As I mentioned in my last post about becoming an auto-entrepreneur, the first thing that happens is you get flooded with mail, most of which I had no idea what to do with, so I put it off since I was busy with Christmas and New Years and going back to work and travelling to York and all the rest of it. Not to mention actually starting the work I created the business to do! But I vowed to tackle it this weekend, so here are some more handy hints.
One of the more confusing pieces of mail I got was to do with the AGIRC and ARRCO pension schemes. I actually got more or less the same form sent to me by two companies, Humanis and Reunica, although I see from looking online you might get them from different places, depending on where you are in France. One of my biggest stumbling blocks looking at this form was that is says "Choice of institutions" and there are two (AGIRC and ARRCO) but no boxes to tick or clear instructions to circle or cross out one of the choices, so I didn't know what to do with the form. I found a very helpful article online about this that explains these organisations aren't actually for YOUR pension - you selected a complementary provider at the time of creating your enterprise. They are for your future employees - but you still have to fill out the form whether you have employees or not. The reason there are two of them, is that "salariés" get one organisation, and "cadres" get another. If you don't have employees of any type, don't worry, you don't have to pay anything. That article I linked to does a pretty good job of explaining the basics on how to complete the form.
This form has to be completed within 3 months of creating your enterprise - I know this because I've already got a nagging letter in the post for not doing it. I assume I only have to send the form back to one of the (private) companies that has contacted me. Since I'm not planning on having any employees, I just picked the one with the easier form.
The second thing I got a lot of (apart from stuff from supermarkets and phone companies wanting my business) was offers of mutuelles - complementary health insurance. However, all of them seemed to be aimed at my imaginary employees, rather than myself, so I just chucked all that. Once I figured out what various stuff was there was actually a lot, including duplicates of the form I just mentioned, I could just throw away. And then there was also a lot of stuff like the official certificates of creating my business and registering it with different agencies that I just needed to file.
After all of that, the only thing left that really needed dealing with was the form to declare your income (having chosen the "régime micro-social simplifié" when you created the enterprise). The form actually looks pretty straightforward, and it comes with an explanatory page, but it also says you can do it online, which seems easier to me, so I went on www.lautoentrepreneur.fr to sign up for this. In typical fashion, you sign up and then you have to print out a form and send it in. I thought I would be able to save the PDF document it says it will create and print it out at work, but there is no option to save it. So when I logged back in at work, I couldn't find the form again at first, but eventually I found it by going to 'Le compte de votre établissement -> Gérer les inscriptions' then in the new menu 'Vos coordonnées bancaires pour télérégler vos cotisations d'auto-entrepreneur' then next to your bank details it has 'Afficher le formulaire d'adhésion'. The window with the form wouldn't open in Firefox, but it is fine in Chrome.
Then, presumably once you mail this form in to them, they activate your registration on the site so you can pay your taxes online. I'm mostly telling you this so that no-one thinks they can wait till the last minute to pay online. You have to declare every trimester, whether you make money or not. I had the dates on a piece of paper somewhere but I must have filed it, so I can only say the first trimester ends on the 30/04/12. Presumably the next is 4 months after that, then 4 months after that.
Oh hey - most importantly - I got paid! I am probably about halfway through doing the actual work. I'm a bit worried about how it will go because it depends on people emailing me back. It's not my problem if they don't, but if we do a second round of emails I can see me getting up to my hour limit (I think it worked out at only 19 hours or something) really quickly because it really takes quite a lot of time, even though it's a boring and simple task. Anyway, as I said I would, I've put the money in my savings, so I'm not tempted to fritter it away before the taxman's been paid and I've even finished the work!