Coronavirus News Feed


TUTORIALS AND OTHER USEFUL DOCUMENTS (in French):

* T
utorial: Request for partial unemployment
* Tutorial: Request for childcare leave
* Tutorial: Modify or delete your withholding tax installments
* Template: Bank Letter for Deferral of Lease Rents

* Template: Bank Letter for Deferral of Loan Payments
* Process: Steps to get a state-guaranteed loan (in English)
* Official document: Economic measures put in place by the government in favour of enterprises and useful contacts
* Official document: Mandatory measures by the employer to protect its employees on 24/03/2020
* Official document: Derogating travel certificate - new version of 24/03/2020
* Official document: Press kit "The Solidarity Fund" of 25/03/2020 distributed by the government
* Information by profession: Safety measures for DELIVERY DRIVER on 27/03/2020
* Information by profession: Safety measures for WORKING ON THE CASH REGISTER on 27/03/2020
* Information by profession: Safety measures for WORK IN BAKERY on 27/03/2020

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Thursday, March 26th: State Solidarity Fund

Dear Customers,

As announced at the beginning of the containment, the State has created a fund to help small businesses. This fund will take the form of a 1,500 euro aid package, the outlines of which are still being worked out. If some information is still to be taken at face value, others are more clearly validated. In this e-mail we are therefore offering you a summary of the information to date.

> Companies concerned by the system

Aid from the fund is aimed at small enterprises with the following characteristics :

  • A turnover of less than EUR 1 million;
  • A taxable profit of less than EUR 60 000;
  • A workforce of up to 10 employees.

A few details:

  • The scheme is open to all small businesses regardless of their status (sole proprietorship, limited liability company, SAS, auto-entrepreneur, etc.);
  • For the workforce threshold, the physical workforce should be used and not the full-time equivalents. Nevertheless, the government does not yet seem to validate this point definitively.

> Firms eligible for aid

In order to qualify for the aid, the company must also meet one of the following conditions:

  • It must be subject to administrative closure;
  • Have suffered a fall in turnover of more than or equal to 70% between March 2019 and March 2020.

This notion of periodicity and amount of turnover requires several clarifications:

  • Companies created since March 2, 2019 do not have comparative information. Consequently, the average monthly turnover since the creation until 29 February 2020 should be used as the comparative turnover. Another consequence of these periodicities is that companies created since 1 February 2020 are excluded from the scheme.
  • The turnover to be taken into account is:
    • For companies selling goods => invoiced turnover;
    • For companies providing services => turnover collected.

For this second case, the government was alerted to the fact that in March, there could be collections in February, which could distort the real drop in activity. The administration has thus issued the possibility of neutralising the turnover of these receipts, but for the time being this point has not been validated.

> Amount of aid

The amount of aid is set at EUR 1 500 but will be capped at the actual decrease in turnover.

> Detailed rules for applying for the aid

The solidarity fund will be endowed by 31 March 2020 at the latest. The administration is currently working on the technical solution to apply for it. It hopes to be able to receive the first applications as of 1 April 2020. However, it is not in a position to guarantee this date and we have been told that the service could be opened as of 4 April 2020.

As for the practicalities of declaration, for the time being nothing has been communicated to us except that the elements necessary for the request will be on the website impots.gouv.fr.

> Duration of the aid

Assistance should be renewed monthly for as long as containment is in place. Nevertheless, the reporting formalities would probably have to be carried out monthly, in particular to enable the administration to check the turnover condition.

> Person benefiting from the aid

The beneficiary of the aid is the company. Consequently, in the case of a sole proprietorship, it is the farmer who is the beneficiary. On the other hand, in the case of a company, it is the company that will benefit from the aid.

This point concerning the beneficiary requires several clarifications:

  • For companies in the broad sense => there is only one aid per company, whatever the number of corporate officers (manager, chairman, CEO) or partners;
  • For companies subject to corporate income tax => the withdrawal of the sum by an agent is considered to be a traditional remuneration and is subject to the usual system of social security contributions and income tax liability of the latter;
  • For sole proprietorships => the aid cannot be cumulated with the daily allowances received for childcare at home.

> Tax and social security regime of the aid

For companies subject to income tax, the aid will be exempt from taxes and contributions.
For companies subject to corporation tax, the aid will be exempt from corporation tax. (Note: there is therefore no exemption for the withdrawal of the sum by the company's officers).

> Future developments

This assistance package should be completed with the assistance of the Occitania region. At present, we have no information on the precise contours of the latter. We will not fail to communicate to you as soon as we have them.

> Our advice

In order to anticipate, and in the event that you were not compulsory  to close down, we encourage you to gather all the evidence of your turnover for the months of March 2019 and March 2020. This is in order to determine whether the change in the latter makes you eligible for this aid.

If you wish, you can click to consult the press kit "The Solidarity Fund" of 25/03/2020 distributed by the government.

We would like to remind you that it will be very useful for you to complete your assessment, in view of the procedures to come. So, please help us to help you, by getting in touch with the accountant in charge of your file, in order to provide him/her with the last elements necessary for the preparation of your balance sheet as soon as possible.

Our teams remain at your disposal. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

The French Business Advice team

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Thursday, March 26th: Employer's obligations for the safety of its employees

Dear Customers,

Some of you will certainly decide to resume their activity soon. As you probably know, the Ministry of Labour has issued several instructions concerning measures to be put in place to ensure the protection of your employees.

We suggest that you consult the
Document from the Ministry of Labour presenting these instructions (in French).

It is possible that these instructions will change in the coming days. We therefore advise you to regularly consult the Ministry of Labour's website to follow their evolution:
https://bit.ly/3akaRhn.

We look forward to hearing from you,

The French Business Advice team

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Thursday, March 26th: Steps for seeking funding

Dear Customers,

As we have been doing since the beginning of this health crisis, we continue to keep you informed and to support you as best we can through our various means of communication and thanks to the involvement of all our teams.

This is why you will find below a reminder of the different steps to follow in your search for financing. Indeed, in order to meet your company's needs in the coming months due to the decrease (or even loss) of activity, it might be necessary to support your company's cash flow.

Consult our special document:
Process - Steps to obtain a government-guaranteed loan

In order for your file to be complete and to be eligible for this type of financing, you will be asked to attach your latest tax package. This is why, for companies that end their fiscal year on 31 December 2019, we recommend that you contact the accountant in charge of your file, in order to provide him/her with the last elements necessary for the preparation of your financial statements as soon as possible.

The FRENCH BUSINESS ADVICE teams will be at your disposal to assist you in case of additional requests to the acceptance of your financing application.


Yours sincerely,

The French Business Advice team

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Tuesday, March 24th: Cash management and relations with banks

Dear Customers,

Faced with the crisis and the sudden shutdown of our activities, we must now organize the management of our company's cash flow. Indeed, we have to keep our cash flow for a period that seems likely to be long (one or two months! Or less, we all hope!). Then, we must prepare for the recovery, which we also hope will be lively and cash-consuming, mainly through your cash flow requirements.

To do this, the steps to follow remain the same as what we previously announced to you :

  • Last week, we advised you to defer all social security charges, taxes and duties to preserve your current cash flow. We remain vigilant for the next deadlines. Depending on the possibilities of your activity, we will invite you to postpone them also for the month of April;
     
  • We will also focus on negotiating the deferral of your rent and water and electricity bills whenever possible.
     
  • Today, we are coming back to you to give you tools to postpone your bank loan installments as well as your lease payments. This is essential if you don't want to pay for your productive tools while they are idle. Download our Bank Letter for Deferral of Lease Rents and Bank Letter for Deferral of Loan Payments templates.
     
  • Finally, you should take advantage of this week to go to your banker to study the possibility of obtaining a cash loan. This is quite possible because of the guarantee of the State. The State, in order to support the economy in full standstill, will guarantee your company up to 90% without asking for additional guarantees or securities from you. For companies having difficulties with their usual banker, it is possible to contact BPI France directly.

To carry out this last mission, it will be necessary to produce documents concerning your company such as the 2019 accounts and/or cash flow forecasts. The lender will need evidence to decide on the requests you will make.

For this, we encourage you to return to your collaborators in order to transmit to them all the missing elements concerning your 2019 accounts. We will do our best to finalize the 2019 accounts for your banking file. Finally, it is possible that the study of your banking file may require activity or cash flow forecasts. In order to meet this request and at no extra cost, we wanted to provide you with the tools you need to carry them out. These tools, which are simple and quick to use, will be sent to you as soon as possible. However, if you would like us to accompany you for these procedures or documents to be produced (such as cash flow forecasts), we will always be at your disposal at the lowest possible price and adapted to the situation.

As from the beginning, the French Business Advice team remains mobilized to support you to face this crisis.

If you have any questions to ask us, please send them by email directly to your usual contact person in our office.

Best Regards,

The French Business Advice team

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Thursday, March 19th: Summary of government measures in support of business

Dear Customers,

In response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 Coronavirus, the government has implemented drastic containment measures that impact our daily lives. The impact on the French economy and even more so on our businesses is immense. Under these conditions, and as we have always done since the beginning of this crisis, we remain mobilized at your side to inform you of the latest measures taken by the government to help businesses.


A number of measures will be taken by ordinance in the coming days. The emergency bill to deal with the Covid-19 epidemic should be examined in the National Assembly this Thursday 19 and Friday 20 March 2020. We will not fail to keep you informed of the measures announced.

For the time being, we think it would be useful to provide you with a summary of the 9 measures already put in place by the government on the economic front to deal with this crisis: 

  1. Delay for deadlines for the payment of social and/or fiscal instalments (URSSAF, direct taxes); 
  2. In the most difficult situations, direct tax rebates that can be decided on the basis of an individualized examination of applications; 
  3. In some cases, deferment of payment of rents, water, gas and electricity bills for the smallest companies in difficulty; 
  4. 1,500€ for the smallest enterprises, the self-employed and micro-enterprises in the most affected sectors thanks to the solidarity fund financed by the State and the Regions; applications should be possible from 31 March 2020
  5. The mobilisation of the State to the tune of 300 billion euros to guarantee bank lines of credit that businesses may need because of the epidemic; 
  6. Support from the State and the Banque de France (credit mediation) to negotiate with its bank a rescheduling of bank loans
  7. The maintenance of employment in companies through the simplified and reinforced partial unemployment scheme; 
  8. Support for the handling of disputes with customers or suppliers by the Business mediator; 
  9. The recognition by the State and local authorities of the Coronavirus as a case of force majeure for their public procurement contracts. Consequently, for all State and local authority public procurement contracts, late penalties will not be applied.

You can consult the full document provided by the Government by clicking here.

If you have any questions to ask us, please send them by email directly to your usual contact person in our office.

Best Regards,


The French Business Advice team

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Wednesday, March 18th: Updating of short-time working

Dear Customers,

Many of you have given us very positive feedback on the tutorial that we have made available to you in order to carry out your request for partial activity/partial unemployment and we thank you for it.

As we have been doing since the beginning of this unprecedented crisis, we are sending you the information that we receive as we go along in order to provide you with the best possible support in all your procedures. Thus, you will find below some additional information concerning applications for short-time working.

> Request for partial activity

Possibility to make the request within 30 days with retroactive effect (the sooner the request is made, the sooner you will get the reimbursement as an employer);

  • Examination of claims within 48 hours, which can be extended to a few days (3 to 10 days). For this, it is important to mention the terms "CORONAVIRUS" or "COVID-19" as justification;
  • The site where the request can be made is still the following: https://activitepartielle.emploi.gouv.fr/aparts/

> Compensation

  • Establishments due to close (non-food stores, etc.) and those reducing their activity can benefit from the partial activity;
  • Only one request per company can be made even if it has several establishments;
  • The Ministry of Labour has announced compensation for employees in the amount of :
     
    • For employees at the minimum wage => 100% of their remuneration
      E.g.: for a SMIC salary, i.e. €1,185.35 net paid to the employee => the employer receives €1,185.35 in help.

       
    • For other employees => 70% of their gross salary, i.e. 84% of the net salary (with a minimum of the SMIC, of €1539.42 gross or €1185.35 net).
      Ex 1: if an employee is paid €1,650 gross/monthly=> he should receive €1,650 x 70%=€1,155 net, this amount is lower than the SMIC, so readjustment to the SMIC: the employee will be paid €1,185.35 net and the employer will receive €1,185.35 in help.

      Ex 2: if an employee is paid €3,000 gross/monthly => 3,000 x 70% = €2,100. The employee will receive a salary of € 2,100 net; the employer will receive € 2,100 of help.
       
  • The employer can decide to maintain the full salary but reimbursement is only made on the above basis;
  • The partial activity can be individualized but an "equity must be maintained on equivalent positions" (except on request of the employees);
  • Sales representatives are not eligible for this scheme;
  • Apprentices benefit from partial unemployment if they are not in training during this period (or distance learning). Young people in training will have to join their company. If the company is only partially active, they will benefit from it in the same way as employees; their remuneration will be maintained. Employees on professionalization contracts will benefit from the same measures.

Consult our tutorial note (in French): Updated tutorial - Request for partial unemployment

We remind you that these tutorials are offered to you so that you can go faster in your requests, as our teams are currently very much in demand, and their switch to teleworking reduces their speed of execution. This is why we have chosen to give you the keys to these different process.


We remain at your disposal and ask you to contact your usual collaborators for any questions you may have.

Best Regards,

The French Business Advice team

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Wednesday, March 18th: Corporate treasury

Dear Customers,

As you know, our country has been partially paralyzed by this global health crisis for the past few days.

We are fully aware of the difficulties you are facing, but also of the many problems we will have to face in the coming weeks.

That is why, as an accounting firm, we have been organizing ourselves since the President's announcements so that the forces available within our workforce can continue to work from home, while respecting the measures imposed by the government.

The AUGEFI firm has therefore chosen not to resort to partial unemployment, to continue to accompany you in spite of this crisis and to offer you its services.

Since Saturday evening, AUGEFI's teams have been mobilized in order to provide you with the first elements of answers and services (such as tutorials) so that you can make your declarations by yourself at no extra cost. Nevertheless, for those who wish, our teams are ready to carry out these steps for you according to the fee schedule that we have communicated to you and that we wanted to be as fair as possible with regard to the means involved.

For cash flow problems, there are a number of possible solutions:

   1/ We remind you that in our previous communications, we have indicated that our team, at your request, will take care of deferring all payments of social security charges and taxes that can be made in March in order to safeguard your cash flow.

   2/ Next, we would like to discuss your company's relationship with banks, suppliers and customers with regard to cash flow. The first solutions that have been brought by the government are the following:

  • A plan of debt spreading with the support of the State and the Bank of France ;
  • Obtaining or maintaining a bank loan via Bpifrance, which will guarantee all the cash loans that companies may need because of the epidemic;
  • Support in dealing with a conflict with customers or suppliers.

To report other difficulties not covered by these principles, email addresses are active: at the regional level oc.continuite-eco@direccte.gouv.fr, and at the national level covid.dge@finances.gouv.fr. Do not hesitate to ask them your questions to anticipate your difficulties as soon as possible.

   3/ Secondly, the banks are committed to carefully examining the individual situations of their retail, professional and SME customers impacted in the sectors of activity most directly exposed and will seek the solutions best suited to their needs. Decisions have already been taken, namely :
 

  • Implementation of accelerated credit appraisal procedures for tense cash flow situations, within 5 days and special attention for emergency situations ;
  • Deferral of credit repayments for companies for up to 6 months;
  • Removal of penalties and additional costs for deferrals and corporate credits;
  • Relaying of government measures.

Additional specific arrangements can also be made by individual banks.
You can therefore contact your banking network by telephone (via your advisor or dedicated platforms) to discuss the best solutions with them.

In this sense, Augefi is ready to accompany you in a structured and efficient way to succeed in your approach with your banking institution and this in the best possible financial conditions taking into account the circumstances. To do so, do not hesitate to contact the firm's collaborator or the chartered accountant in charge of your file to help you in this process.

   4/ Finally, credit mediation help for the renegotiation of contracts and credits. This system, re-established in conjunction with the Governor of the Banque de France, is aimed at any company seeking equity capital or faced with a refusal of bank financing or credit insurance.

The procedure is as follows: contact the mediator online of the credit at www.mediateurducredit.fr; the referral, which is confidential and free of charge, gives rise to a contact within a few days.

   5/ In addition, to obtain or maintain bank credit: Bpifrance can act as guarantor for loans requested by VSEs, SMEs and ETIs. The public investment bank can thus guarantee up to 90% of the amount of loans to strengthen your cash flow or short-term credit lines. Contact your banker directly, who will contact Bpifrance himself.

If you are a SME or ETI with at least 12 months' balance sheet, Bpifrance can also cover your cash-flow needs through the Prêt Atout scheme.

   6/ BPI France loans may be extended at the company's request to its usual banking contact. Then banking contact will then forward the request for deferral of the guarantee to Bpifrance, which will process it at no additional cost. Bpifrance automatically defers the payments of all its customers for a period of 6 months from March 16, 2020.

For all your procedures, your bank or the regional delegation of Bpifrance in Montpellier (04 67 69 76 00), Perpignan (04 68 35 74 44) or Toulouse (05 61 11 52 00) , the toll-free number 0 969 370 240 or: www.bpifrance.fr to make your request online or to be called back You can also consult the Bpifrance site.

   7/ In addition to this system, there is the CSOEC's 50 K€ loan system which allows companies to finance their cash requirements.

The €50 K Credit facility, which was initiated by the Order of chartered accountants, in partnership with the major French private banks, was originally designed to help companies in difficulty following the financial crisis of 2008.

The Ordre of chartered accountant relaunched this scheme by modernising it, in July 2018, by creating a single online application form that can be filled out and sent simultaneously to three banks. This system can currently be used to finance companies' cashl requirements.

   8/ Resolving conflicts with my customers or suppliers: The Minister of the Economy has asked professional organisations to send a message of leniency to companies giving orders, so that they avoid applying late payment penalties to their subcontractors. Firms that have State public contracts will not be penalised in the event of late delivery (force majeure) and the State has asked local authorities to do the same.

The mediator can facilitate the search for an agreement with your partners, private or public, in the event of a dispute. The process, which aims to find an amicable solution to resolve the dispute, is carried out confidentially, free of charge and quickly.
The process is the referral to the mediator, which can be done online at www.mediateur-des-entreprises.fr.

If you have any questions to ask us, please send them by email directly to your usual contact person in our office.

The French Business Advice team

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Tuesday, March 17th: Measures for the self-employed

Dear Customers,

Many of you have asked us about the situation of self-employed workers, so we are providing you with a few elements of a response that will be completed as we go along.

1) Contributions of self-employed workers

URSSAF: https://bit.ly/2x0hK8P
For self-employed persons who have opted for payment of contributions on the 20th of each month, the monthly contribution due date of March 20, 2020 will not be debited on your bank account.

MSA: https://bit.ly/3d6RJF8
The deadlines set between 15 and 31 March 2020 will be postponed without penalty: no action is required.

2) Modulation or cancellation of advance payment on income tax (PAYE/PAYG)

Following the email that you must have received from the tax authorities, we remind you that you can modify or delete the withholding tax installments before the 22nd of the month thanks to our tutorial: Tuto - Modify or delete your withholding tax installments

3) Work stoppage for childcare TNS or corporate managers

If your partner has not taken the childcare leave, you can request a childcare leave at https://declare.ameli.fr/ thanks to this tutorial: Tuto - Request for childcare leave
This measure applies to self-employed workers and corporate managers.

4) Solidarity Fund for craftsmen and tradesmen

As regards the Solidarity Fund, no official text has been published to date. We will therefore simply remind you of the announcements made:
 

  • Emmanuel Macron's promise to unblock "a solidarity fund" for craftsmen and small traders would be matched by the State, with the participation of the Regions.
  • Bruno Le Maire announced, on 15/03/2020, the release of 1 billion euros for small businesses (with less than 1 million turnover), particularly in the catering, tourism and food sectors. These businesses could receive a lump sum of 1,500 euros. To be eligible, they will have to have remained open and show a loss of 70% between March 2019 and March 2020, linked to the epidemic. Supplements may be allocated on a case-by-case basis.

As soon as the official texts are published, we will specify the modalities to come.

5 ) Professional loan

We advise you to get in touch with your bank in order to suspend current loans for a period of 6 months.
Further information will be provided in the coming days.

If you have any questions to ask us, please send them by email directly to your usual contact person in our office.

The French Business Advice team

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Tuesday, March 17th: VAT customers and news about short-time working

Dear Customers,

In view of the current situation, we must support you through this difficult period. This is why we will try in the coming days to give you the best possible information and advice.

> VAT of February 2020 to be declared and paid in March 2020:

Today, we want to address the urgent need to safeguard your cash flow as well as possible. As every month, you have mandated us to declare and pay your company's VAT online. If you wish to cancel the VAT payment for February, there are several scenarios depending on the date on which your company must declare the VAT: 

  • For companies that have to declare from the 16th to the 19th of the month: the declaration has been made by our services => only one solution: the bank opposition to the levying of VAT.
  • For companies that have to declare from the 21st to the 24th of the month: the declaration has been made or has not yet been made by our services => our services can still modify the payment to be made by entering the desired amount (either partial payment or no payment at all).

To simplify matters, we ask you to contact as soon as possible the person in charge of your file by sending him/her an email expressing your wishes concerning the payment of your company's VAT. Our team will then be able to react accordingly and comply with your instructions as best as possible.

> Partial unemployment:

The Ministry of Labour, via a press release dated March 16, 2020, provides us with details on the partial activity scheme.

As you may have noticed, the website of the DIRECTTE (https://activitepartielle.emploi.gouv.fr/aparts/), the platform for declaring partial activity has been experiencing some difficulties since yesterday. The server of the Service and Payment Agency (ASP) accessible to employers to proceed with their request for partial activity is facing an exceptional influx which leads to make the site inaccessible to many companies.

In order not to penalize businesses, the Ministry of Labour has decided to give businesses a 30-day period to file their request, with retroactive effect.

Regarding compensation paid to employees, the Ministry of Labor's press release states that a decree will be issued in the next few days to reform the partial activity scheme, in order to cover 100% of the compensation paid to employees by companies, up to a maximum of 4.5 SMIC.

However, in view of the situation and the means deployed by the government, the advice of your chartered accountant is to preserve your cash flow by deferring taxes and social charges to maintain a normal relationship with your suppliers and customers. Indeed, your customers and suppliers are companies like you and will also have cash flow problems if normal payment relationships are not respected.

The Augefi team remains at your side during this complex period and wishes you good luck!

If you have any questions to ask us, please send them by email directly to your usual contact person in our office, and not in return for this email.

The French Business Advice team

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Monday, March 16th: Request for work stoppage for childcare or for partial unemployment

Dear Customers,

In order to help you through this difficult period, we have prepared two tutorials (in French):
 

These tutorials are proposed to you so that you can go faster in your requests, our teams are currently very busy, and their passage tomorrow in telework may potentially reduce their speed initially. This is why we have chosen to give you the keys to these different procedures.

If, despite these tutorials, you would like Augefi to take over the management of these procedures, they will be invoiced as follows:

> Concerning the preparation of the application for partial unemployment:

  • From 1 employee to 9 employees: 150 € excl. VAT
  • From 10 employees to 19 employees: €250 excl. VAT
  • From 20 employees to 29 employees: €350 excl. VAT
  • More than 30 employees: 500 € excl. VAT

> Concerning the monthly follow-up of the unemployed hours of the application for short-time working:

  • 10€ excl. VAT per employee per month

> Concerning applications for work stoppage for childcare:

  • 20€ excl. VAT per employee and per month

In addition, we ask all companies who would like to extend their February payroll tax (social contributions to pay) due date to contact their usual payroll manager by email before Thursday 19 March at 12.00.

We remain at your disposal and ask you to contact your usual collaborators for any questions.

We look forward to hearing from you,

The French Business Advice team