The Commercial Code has an entire section on business accounting.
All businesses in France that are registered on the Trade and Company Register (RCS) must keep accounts. These can be managed by either the business owners or a certified accountant.
An invoice must include:
- compulsory legal wording;
- identity, address and intracommunity number of the seller;
- invoice number;
- date the invoice is issued;
- identity and value added tax (VAT) identification number of the buyer;
- sale date;
- description of the products and quantities;
- unit price excluding VAT;
- VAT rate applicable;
- amounts due;
- price reductions for products concerned;
- due date of payment.
If the business owner is a member of an approved management centre, the following wording must appear on the invoice: "Member of an approved association, payment by cheque of amounts due is accepted" (Membre d'une association agréée, le règlement des honoraires par chèque est accepté ).
For a micro enterprise, the following must be mentioned: "VAT not applicable, article 293 B of the CGI" (TVA non applicable, article 293 B du CGI ).
Finally, for intracommunity deliveries, the following must appear: "VAT exempt, article 262 ter I of the CGI" (Exonération de TVA, article 262 ter I du CGI ).
Storage and submission of documents
The following accounting records must be kept by business owners:
- accounting ledgers and records (to be kept for 10 years from the closing of the ledger or record);
- supporting documentation: purchase orders, delivery or receipt orders, invoices, etc. (to be kept for ten years from the end of the accounting period).
Through the enterprise platform, France's certifying body for accountants offers online tools for managing business accounting. It also has a directory of certified accountants.
The French Business Start-up Agency (APCE) portal has an online bidding service for certified accountants