The expertise of Houdart A&C as a chartered accountant and statutory auditor for landscaper designers
With a strong and extensive experience gained from many years of supporting landscaping businesses of various sizes, we offer specialized assistance that takes into account the specificities of your business sector.
This experience has given us a sound understanding of the challenges faced by landscape companies in terms of management and accounting techniques, as well as tax and social security issues.
As a chartered accountant for landscaping businesses, Houdart A&C provides guidance for an effective personnel management, keeps you up to date with contributions related to MSA or the general social security system, anticipates your needs, and keep you regularly informed of changes in social and tax regulations to implement appropriate solutions. Our mission is to support you in the following areas:
- Establishing or taking over a landscaping company,
- Monitoring or reviewing the accounting of your landscaping company and handling periodic and recurring tax declarations,
- Providing the managers with the expected advice regarding management decisions,
- Assisting shareholders in the assessment and potential sale of their landscaping company.
In our role as statutory auditors, the personal involvement of our partners enables us to build a relationship of trust, while respecting the professional standards that govern our work. Beyond the audit of financial statements that forms the basis of our opinion, we conduct regular reviews of your various management processes, and based on those reviews, we provide recommendations.
Within our firm, both the employees and the partners, who are experts in accounting and statutory auditing, are available, attentive to their clients, and committed to providing a high level of responsiveness.
Characteristics of landscaping businesses
Landscape gardening, a name that encompasses activities of various natures
A landscaping company works with individuals and professionals, including public and private entities, to renovate or create green spaces. The landscaping profession is governed by different social regimes depending on the predominant main activity.
Although no specific diploma is required to set up and run a landscape gardening business, the practice of this activity may be regulated, particularly when phytopharmaceutical or biocidal products are used,, which require specific certifications.
In the case of activities unrelated to the plant production cycle (such as design, urban architecture consulting, park and garden creation, landscape architecture, etc.), it falls under the category of liberal professions.
If the activities mainly involve the maintenance of green spaces (gardening, watering, pruning, etc.) and/or small construction works for landscaping, masonry, earthwork (e.g., building low walls, ponds, watering installations, etc.), the activity is considered commercial and falls under the Trade and Companies Register.
Lastly, for companies where plant production is predominant in their activities, they fall under the jurisdiction of the Chamber of Agriculture, as their activity is considered agricultural..
Houdart A&C’s experience as chartered accountants and statutory auditors for landscaping companies guarantees you a precise analysis of your operating statement.
The tax, social, and operating methods for landscaping businesses
The fiscal regime of the landscaping company
When the activity is predominantly commercial and operated as a sole proprietorship, the landscaping company is generally subject to the BIC (Industrial and Commercial Profits Tax) fiscal regime. The company can be taxed under the actual regime or the micro regime if the thresholds are not exceeded.
In a sole proprietorship, the company and the entrepreneur are one and the same person. However, like any commercial activity, landscaping can also be carried out as a company.
In this case, the structure takes on the legal form of a commercial company. In this case, it is taxed under the BIC system, but may be subject to income tax or corporation tax, depending on the corporate form adopted and the shareholder structure.
If the landscaping activity is predominantly agricultural, the business will be run through a farming company or other corporate form compatible with this type of activity (GAEC, EARL, SCEA). Farming does not qualify for auto-entrepreneur or micro-entrepreneur status.
The social regime for entrepreneurs
In principle, any work related to plants, such as pruning, green space maintenance, gardening, and others, falls under the MSA (Social Security for Agricultural Workers). This organization is not compatible with the self-employed regime.
If the predominant activity is the commercialization of plants, without being produced by the company itself, then the company falls under the general social security regime.
Therefore, in principle, it is not possible to operate a landscaping business as a micro-enterprise or auto-entrepreneur since these statuses do not exist within the MSA regime.
However, if the individual business activity consists of providing services to individuals such as cleaning, DIY (do-it-yourself), etc., along with gardening services, without being predominant, it is possible to operate as a micro-enterprise.
Landscape gardening, companies eligible for personal services
Some tasks related to the landscaping activity are eligible as personal services and can be remunerated through the CESU (Universal Employment Service Voucher), giving the beneficiary a tax credit of up to 50% of the amounts paid.
Their scope is defined by the law n° 2005-841 of July 26, 2005, and specified by the decree n° 2005-1698 of December 29, 2005. The works covered by this regime are characterized as regular maintenance of private gardens and vegetable gardens for individuals: awn mowing, brush cutting, flower bed maintenance, manual plant watering (excluding sprinkler maintenance and drip irrigation), leaf raking, etc.
The activity of a landscaper is not subject to the requirement of prior approval for the provision of personal services eligible for the tax credit. It is a simple declarative process.
However, the company (whether an individual or a commercial entity) must exclusively dedicate itself to the practice of one or more of the personal services activities as provided for in article D. 7231-1 of the Labor Code to benefit from the tax advantages related to personal services.
As a result, landscapers working with private individuals, companies and municipalities generally create two structures, so that the structure working with private individuals can generate the tax benefits related to personal services applicable to the beneficiaries.
The particularities of the landscaping activity in terms of VAT
Two VAT rates may apply to landscaping services: the standard VAT rate of 20% and the reduced VAT rate of 10%.
In general, the reduced VAT rate applies to work related to the main entrance of a dwelling, work on fences, and terraces. However, the reduced rate only applies if the dwelling is more than two years old.
For example, operations that involve modifying the ground level, such as creating parks and gardens, laying turf, and planting when creating a garden or sports field, as well as trench digging for planting, are invoiced at the standard VAT rate of 20%.
On the other hand, work related to a veranda, loggia, or balcony in a residence completed more than two years ago, which does not result in an increase in available living space (such as refurbishing the flooring or replacing existing closures), falls under the 10% VAT rate.
A precise analysis of the services provided by an expert accountant with sufficient knowledge of the landscaping sector is necessary for the correct application of the relevant taxation.
A precise analysis of the services provided by an expert accountant with sufficient knowledge of the landscaping sector is necessary for the correct application of the relevant taxation..
Frequently asked questions about landscaping companies
What is the applicable VAT rate and regime for landscaping services ?
In principle, the VAT rate of 20% applies to landscaping and maintenance works. However, certain specifically determined works may be eligible for the reduced VAT rate. These include, for example, services such as felling, cutting, and pruning, which are necessary after tree falls and affect residential premises, usual outbuildings, or access roads to the dwelling..
Works affecting certain parts of your property such as the main driveway, main border, boundary wall, or vegetation are also included in the reduced VAT rate provided that the house has been completed for more than 2 years.
Can a landscaping company offer its clients the tax benefits of personal services ?
Day-today maintenance work on gardens and vegetable gardens for individuals is eligible for personal services that can be remunerated by CESU and can grant the beneficiary a tax credit of up to 50% of the amounts paid. However, the company (individual or in the form of a commercial entity) must be dedicated exclusively to one or more personal services activities..
Landscaping companies working for individuals, as well as for companies and local authorities, must therefore create two structures so that private clients can benefit from these tax advantages.
What is the applicable collective agreement for a landscaping company’s activity?
The national collective agreement for landscaping companies of October 10, 2008 (No. 7018) was extended by decree published in the Official Journal on March 25, 2094. It came into effect from that date and has been modified several times by amendments since.
This collective agreement aims to establish the general working conditions and the resulting relationships between employers of landscaping companies and their employees.
Why should you use an accounting or auditing firm specialized in landscaping activities ?
Beyond the regular monitoring of your accounting, taxation, preparation of annual accounts, and tax returns related to your landscaping activity, whether as a company or as an individual enterprise, and regardless of the size of your structure, an accounting firm specializing in landscaping can guarantee you high-quality and expert advice derived from their experience and expertise.
A statutory auditor who understands the challenges faced by landscaping companies in terms of taxation, social aspects, and accounting can provide you with a constructive approach and recommendations that add value to your financial teams.