France has modernised considerably in the last thirty years. One area where it has made great progress is in making it much easier to set up a business by yourself. When I first did it thirty years ago, it was very complicated and involved paying out large sums of cash upfront. Now there is the Auto-Entrepreneur system and it is much simpler. For most people. But not for me.
I filled in my application on the Internet without problem. A few days later, I got a reply from the URSSAF – ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS. It said that I couldn’t become an Auto-Entrepreneur because I was already the gerant (owner) of a company. I used to be a gerant but that company went into liquidation four years ago.
So off I set for the hour’s drive to Perpignan to put this right. I found the place without problem (though parking in Perpignan is not easy) and only had a ten minute wait. The guy
was really nice and friendly. He listened sympathetically. He read the relevant papers from the court, showing that the company had been liquidated. And then he explained that he couldn’t do anything.
It seems that the only organisation that could alter my entry on the computer was the URSSAF of Lyon. I have to contact them if I want it changed. Until then, I couldn’t become an Auto-Entrepreneur, even though anybody can see that I qualify.
I could write to them but, from long experience, I know that nothing will happen unless I go there and make a fuss.
French bureaucracy, don’t you love it?