Camping

Some also like to make some extra money in France, by renting out a (part of the) house as a guest house (gîte, chambre d’hôte). Registration with the Chamber of Commerce is not necessary. However, the local tax authorities must know that a non-commercial company is run (activité non-commerciale). A camping (à la ferme) up to 6 places can usually be operated without extensive permits and the same applies to chambres d’hôte up to 5 rooms. A diploma is not required and for the administrative / tax sides a simplified regime is possible within such an individual. When you rent 5 or more rooms or gîtes, you fall under another scheme and you are considered to be working in the catering industry.

A simplified regime means a micro-entreprise, a small company with a turnover of less than approximately € 84,000 that is exempt from the calculation of VAT in the first year. For later years, this exemption applies from keeping an administration of sales tax to a turnover of € 76,300 (trading companies). VAT-free conversion of small service providers may be € 30,500 in the first year and € 27,000 in later years. These micro-entreprises are not companies, but activities that are tax-friendly. No TVA needs to be calculated and the TVA on purchased materials can not be deducted. Micro-entreprises only pay taxes after deduction of a substantial percentage of turnover: 72% for traders and 52% for service providers. What then remains is taxed. The administration can be simple, just a book with the sales in it. The ‘company’ must be registered with the tax authorities and the chamber of commerce. One must realize, however, that the universally hated URSSAF, the inner of social charges and pension contributions, also extends its grip to the small entrepreneurs. The bottom line is that you have to pay a fixed amount in the first year of your activity, a kind of provisional assessment. In the second year of the activities there will be something added and in the third year you will be settled and settled with your final payment. The premiums are roughly translated: for child allowance (although you do not have children) 5.4% and for social security 8%. In addition, some small levers. But then we are not there yet: you are also obligated in the health insurance fund and you will therefore have to pay a premium to the health insurance fund (can be much cheaper than a private insurance – the partner is automatically co-insured). There is also a compulsory pension insurance policy.

In some regions that want to promote tourism, there are limited opportunities to receive a subsidy when setting up a gîte rural, often in collaboration with the large rental organization Gîtes de France. About this institution sometimes shuddering stories circulate about strangely contract-like agreements where the landlord must at all times keep his hut available for unexpected guests and even has no freedom to rent out to family or friends. Many Dutch people also rent out without an organization and put their house on the internet. The largest website in this area is that of gites.nl followed by Bonjour. Important subsidizers for the renovation of a beautifully situated house to a gîte can be the tourism departments of the department (direction du tourisme général), the region and European development funds. In order to win such unrivaled financial support, the gîte or the chambre d’hôte must be affiliated to a recognized rental agency: the aforementioned Gîtes de France, Clévacances, Fleurs de Soleil or Accueil paysan. The implementation of the subsidy scheme differs per department or region, so one has to take the time to find out a few things. And also take into account that the officials strictly adhere to the rules; it is rather bureaucratic. Finally, there are tax benefits to be gained in rural areas that are being developed. Owners of houses purchased for tourism, made suitable, extended, converted and the like can enjoy nice tax exemptions: 25% for investments in new buildings and 20% for renovations and improvements to an existing home.

As owner of a gîte or chambre d’hôte, something about the insurance must also be arranged. In most cases, the WA of ordinary insurance on home and household contents is sufficient, the assurance multirisque. If after consulting your insurance agent WA (responsabilité civile) is not sufficient, for example in case of flooding or other natural discomfort, a supplementary insurance may be required. In any case, it is wise to inform the insurance agent that a part of the house or another building on your land is rented out in the summer. In the rental contract it can be reported how the insurance in the event of fire or flooding is arranged: or not at all or (partially) via the insurance of the lessor. Detailed information about this not insignificant but often ‘forgotten’ topic can be found on the website of the information center of the French insurers (Center for documentation and information assurance in Paris).

It has been hard work for those many Dutch people who have started a campsite. You have to earn a living in a few months and the maintenance and the care of the campsite require time and money. A camping à la ferme does not require a permit, but must be reported to the municipality. The maximum number of (simple) places is 6 and there are few requirements. The next form is the aire naturelle (camping rural) with a maximum of 25 places and a simple level of facilities, but for this the permit circus must be started as a result of all kinds of conditions.