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Financial Help Setting up your Small Business In France

In France, many are turning away from traditional methods of employment and instead choosing the more flexible route of being self employed, or setting up their own company entirely. Self-employed individuals in France are essentially recognised as very small businesses.

It seems ideal, being your own boss, scheduling your own hours and so on, but it can be tricky managing cash flow at the start, and there are two notable forms of help to make this period easier for self-employed individuals in France. The names are very similar, and it can get confusing so join us as we explain the difference. We’ve colour coded them for clarity as ACRE & ARCE.

Financial Help ACRE Stands for: Aide à la création ou à la reprise d'une entreprise (ACRE)

What is ACRE?

It's a complete exoneration or reduction of social charges for your first year of activity.

Who pays ACRE?


Who is eligible for ACRE?

To qualify for ACRE you must be in one of the following situations:

  • A jobseeker on benefits

  • An unpaid jobseeker registered with Pôle Emploi for more than 6 months in the last 18 months

  • A recipient of the specific solidarity allowance (ASS) or the active solidarity income (RSA)

  • Between 18 and 26 years of age

  • Under 30 years old and be recognised as disabled

  • Have signed a business project support contract (Cape)

  • Created or taken over a business located in a priority urban district (QPV): Urban territories considered to be priorities in terms of their socio-economic situation (high unemployment rate in particular)

  • Benefit from the shared child-rearing benefit (PreParE)

  • Be self-employed under the micro-social scheme or not under this scheme

How to benefit from financial ACRE support?

This part is pretty simple - all you have to do is send off the form to URSSAF either at the same time you register, or within 45 days of setting up your self-employed status.

Financial Help ARCE Stands for: Aide à la reprise ou à la création d'entreprise (ARCE)

The ARCE financial help scheme is for business creators. This term includes self-employed individuals and small businesses.

What is ARCE?

ARCE is a way to help new businesses get going. There are two ways to calculate how much ARCE payment you’re eligible to:

1. The first being 45% of your remaining ARE or “chômage” entitlement. This is paid in two instalments; 50% when you start your business activity, and the other 50% six months after. Please note that in order to receive this second payment, you must prove that you're still ‘active’. If your business ceases to operate, you’ll regain the unemployment benefit entitlements you had before starting or taking over the business (this benefit rate is also dependent on the amount of ACRE paid to you). Have a look at our real world example below for context.

For example:

  • You’re owed €1,000 from Pôle Emploi every month over the course of 2yrs

  • Total ARCE entitlement = €1,000 x 24 months = €24,000

  • 45% of €24,000 = €10,800

  • 50% which is €5,400 which will be paid when you’re setting up business

  • 50% which is €5,400€ will be paid 6 months after registering the business provided your business is still active

2. Maintain your ARE or “chômage” rights. Every month that you do not earn, you continue to be paid by Pôle Emploi. If you invoice and are paid as a self-employed worker, you do not receive your Pôle Emploi that month, but your Pole Emploi isn’t ‘lost’ it’s added to the end of your rights. If you earn less than what your Pôle Emploi monthly payment would have been, your are topped up by Pôle Emploi.

For example:

  • Let’s say you receive €1,000 from Pôle Emploi every month for 2 years. This sum is your entitlement. Say you’re self-employed, and one month you earn €2,000. Whilst you will not receive your allocated €1,000 from Pôle Emploi that month, it does not disappear. It will be saved for when you need it. On the other hand, say you earnt €600 from a client in one month, Pôle Emploi will pay the additional €400 to top you up to your monthly allowance of €1,000.

Who pays ARCE?

Pôle Emploi

Who is eligible for ARCE?

You must have been signed up for Pôle Emploi at the time you created your business, and you must have been granted the ACRE help already too.

How to benefit from financial ARCE support?

All you have to do is complete an application with the Pôle Emploi. Please note that this must be accompanied by the attestation that you have received the ACRE, and your KBIS or Attestation d’Affiliation (proof of business registration).

We know this can be confusing, mainly because of how similar the names are (thanks France!) but let us know if you have any questions about ARCE or ACRE and whether or not you qualify for them, we’re happy to help.

Speak soon,

The Aster Team


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