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self employed

Posted by David Jones-195301 - Created: 14 years ago
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Can anyone help in suggesting where to start in becoming a self employed general builder. I have been in the South of France for 6 months without getting a full time job therefore would like to see if it is worth going self employed.

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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

Here is the web site for the Alpes Maritimes branch.


There doesnt seem to be an exam, you just follow the course.  There is also documentation on the course, in case you find it easier reading French than listening to it.  The course also includes one-one help in setting up the business.

If you can show that you have been practising a craft for 6 years, the Chambre will accept you as an Artisan.


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Posted by David Jones-195301 - 14 years ago

Thanks to everyones reply, it is a big step but I know that the work is out there. I want to be legal and above board as I am aiming at the high end market as a small artisan company. The first step is obviously the Chambre de metiers in the Cotes d'Azur for this 7 day intensive course, my French is limited. Does anyone know :how fluent do I need to be to pass this course. Is there a final exam? Does anyone know of the Chambre de metiers in CDA?

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Posted by mike-179830 - 14 years ago

quote:I cant believe it is so complicated!

Well, it is.

quote:The general rule is to find an accountant who will sort everything out for you and then go about your business.

No, it isn't. At least not as a builder (that'll work fine if you want to set up as a graphic designer, say). As a builder - or any other member of a heavily regulated trade - you have to do exactly as Navanman says and do things via the Chambre de Métiers (although you'll only use the Var one if you live in the Var...). You may well want to use an accountant too, but that's optional. The course at the Chambre des Métiers is not.

I've heard - although I haven't yet had the chance to check it out completely - that the Chambre is now insisting on evidence of qualifications and/or evidence (books) of previous trading experience in another country.

(Actually, having an accountant is a very good idea indeed for a builder, as the TVA situation is very complex thanks to the special rates charged to builders doing certain jobs and the need to carry - and manage - various forms of compulsory insurance, never mind the large selection of other taxes/cotisations that must be paid by any business.)

You might want to check out this thread on AngloINFO Bretagne:


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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 14 years ago

I cant believe it is so complicated!  The general rule is to find an accountant who will sort everything out for you and then go about your business.  The French do the same.

I dont think you need any special qualifications for general building.

There seems to be an awful shortage of builders in the South of France.  Many of the builders we have met have turned out to be Belgian or Italian.  The Belgians usually trade under their Belgian setup, which is legal as long as most of their business is Belgian.

Our Belgian heating person (in Belgium) goes to France for a couple of weeks every two months, parks his van in a village square and people come out and ask him to do jobs.  He has no French qualifications, but of course he is competent, and word of mouth is enough to get him business.


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Posted by Navanman-194127 - 14 years ago

DavidYou should try to contact the Chambre de metiers du Varthey run training course for artisans starting their own business, and issue course certifcate which you will need to register to trade, we did course in Frejus,but you should try listings for your local office.central office in Toulon Tel 04 94 6199 00 Fax : 04 94 61 99 01All courses are in French !!CheersNavanman