RELYING on just the income from a gîte can be a risky proposition, so people will often look at other options to ensure the money keeps flowing.
Here Tony Scott outlines the steps he took to register to sell fishing tackle at markets in the Haute-Vienne region.
Our experience, I have to say, is based on the various rules and regulations pertaining to département 87, they may well be slightly different where you are.
Currently the authorities are looking out for Brits and others working on "the black", so I think you would be well advised to check these rules with your local Chambre de Commerce (CdC) as to whether you will have to register the venture or not.
For our venture we had registered our business as one offering a gîte and internet sales, this cost us €75 and allowed us to look at selling items at markets (see Quick guide to business registration in France).
Other market traders we met had registered with the CdC for market sales alone. Registration essentially entails a chat with the CdC before setting up, to establish the various papers that they require.
From memory ours wanted: a rough business idea/plan, a name to register the business under, copies of passports, proof of domicile (EDF bill or the like). Oh, and your cheque book. Sometimes it is possible to just turn up and register, rather than make an appointment.
Registration takes about 15 minutes and your details are fed in to a computer and you provide two cheques for payment to the various governing bodies which at the time cost around €175. Normally within a week or so, your official documents arrive.
In addition to being registered with the CdC, we also needed third party liability market insurance, which was arranged at our local AXA office and cost just €100 for a year.
We also had to approach our local prefecture to apply for a market trader identification card (Carte permettant l'exercice d'activities non sedentaires). This is free but you need to provide passport details, proof of domicile, business registration certificate and a photograph of yourself. Your card will arrive around ten days later.
For our local market we made a formal application, via the Mairie, to the market operator who wrote back some weeks later asking us to arrive on market day with insurance, registration documents and the ID card.
He found us a space so soon we were up and running and we were charged €1 per linear metre for the stall.
It may be easier for you to opt for selling at a vide grenier or brocante. In our region you can sell at these without the various registration procedures, however I think you are limited as to how many you can attend in any 12-month period. Your local Mairie or CdC should be able to advise on this.
Whatever you do we wish you the very best of luck.
Tony and Sue Scott’s gite Le Petit Verger is situated in the valley of the river Tardoire at Champagnac-La-Riviere, in the Limousin.
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