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How long can I trade as a UK ltd company in France

Posted by Treeslayer - Created: 4 years ago
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7 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 7)

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Posted by countrydweller - 4 years ago

Both of you need to speak to a properly qualified accountant who understands company law in both countries and the Anglo French tax treaty.

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Posted by Kata_S - 4 years ago

What do I need to do about it to qualify it as a registered address for my ltd company? (I am a self employed fashion designer)

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Posted by Kev-Maria - 4 years ago

Kata_S - No.

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Posted by Kata_S - 4 years ago


i have a question, I rented a flat to be able to work in Paris when I am here(2-3m at a time) the rental is in my name not my ltd company which is registered in the UK. Does it qualify as the registered office in France for which I pay rent?

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Posted by Foxie-986308 - 4 years ago

What you absolutely need to do to cover your back is apply to HMRC to be classed as a 'posted worker' in France. It sounds as if you fit the criteria so you need to fill in this form


and you'll then be issued with an S1/A1/whatever they call it to cover you for the period you're working in France. If challenged this is your proof that HMRC are aware that you're working in France and have agreed that you can continue paying NICs,

Working in France without an S1 and without being registered to work in France puts you on very dodgy territory, and especially if you spend 6 months out of 12 in France the fisc could come down on you like a ton of bricks and you wouldn't have any defence. But if you've cleared it with HMRC there shouldn't be any issues, and you do not have to pay French social security cotisations (in fact you can't, because you'll be paying NICs and under EU legislation a person is not allowed to pay into the social security systems of 2 EU states simultaneously).

HMRC will not continue to issue S1s indefinitely, so the answer to your 'how long' question is, you can continue to work under your UK umbrella for as long as HMRC will continue to issue you with the S1. When they refuse, that's the time you will have to set up a French company - or before if you want. 

Income tax might be a bit more complicated, you need to get advice from HMRC about this but probably until/unless you move to France, for the sake of simplicity everybody will agree that you'll just keep paying in the UK.


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Posted by Pushkin-986745 - 4 years ago

As long as you have a registered Office in France (where you pay a token rental) you are not limited as your tax base is in the UK, therefore you are not a resident . A friend of mine got caught out because he ran an office here but didn't pay rent and it cost him a 120,000€ fine for tax evasion

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Posted by janes-394036 - 4 years ago

A UK registered ltd company can trade in France for as long as it wants to. It must, of course, obey any French legislation regarding Health and Safety and Insurance and so on. However you personally will have to respect residency laws and if you spend most of your time in France will have to pay French tax and Social Charges on your worldwide income. The fact that you are operating through the framework of an UK LTD Company does not relieve you of that obligation.