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All ecommerce sellers know that expanding their business to other countries is one of the most important steps to securing the future of their business. With the implementation of the new EU VAT Ecommerce Package a matter of hours away, it seems a great time to take a look at VAT registration in Europe. One of the best countries to expand your business into is France. France is the third biggest ecommerce in Europe and should be a consideration for any ecommerce seller looking to expand their business. So, without further ado, here’s our guide to French VAT registration. You can also find our VAT registration guide for Germany here.

Why Register For VAT In France?

With an ecommerce market worth over €150 billion and 70% of the population having access to the internet, France is definitely an enticing place for ecommerce sellers. The market is only getting more and lucrative, as evidenced by the fact that the average spending of online customers in France rose from €1500 in 2015 to €2600 in 2019.

There are other factors which also make France an attractive location. One thing to consider is its geographical location. As it is adjacent to Germany, Italy and Spain, it would be reasonably easy to sell goods stored in France to any of these countries. Furthermore, the French tax authorities have recently announced that it will be offering a VAT deferral scheme to merchants who are VAT registered in France.

When Do You Have To Register For VAT In France?

The rules regarding when you have to register for VAT in France are very similar to the rules adopted by most of the European countries. If you are based outside of France, you will have to register for VAT if you hold stock in the country, provide services related to a property in France (accommodation, office space etc.), ship goods from France and, as of the 1st of July, if you are based outside of the EU and make any sales to French consumers.

If you are based inside the EU you will not have to register for VAT in France until your sales exceed the threshold of €10,000. There are other situations where you may be required to register for VAT in France. If you are unsure about whether this obligation applies to you, please use the enquiry form on the right of your screen (or under this article if you are reading it on mobile) to receive a free consultation on the topic.

How To Register For VAT In France?

You will be required to provide certain information typical of any tax registration, such as your full name and address, the address of your business and all your business’ relevant information. In terms of documentation, you will need your VAT certificate, your Articles of Association and an extract from your company’s national trade register.

All applications and correspondence must be conducted in French. These applications must be submitted to the Service des Impôts des Entreprises. For EU based merchants, you will have up to 2 months to become VAT registered in France. This deadline is shortened to a month for non-EU merchants.

Do You Need To Appoint A French Tax Representative?

If you are based in the EU you will not need to appoint a tax representative to register for VAT in France. If you are based outside of the EU you will have to appoint a tax representative except if your country residence is one of the lucky few who have signed an administrative assistance agreement with France. You can find the list of exempted countries here. If you are based in the UK, you will not need to appoint a tax representative following Brexit.

Conclusion

Evidently, VAT registration is an unavoidable step when it comes to expanding your business. This is especially true with the introduction of the OSS and IOSS service. Whilst it can be a stressful process, we are here to complete the process for you.

Our long history of working with ecommerce sellers, especially those who use Amazon and eBay, means we can guide you through every step of the registration process – so please do not hesitate to send us an e-mail at enquiries@jpaccountant.com or contact us through social media to receive a quote today.  In addition, we would be more than happy to help you register for UK & EU VAT and file your UK & EU VAT returns, and help you comply with VAT in case your account faces any issues.