Business licensing in France
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your Experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Could I be a business? What things should I think about if I am a business?When am I a business?
When an activity is carried out as a “habitual profession”, i.e. on a regular basis and in return for money, it may be qualified as a business or professional activity.
There are currently no specific revenue thresholds under which an activity would be considered not to be carried out as a business. It is also not relevant if a person also has a separate main employment or main professional activity which they supplement with an additional activity - that additional activity could still be considered to be carried out as a “business”.
Whether or not you will be considered to be carrying out a business will depend on your particular circumstances. Generally speaking, the following criteria tend to be taken into account to assess whether an activity is being carried out as a business :
- the number and frequency of transactions ;
- the amounts of money at stake;
- the intention to make a profit.
- If you offer an Experience on a regular basis (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly or monthly), with the clear intention to make a profit, you are likely to be qualified as a business.
- If you offer an Experience on an irregular and/or rare basis, and the amount of money earned is limited and more or less covers your costs, it might be possible to argue that you do not qualify as a business.
If you are unsure, you can ask your local Business Procedures Center (Centre des Formalités des Entreprises, “CFE”) or can check the position with a legal advisor.
What if I am a business - what things should I be thinking about?Is there anything I need to be aware of when dealing with consumers?
You will need to comply with the French Consumer code, which requires you to provide Guests with all the information they need to know to make informed decisions about your services (main characteristics of the activity, prices, special terms conditions, etc.), in a way which is transparent and easy to understand. You can find out more here. You are also required to offer goods or provide services which are safe for your guests.Do any business registration / licensing obligations apply? Which corporate vehicle can I use?
A professional activity can be carried out either by creating a company or as an individual entrepreneur. You can find more information about the steps to consider when establishing a business here. The final stage will involve registering and obtaining the appropriate licences.Corporate vehicle
Creating a company
For a professional activity carried out on an individual basis, this may be:
- either a EURL (“Entreprise unipersonnelle à responsabilité limitée”) - more information here;
- or a SASU (“Société par actions simplifiée unipersonnelle”) - more information here.
Acting as an individual entrepreneur
Alternatively, you can carry out your business without the creation of a company opting for:
- either the “EIRL” (limited responsibility individual entrepreneur) regime,
- or the “micro-entrepreneur” regime (applicable under the legal thresholds of € 82,200 per year for purchase and sales activities or € 32,900 per year for the provision of services).
- More information here and here.
You can find additional information about which corporate vehicle might be appropriate for you here.Prior Registration
To carry out a professional activity, prior registration with the relevant Business Procedures Center (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises, “CFE”) is required. The type of registration depends on the nature of the activity: for example, whether it is commercial, artisanal or of another nature (eg. liberal).
There are 3 types of CFE:
- the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (Chambre de commerce et de l’industrie, “CCI”) for traders, i.e. commercial companies and entrepreneurs conducting a commercial activity - more information here;
- the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (Chambre des métiers et de l’artisanat) for craftsmen, commercial companies with a artisanal activity and entrepreneurs carrying out an artisanal activity - more information here. Here is a list of activities which qualify as craft (“artisanat”);
- the Organizations for the payment of social security and family benefit contributions (URSSAF) for entrepreneurs engaged in an activity which is neither commercial nor artisanal, ie. mainly for liberal activities whether they are regulated or not (intellectual services) - more information here. Regulated professions require additional qualifications; see the directory of regulated professions.
What happens if I am carrying out a business but do not register my business?
You should be aware of potential administrative and criminal offences for failure to comply with business registration rules, which may include financial penalties. Tax and social security recovery proceedings might also be initiated.
Is there anything else I should be thinking about?
Yes - depending on the activity you will be providing or organising, you may need to register, obtain licenses, or follow specific rules that apply to that activity. Our sections on activity specific licensing cover some of the typical activities, but are not intended to be comprehensive. You should always check the position with your local municipality or seek advice from a legal professional.
You should also check what tax and accounting rules apply to you, and make sure you have the right insurance cover in place to cover all the activities you will be providing.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).