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Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Old May 6th 2019, 12:49 pm
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Default Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Hi All,

With all the latest troubles of the British rat race, I am looking at moving to France - (Limousin or surrounding areas). I've been out to this region and the Charante- Maritime a few times for work purpose. (I sell the old citroen Van's in the UK).

I'm 31 and would continue the van export and also look to set a leisure based business up (gite or glamping).

Can anyone point me in the right direction of the do's don'ts and watch out fors.

Gavin
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Old May 6th 2019, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Be sure to read through the discussions linked from https://britishexpats.com/forum/fran...e-faqs-866999/ Those will get you going in the right direction.

Others will be along soon with more insights. If they know a little more about your situation, you will get better advice:

- Do you plan to buy a property or rent?
- Do you have a partner, children, or family that will be moving with you?
- Why France? What puts you off moving to other areas in the UK – where the move would be considerably easier?
- Do you speak French?
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Old May 6th 2019, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Hiya!

It's a plan to buy a property.

I have a partner, who has a child, we are not married.

France, because it is a steady pace of life, its beautiful, and we are fed up of how the UK is going, stabbings and crime rateings are raising weekly.

We could buy in the UK, howeverhowevhas out priced itself, and we'd get more for our money in France.

I speak some, but little French.

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Old May 6th 2019, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Originally Posted by gavbab View Post
Hiya!

It's a plan to buy a property.

I have a partner, who has a child, we are not married.

France, because it is a steady pace of life, its beautiful, and we are fed up of how the UK is going, stabbings and crime rateings are raising weekly.

We could buy in the UK, howeverhowevhas out priced itself, and we'd get more for our money in France.

I speak some, but little French.
Hi
Welcome to the forum
First of all, France is not partner friendly. You should consider getting married or at least PACS'd (partnership).
Second, you would need to set up a french business structure for your exports. Again France is not small business friendly.
Third, you would need a separate business structure for running a gite.
This could work for you if you register the export business and your partner registers the gite business giving you both access to health cover.
Social charges (recently increased) for businesses are higher than in the UK and depending on the business structures chosen, you would have to increase your profits to maintain your UK income and cover the social charges.
You would need to have private health insurance initially and once you are in the French healthcare system you would need (very strongly recommended) a Mutuelle health insurance to cover the 30% that the French NHS doesn't cover.
France is not free of crime. I have a friend who has a 2nd home in the South of France and he recently had a break-in.
The French housing market is not like the UK market. You are unlikely to make a profit on the property - even after a longish period - unless you are in one of the few hot-spots.
Yes you can get more for your money in France but that is often because the demand can be low with houses taking 2 years + to sell.
I suggest that after you read the FAQ's as suggested and that you rent somewhere initially to find the correct location and to see if the lifestyle is as good as you think it is.
The french people I speak with are angry and complaining about the increased cost of living without the income increases to compensate.
TBH if you have a successful business in the UK then consider staying in the UK.
Your proposed move could be the best thing that you could do OR the biggest and costliest mistake you will ever make in your life.
HTH
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Old May 6th 2019, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Thanks for that info Cyrian!

The Van export, I'd keep as a UK import structure. as we deal direct to the French public as the vans are old (1960/1970s) and pay tax on sales in the UK.

I'll certainly look I to French business structure for the gite/ log cabins by the lake style company.

The cost of living is also increasing in the UK, and like the French the income is static and doesn't compensate the rise in living costs.

I certainly agree the best or worse thing is moving to France.

However, the property prices back home are shocking! I understand the French market is a slow and none-profitable one. I looked into PACS'd, it is potentially the way forward and issuing all with a notaire on any property buy.
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Old May 6th 2019, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Hi
You can't just operate a UK company and live and work (telephone, internet etc) in France.
You either have to set up a french business structure or make arrangements for your UK company to employee you as an overseas worker.
If you are not a company but a sole trader then this option may not be available.
As a UK non-resident, you should advise HMRC accordingly and pay your tax in France.
In any case, you would need to complete a french tax return and declare any income and tax paid to the french tax authorities.
The UK - France double taxation treaty means that you will not pay tax twice but they may impose social charges on your total income.
Taxation in France is per household and not per individual therefore any gite income will be added to your current business income.
You need to take proper advice from an accountant who is competent in both UK and French tax systems.
Your current accountant is unlikely to be qualified to advise on your proposed circumstances.
In addition, we don't know if post-Brexit the current arrangements for cross border workers will exist in the future.
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Old May 6th 2019, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Originally Posted by gavbab View Post
The Van export, I'd keep as a UK import structure. as we deal direct to the French public as the vans are old (1960/1970s) and pay tax on sales in the UK.
I think you'll find this is not an option. If you live and work in France then basically you are obliged to carry out all your business activities through a French business structure and pay tax and cotisations on all your earned income in France. The deciding factor is where your bum is when you carry out the business activity. Where your customers are is not relevant. If you keep an office in the UK and commute back there on a weekly basis you would be classed as a cross border worker (ie your family home is in one EU state but you work in another EU state), you would continue to pay tax and NICs in the UK and you would arrange with HMRC/DWP to cover your healthcare in France (this may change after Brexit). But if you did that, you couldn't also set up a business in France as a French resident as this would invalidate the arrangement.
You can keep UK Ltd Co. business structure if you wish, but you would also have to set up a business structure in France and work out some kind of client/supplier relationship between the two. If you do that, corporate tax for the UK would be due in the UK, and you personally would pay tax and cotisations in France on whatever money you actually take from the company as income. Doing it this way makes it more complicated, it's hard though not impssible to turn it to your advantage and it potentially adds an extra layer of tax.
The other option as Cyrian says is for your UK company to employ you as a French based employee, but this is an expensive route to take because of the high social taxes your company would have to pay.

I'm sorry but it always sets the alarm bells off for me when people cite "more property for your money" and "steady pace of life" as their main reasons for wanting to move to France. It's true that in rural France property is cheap and the mindset and priorities are different; and a lot of France is rural whereas a lot of the UK is urban, so there's a tendency to think you're comparing France with the UK when in reality, you're comparing rural with urban. Limousin is an impoverished and very depopulated region, so the best comparison would maybe be to compare it for instance with a remote part of rural Wales, where you would also find cheaper property and a slower pace of life and beautiful scenery. But the English tend not to want to move to rural Wales because they perceive it as a poor area, and yet they want to move to Limousin. Va comprendre. Of course it's possible to build a good life in Limousin but I think it needs to be based on something more than lots of land and the perceived pace of life, I think you need to have a robust reason for living in France as opposed to moving there to escape things you don't like about the UK. France has problems like any country does, I'm sure you've read about the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) and you know that they're protesting about high taxation, the rising cost of living and how difficult it is for the average family to maintain a decent standard of living.

But you were asking for do's and don'ts, not general ramblings; so - Do fully research what's involved in running a business in France, and especially with Brexit on the horizon you need to be sure you are all in order, because when you come to apply for your cartes de séjour your income and your business paperwork will be scrutinised. Do carefully weigh up the advantages you would be leaving behind in leaving the UK - don't underestimate the value of "free" NHS healthcare, low NICs, virtually no regulations or restrictions on how you earn your money, and a familiar system that you know how to navigate and exploit and there is no language barrier. Also, look into French inheritance law; if as your post seems to suggest your partner's child is unrelated to you, that could potentially create a problem in the future because anything inherited outside the bloodline is subject to 60% inheritance tax. Marrying your partner won't make you the child's father if your name isn't on the birth certificate. So you might want to look at adoption.

Last edited by EuroTrash; May 6th 2019 at 5:59 pm.
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Old May 6th 2019, 10:57 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Some interesting comments above. Those that caught my eye being:
Moving to France due to troubles with the British rat-race, and ET's "Alarm bells set off for me when people cite "more property for your money" and "steady pace of life" as their main reasons for wanting to move to France." The latter I certainly agree with as they set off my alarm bells too.

I have family still living in Britain (Somerset and Devon). They are middle-class people who adore France, having travelled here many times, and have even considered making a permanent move here. What keeps them in their current location is that they adore the region, their friends, the pubs, the social life, and many benefits they would miss if they were to leave the UK system. They see and appreciate there are difficulties, and have experienced some, but have never been under the impression of being in a rat-race. If there is one it's a very open race.
Imho over the last 10 years, so many will tell you that life's become a rat-race here too, with the added draw-back that the rats appear to be getting ahead.
Just this week the CEO of a major corporation here and six others of his staff are on trial following a wave of employee suicides - 30 suicides over a 3 year period. They are accused of psychological harassement in the workplace. And I've lost count of the number of suicides of the police and other law-enforcement personnel since 2018 to date. To say they are overworked would be an understatement, especially since Oct 2018.
These are extremely difficult times here, both socially and economically. The education system is failing, hospital staffing has become critical, and these are just for starters. Those who think otherwise are either still wearing rose-coloured glasses, or drinking out of them.
Strikes and manifestations (many justified) have become a national pastime. Pick your dates carefully before visiting or thinking of moving to France. HERE's the latest calendar, & HERE

Last edited by Tweedpipe; May 6th 2019 at 11:08 pm.
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Old May 7th 2019, 7:50 am
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Hi Gavbab, the above replies are not what you want to hear, but you must take ALL aspects on board and research throughly, before making the final decision.
From the frying pan into the fire springs to mind from your reasons for wanting to move here, you only have to follow the French news to see that France isn't a bed of roses.
One positive aspect would be that your partner's child would go to Maternelle, make friends and speak French in no time.... Meanwhile, not being legally bound to you, she would have to comply separately with the financial and healthcare conditions required for residency. Does she speak French?
Hope this is giving food for thought!
As I'm wont to say, fore-warned is fore-armed!
P.S. If you aren't your partner's child's father, then she would have to get permission from the biological father to move their child to another country.

Last edited by dmu; May 7th 2019 at 8:00 am.
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Old May 7th 2019, 7:54 am
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post

Strikes and manifestations (many justified) have become a national pastime. Pick your dates carefully before visiting or thinking of moving to France. HERE's the latest calendar, & HERE
Thanks for that! I didn't know that the Fonctionnaires were on strike the day after a Public Holiday. I'm flying on the 14th, and presume that the pilots' strike only affects AirFrance?
Can these links go into the FAQs Sticky?
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Old May 7th 2019, 9:51 am
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Having lived in the Limousin for twelve years, I can thoroughly recommend it. It suits me fine, tranquil, quiet, little traffic (even in the summer it's not too bad). Very rural, wooded and hilly (around here, anyway), plenty of wildlife, and a slow pace of life. If isolation is your desire (as it is mine), this is ideal.
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Old May 7th 2019, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Limousin and the surrounding areas are lovely but they can be very isolated, bitterly cold and very quiet (some would say boring) in the winter. Some people love it and others hate it. Many of the villages are literally dying, a problem throughout France and one of the reasons for low house prices. Remember also that much of rural France is very seasonal with many holiday businesses only operating for a few weeks each year. I doubt that you would get the level of occupancy that you are hoping for in a gite or glamping business unless you are prepared to spend a great deal of money on it.
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Old May 7th 2019, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Looking at moving to France (Limousin or surrounding)

Originally Posted by dmu View Post
Thanks for that! I didn't know that the Fonctionnaires were on strike the day after a Public Holiday. I'm flying on the 14th, and presume that the pilots' strike only affects AirFrance?
Can these links go into the FAQs Sticky?
Have just added it to the FAQs. Thanks once again.
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