Do you want to get started in entrepreneurship, but alone? So, several options are available to you. You can opt in particular for the status of auto-entrepreneur or set up a single-person simplified joint-stock company (SASU). Indeed, in most cases, individual entrepreneurs decide for one or the other of these legal structures. Of course, they have their own advantages and disadvantages. But, suddenly, which legal status to choose to start your activity? SASU or micro-enterprise?
SASU or micro-enterprise: different creation formalities
The steps to follow to create a SASU or a micro-enterprise are obviously not the same. Indeed, the status of auto-entrepreneur only involves a declarative procedure of free activity. On the other hand, as with other corporate forms, the creation of a SASU requires the completion of a restrictive and costly administrative procedure.
Micro-entrepreneur status: a simple declaration of activity to be made
From an administrative point of view, setting up a micro-enterprise is particularly easy. In fact, the individual entrepreneur only has to carry out a simplified declaration procedure with the competent Business Formalities Center (CFE). Free of charge, this declaration of the start of activity can also be made electronically, by post or by appointment.
Depending on the nature of the activity carried out, the auto-entrepreneur must also register with an official register:
– Registration in the Trade and Companies Register (RCS) if commercial activity – Registration in the Trades Register (RM) if craft activity- Registration in the Special Register of Commercial Agents (RSAC) if commercial agent activity (paid procedure)
On the other hand, for liberal professionals, a declaration of activity with the URSSAF is sufficient.
To find out more about the auto-entrepreneur scheme, you can visit this site
Creating a SASU: different steps to follow
To set up a SASU, it is necessary to complete several administrative formalities, some of which have a cost. Concretely, it is necessary to proceed as follows:
– Define the corporate name and the amount of the company's capital – Appoint a chairman – Draft the company's articles of association – Make capital contributions – Deposit the funds (cash contributions released) in a blocked account – Publish a notice of constitution in a newspaper of legal announcements (JAL) – Send the registration application file to the registry of the commercial court
Note that the individual entrepreneur can set up his SASU with only 1 euro as capital.
The accounting obligations to be respected in SASU and self-employed
The micro-enterprise and the SASU also have notable differences in terms of accounting. Indeed, the accounting obligations of a self-employed person are limited to:
– Keeping a book of receipts – Keeping all supporting documents – Keeping a summary register of purchases in the event of a sale of goods.
On the other hand, a SASU must keep complete and more rigorous business accounts. Like any commercial company, it has the obligation to:
– Record movements affecting the company's assets (regular accounting) – Carry out an inventory at least once a year (control of assets and liabilities)- Establish annual accounts (balance sheet, income statement and annexes) at the end of the accounting year – Keep accounting documents and other supporting documents for 10 years
With regard to the holding of a professional bank account, it is mandatory for SASUs. For micro-entrepreneurs, this obligation only applies if they achieve an annual turnover of more than 10,000 euros for two consecutive years. In any case, they must open an account dedicated to their activity for the management of their finances.
SASU or micro-enterprise: what is the applicable tax regime?
From a tax point of view, the micro-enterprise and the SASU are subject to different regimes.
The micro-enterprise tax system
Self-employment is subject to the micro-fiscal regime. With this in mind, the micro-entrepreneur does not have to draw up a professional declaration of profits in respect of:
– Non-commercial benefits (micro-BNC) for self-employed activities – Industrial and commercial benefits (micro-BIC) for commercial or craft activities
In fact, within the framework of the micro-enterprise regime, the entrepreneur must provide information on his supplementary declaration of income (income tax declaration or IR) on two essential elements. Namely the annual amount of gross turnover or receipts and any capital gains or losses. It is then up to the tax authorities to define the taxable profit by applying a fixed allowance on the turnover declared. Therefore, if the auto-entrepreneur has made no profit, he is exempt from paying tax and social charges.
Good to know
The simplified tax system does not allow the depreciation of equipment or the deduction of certain charges from turnover.
The tax regime of the SASU
A SASU is automatically subject to corporation tax (IS). Thus, it is up to the president of SASU to determine the annual profit to which a tax rate is applied. This rate then varies according to the amount of the annual result:
– Rate reduced to 15% for the portion of profit not exceeding 38,120 euros – 28% for the portion of profit between 38,120 and 500,000 euros – 33.33% for the portion of profit exceeding 500,000 euros
In all cases, the sole shareholder of the company can perfectly well choose to be taxed under the regime of partnerships (IR). With this in mind, it is the sole shareholder's responsibility to pay the tax due under the progressive scale. The SASU pays him his taxable profit.
As far as social security contributions are concerned, the structure only pays them if it pays a remuneration. This can then be granted to an employee under his employment contract or to the Chairman under his corporate office.
And the social regime of the individual entrepreneur, what about?
On the one hand, the auto-entrepreneur is automatically affiliated with the Social Security of the Self-Employed (SSI). Subject to the simplified micro-social regime, he can easily pay his contributions and social security contributions. Depending on the way in which his turnover is declared, he must pay his social charges monthly or quarterly. On the other hand, if he has opted for the flat-rate withholding tax, he has the full possibility of paying his tax and social charges at one time.
On the other hand, the social system of the president of SASU depends on the existence or not of a remuneration. Indeed, whether this corporate officer is the sole shareholder of the company or a third party, he can receive a salary for his function as legal representative. Therefore, if he is paid, he is attached to the general social security scheme and has the status of assimilated employee. On the other hand, in the absence of remuneration, he is not affiliated to any scheme and has no social status. The company is therefore not required to pay social security contributions.
The disadvantages of these legal statuses
The micro-enterprise and the SASU obviously have their limits. Thus, a self-entrepreneur is obliged to respect a turnover threshold. This constraint then constitutes a brake on the expansion of professional activity. In addition, in the event of a loss, the profit defined as a lump sum remains taxable. In addition, as this status is subject by default to the VAT-based franchise regime, the VAT paid on stocks and miscellaneous purchases cannot be recovered in any way. Especially since tax and social charges are calculated on the basis of turnover.
As far as the SASU is concerned, it is also not without its drawbacks:
– Long, tedious and expensive creation formalities – Strict accounting obligations – High tax rate on profits
In short, the micro-enterprise like the SASU each have their strengths and weaknesses. In any case, if the first is perfectly suitable for starting an activity, the second is to be preferred for the exercise of a permanent activity.