Fashion, crafts, cakes, homemade creations … Small businesses are becoming more and more thanks to the spotlight they enjoy on social networks, especially on TikTok and Instagram. However, many activities quickly collapse due to non-compliance with the law. To avoid making a mistake, here are the 7 basic things you need to know before starting your small business.
1 – Small businesses, the definition
Small business is a small activity in the sense that it generates one
“small” turnover, generally around a few tens or hundreds of euros a month. It can be a complementary activity or the pursuit of a passion that has become financial. It can also be an activity in the start-up or test phase before a major investment to cover a larger market. Here is an interesting video that explains the creation of a small business.
2 – Why declare a small business
Many passionate creators have had the rug pulled out from under them, condemned by buyers for not respecting the rules associated with distance selling, especially in terms of right of withdrawal and delivery time.
The risk is great! Gold, failure to declare an economic activity and / or non-compliance with trade rules constitute violations of the Trade Act and the Consumer Act, resulting in high sanctions (fines, payment of black VAT, prohibition of setting up a business).
At the same time, formalizing your activity under self-employment allows you to:
Benefit from simplified administrative and accounting formalities
To pay social security contributions only in the event of an effective sale
With such facilities and given the risk involved, do not hesitate to declare a small business.
3 – Declare your activity to become a business
Many people start a small business without thinking of themselves as entrepreneurs. And still! Selling items on a recurring basis, whether new or used, handmade or resold as they are, constitutes a commercial approach. The law requires that this activity and the consequent turnover be officially declared.just like any business that offers paid products or services.
Specifically, repeat sales is the key criterion for knowing whether or not to declare your activity. The concept of profit also comes into play. In any case, once the small business is envisioned in order to sell with regular communication on social networks, it is recommended that you continue with the activity statement.
4 – How to declare your activity
The actual creation of the activity must be carried out with a consular organization (Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Crafts or URSSAF depending on the type of activity envisaged).
Per definition, setting up a small business requires little investment for the entrepreneurand to declare the activity under self-employment is then appropriate (this claim needs to be validated on a case-by-case basis through the preparation of a preliminary income statement).
5 – Invoicing and accounting rules
Every sale must be the subject of an invoice published in duplicate, one of which is for the customer and the other must be kept by you for 10 years (Article L123-22 of the Commercial Code). Moreover, An invoice is an official commercial document that will contain a number of mandatory information (to see service-public.fr Where ekonom.gouv.fr).
Finally, you must comply with social, tax and accounting obligations in connection with your company’s legal status and scheme (self-employed, business or sole proprietorship under ordinary law).
6 – Distance selling, cancellation and delivery period
As a seller, you must comply with the rules of distance selling, especially the buyer’s right of withdrawal and delivery times. These rules are always mentioned in the general terms and conditions of sale: document made available to the potential buyer before purchase.
In short, the buyer’s right of withdrawal is 14 days for distance selling (to see service-public.fr). Thereafter, Article L216-1 of the Consumer Law provides that the delivery time for distance selling is freely determined by the seller. If not specified, it is 30 days. A delay in delivery can in many circumstances lead to the seller getting a refund from the buyer, even if the delay is due to the carrier (see ekonom.gouv.fr).
7 – Sectoral regulations
Each activity belongs to a sector with its specific standards and rules. An entrepreneur who wants to start a small business is not exempt from these standards. Learn more about your obligations from the consular organization responsible for your activity (Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Commerce or Urssaf).
For example, the food sectors require training in hygiene and safety (food safety, cold chain); Cosmetics companies are heavily regulated with tests to be performed on the products and expert validations to be obtained before they are put up for sale.
Fans are used to negotiating and managing their sales via private message on social networks, especially by requesting payment via a money transfer application (like Lydia, for example).
This practice is completely illegal in the case of declared professional activity. The entrepreneur who runs a small business needs to open a dedicated bank account (professional account for a company or business under general law – separate account for a self-employed person).
Payment must be made directly to this account by check or cash receipt, transfer or payment by credit card via an e-commerce site. In addition, the seller must send an invoice to the customer at the end of the purchase.
The ideal is therefore only to use social networks to communicate and, in parallel, a website to sell, which can be yours or a marketplace-type middle ground, such as Etsy, this famous platform specializing in the sale of “handmade” items.