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Hello all,

I'm sure there have been many questions on French social security, and I've already done a fair bit of browsing, but am still none the wiser...so I'm hoping someone here can help me.

My husband and I are planning to move to France from the UK next year. We're hoping (like many, I'm sure) to start a little business there. In the meantime, we'll be living off business income that my husband receives from a small company he owns in a third country (outside the EU). It seems that as we're not starting in employment, we won't be entitled to any kind of French social security?

I know we'll be taxed on hubby's income from abroad. Will we also have to pay social security contributions? And if so, shouldn't we also be able to qualify for the security ourselves? I guess I don't really understand how this works if your income is from outside the country.

In case it matters, I'm German, hubby is British. I have lived in the UK for 11 years. We have two children under 5.

Thanks :)
 

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Hello all,

I'm sure there have been many questions on French social security, and I've already done a fair bit of browsing, but am still none the wiser...so I'm hoping someone here can help me.

My husband and I are planning to move to France from the UK next year. We're hoping (like many, I'm sure) to start a little business there. In the meantime, we'll be living off business income that my husband receives from a small company he owns in a third country (outside the EU). It seems that as we're not starting in employment, we won't be entitled to any kind of French social security?

I know we'll be taxed on hubby's income from abroad. Will we also have to pay social security contributions? And if so, shouldn't we also be able to qualify for the security ourselves? I guess I don't really understand how this works if your income is from outside the country.

In case it matters, I'm German, hubby is British. I have lived in the UK for 11 years. We have two children under 5.

Thanks :)
You won't initially have access to social security. Once the business has been registered and up and running for some time you will have access (subject to having paid into the system via cotisations, which vary depending on what kind of business you establish). It's actually a pretty complex question which requires more information in terms of your business arrangement to be able to answer appropriately. I would say that you would be well advised to carry appropriate private health insurance cover until such time as your health cover kicks in here, as the EHIC as I understand it is not intended for use by Brits living overseas.
 

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As EH has correctly advised, you won't be eligible for French social security until after you are in employment (or set up in a French registered business entity).

If you're living on income from a business outside of France, exactly what taxes you'll pay will depend on what sort of income is involved (interest, dividends, capital gains on stock, etc.). If it's not salary or salary-like income, you may have to pay a flat rate tax that people sometimes refer to (incorrectly, as it turns out) as "cotisations." But it does not entitle you to any of the social services that cotisations cover. (In fact, the tax started out as a "temporary" tax to cover the debt run up by the French health service. But you know how those "temporary" taxes wind up going on forever....)

However, the good news is that, once hubby has a business set up in France, he'll be registered with the Sécu (as well as all the other agencies) and will start paying into the cotisations, which then cover the whole family. Exactly how much he pays is determined by the type of business he sets up (EURL, SARL, etc.) and what role he officially plays in the business. There is lots of information available through the local Chambre de Commerce that might be useful.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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When you say social security do you mean benefits or do you mean healthcare which the French refer to as sécurité sociale-if the former no if the latter maybe depending on your income
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks both! I was offline for a few days, hence the delay in replying. I did indeed mean health insurance - securite sociale. So it seems that we may need cover for a few months (?) until the secu through our business kicks in - did I get that right? Again, probably difficult to answer generically, but how long do you have to pay in to be eligible for health care? In case it matters, I am thinking of setting up as an educational and life coach as an auto-entrepreneur. Hubby has import-export ideas.

Many thanks for your time!
 

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When it comes to setting up your own business, you need to have contributed a minimum amount over a 3 to 6 month period. (If you're going AE, I believe the exact numbers are on the AE portal site somewhere. If not, check the URSSAF website.)

So ultimately, it depends on how much revenue you have coming in early on. It may also take a while to get set up with the sécu (paperwork-wise), so best to figure on having private insurance to cover your first year until you get yourself established. You might be pleasantly surprised - but you're covered just in case.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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