based staff of a UK company. If there were, all French companies would register overseas and simply claim exemptions for their France based staff.
c) I believe the status of the person and their payments, whether salary of dividend, is also irrelevent by French and EU law.
d) The above rules are fairly rigidly applied – it is one of the single biggest inhibitors for example to cross-channel commuting as staff working the the UK but living in France would still have to pay into the French system.
I believe there are certain exceptions such as sales staff that travel frequently and have to have a notional ‘residence’ somewhere even if they are not there for more than 180 days, but I have also been told these exceptions are rare and rarely approved/agreed by the french authorities.
The old idea that one can pretend to be normally resident (ie more than 180 days per year) in the UK so as to get an E106 and still gain access to French healthcare is rapidly failing – the DSS in Newcastle are increasingly reluctant to hand out E106s on that basis.
If anything I have said above is wrong, and someone knows a LEGAL way of living in France as normal place of residence (ie more than 180 days a year) whilst getting French health cover by E106 (or other means) due to contributions made in the UK – then PLEASE tell me! I’d love to know!
Hi, interesting chat and am finding advice is varied.
I am looking to live in france and run my uk limited company from here.
Strange thing is the business is in the UK but i can be anywhere in the world as its internet based. I wont in fact be working with French companies but those outside of France.
Also looking for advice on best way forward…. thanks.. Efrem
any update on this???
As I understand it, there does not seem to be any problem running a UK registered company whilst being resident in France.
You probably need to pay yourself a wage/salary (I guess at least the minimum wage) and you will need to pay your tax and national insurance in France. Your employer will also need to pay their national insurance in France. I think they can also pay UK NI to ensure you get your state pension.
Not exactly sure how the dividends will work but you will have to pay tax on your dividend income in France, but you will get double tax relief for your dividend income.
I am looking to keep working part time so that I only pay the minimum social contributions necessary and would welcome any advice in this area as to what should be the minimum salary to ensure I get the best out of the French social security system.
Can any body tell me which is best to run your business from the UK or France?
I have no staff just myself and my wife I outsource all services and travell internationally. I have a virtual office in London. Are there any advantages to be had by basing myself in my France property?
Any advice gratefully received….Graham
I am running my UK company in the UK and am living in France. I want to expand my business and wish to employ French national and residents to work for me in France and Monacco. Is this possible? And where do the French employees pay taxes to?
Did you use a French accountant?
Yep, I did. If you look under the entry 29/10/2008 you’ll see my email address – if you write to me I’ll send you his details; it might sound a cliché but it was the best thing I ever did.
I am a French national, registered with the French consulate in London, living in France. I want to set up a food and beverage business in France but I already have an incorporated company in the UK and would like to use it.
Can I email you to ask for your accountant’s details?
Thanks for your response in advance.
I notice this forum is a few years old now but I’m looking to relocate to France in the next 18 months.
I have a ltd company in UK which is online. I don’t employ any staff and I don’t intend to employ any either in France or UK as I can simply outsource any resources that I may need
Can anyone advise me how easy it is to either move the company so it’s trading in France as a French business or run a UK business in whilst living in France