Whether you’re a baker, hairdresser, florist, or a food store manager, the close relationship you maintain with your customers makes you a key actor in local life. Your passion for your trade as a merchant or artisan and your desire for independence are the driving forces behind your success.

As a true business leader, you also have the responsibility to ensure the smooth running of your business: keep your accounts, control your expenses, monitor your cash-flow, make yourself known and build customer loyalty.

Through our presence by your side, we enable you to fully dedicate yourself to your trade. We accompany you in your development projects and commit to the success of your business by providing advice from an expert chartered accountant knowing perfectly the specificities of merchants and artisans .

The characteristics of  of merchants ans artisans

The sector of merchants and artisans includes various activities related to the marketing of food, decorative, tools, optics, etc. and service provision activities such as electricians, hairdressers, roofers, etc. The retail, arts and crafts sector is undergoing significant changes due to the involvement of young entrepreneurs who are starting business activities as merchants or artisans, combining traditional working methods with digital tools.

Preserving margins, tracking customer receipts, profitability of projects, procurement, and personnel management are the main issues encountered by merchants and artisans. In the retail trade, changes in consumer habits and trends must be anticipated in order to offer products that meet customers’ expectations. The customer experience must be continuously redesigned and conceived in a hybrid way between physical stores and digital channels. In the craft sector, material procurement costs must be controlled, the growing importance of digital matchmaking platforms must be considered, and employees must be adequately trained to maintain the quality of the service provided.

Financial information production tools must allow for sufficiently detailed analysis to understand the composition of the product or service cost, the breakdown between fixed costs and variable charges, and the margin evolution by product type. The establishment of intermediate situations is useful for financial supervision..

Accounting expertise and varied skills at the service of your trade or craft business

Beyond our mission of monitoring your accounting, taxation and the establishment of annual accounts, as a chartered accountant famliar with the particularities of merchants and artisans, we offer you a personalized service. We anticipate your needs and keep you informed of evolutions in social and tax regulations concerning your activity, in order to implement suitable solutions.

We build a relationship of trust with the company manager and his teams, we are a source of recommendations for the continuous improvement of the company’s processes, we accompany them in their digitalization and the implementation of dedicated tools for financial management.

The development of our firm, in terms of accounting and auditing, is based on the technical support of a versatile and regularly trained team, the proximity and availability of partners, chartered accountants and statutory auditors, available and listening to you when you need it.

Tax regimes applicable to merchants and artisans

Merchants and artisans in  individual entreprise


Whether the purpose of the business is manufacturing, trading goods,  or providing services such as construction works on buildings, the merchant or the artisan is deemed to carry out commercial activities. Therefore, they generally fall under the BIC regime, although a detailed analysis of the activity is necessary to determine the appropriate regime, as some activities have been considered to fall under either the BIC or BNC regime by case law.

The tax regime depends on the level of gross annual turnover (turnover actually received), as well as the nature of the activity carried out. In fact, a merchant or artisan may fall under the BIC regime while having an activity that mainly concerns either the provision of services (such an electrician), or selling goods (such a baker).

The entrepreneur providing services who has an annual turnover excluding tax  of less than €72,600 is subject to the special Micro-BIC regime (micro-enterprise or micro BIC).

The entrepreneur carrying out operations of trade in articles, supply of accommodation (bed and breakfast, furnished tourist accommodation), rental of equipment whose annual turnover excluding tax (CAHT) is less than €176,200 is imposed on the special Micro-BIC regime (micro-enterprise or micro BIC).

An entrepreneur engaged in trading goods, providing lodging (bed and breakfast, furnished rentals), or renting equipment with an annual turnover excluding tax of less than €176,200 is subject to the special Micro-BIC regime (micro-enterprise or micro BIC).

The income, without applying any deduction of charge, is directly reported in the appropriate box of his tax return. The entrepreneur will be granted a deduction of 71% of turnover for buying and selling or providing accommodation activities, and 50% of turnover for service activities, as operating expenses, and will be taxed on the residual income based on the progressive income tax scale. It should be noted that this deduction is only for tax purposes and does not apply to social contributions.

Social contributions will be determined at a flat rate of around 12.8% of turnover when the activity involves selling goods or providing accommodation (excluding furnished tourism), and 22% of turnover when the activity involves providing services (including furnished tourism).

Actual  regime  (or non-presumptive (real) tax regime )

The merchant or artisan whose commercial income (revenue, not profit) exceeds the aforementioned thresholds must establish an annual accounting and tax return (form 2031). If the income is lower than these thresholds, the entrepreneur has the right, like any individual business under BIC, to opt for the actual  regime.

This is particularly beneficial when:

  • the professional expenses actually incurred by the merchant to generate his income are higher than the 50% or 71% lump sum deduction of the micro regime,
  • The entrepreneur incurred a deficit, which can only be offset against other business income by subjecting it under the actual regime

Under the actual regime, merchants or artisans are taxed on their actual profits. This therefore requires the keeping of BIC accounting by a chartered  accountant familiar with this type of activity, such as Houdart A&C.

Merchants and artisans in company

If the entrepreneur creates a company subject to corporate tax (IS), the fiscally opaque company will be taxed on its own profits, while the merchant or artisan’s remuneration, deductible from the company’s profits, will then be declared and taxed in the category of salaries and wages in their individual income tax return.

Basic exemption and VAT regimes of your commercial or artisanal business

The thresholds for the micro-BIC scheme mentioned above differ from the VAT exemption thresholds, that is to say the thresholds below which the entrepreneur is not subject to VAT (he does not collect VAT and VAT on the expenses incurred by his activity is not deductible).

Regarding the provision of services, the VAT exemption threshold is €34,400, which can be exceeded during the current year without switching to the simplified real VAT regime as long as it does not exceed €36,500.

Regarding commercial activities, the threshold for VAT exemption is €85,800, which can be exceeded during the current year without switching to the simplified real VAT regime as long as it does not exceed €94,300.

Support of the company and its managers as a chartered accountant of your commercial or artisanal  company

Accounting management

Our mission of keeping or revising accounting for your commercial and artisanal business primarily involves support aimed at:

  • creating or taking over a commercial or artisanal business,
  • securing your margins through regular and precise accounting monitoring,
  • analyzing your performance by implementing cost accounting if necessary,
  • optimizing your financial resources, especially your external financing.

To ensure the reliability of established financial information, we help you establish an effective internal control as well as the tools adapted to monitoring margin by nature of products.

Tax management

We take care of establishing recurring and ad hoc tax declarations. We study your eligibility for tax credits that may apply to your commercial or artisanal enterprise. We accompany you during tax inspections  and provide you with an overview of the tax legislation and its evolutions during the various Finance Laws.

Social management

On the social level, Houdart A&C has a extensive knowledge of most of the collective agreements applicable to the commercial and artisanal activities, due to the diversity of the companies composing its clientele.

We handle payroll for employees of our clients in this sector, assist with URSSAF controls, establish DSN reports, and can manage salary transfers for employees.

We handle the affiliation to the competent provident organizations according to the branch of activity of your company..

We provide advice in the event of a dispute with one or more employees and can refer you to a lawyer for labor litigation if necessary

Legal Assistance

Our legal department offers you assistance in the current and extraordinary legal missions of a company’s life. We are also available to provide any advice that, as a merchant or artisan, you may need in the conduct of your business.

Our legal mission includes annual legal secretariat, drafting of certain acts, drafting of the minutes of ordinary and extraordinary general meetings, convocations, statutory modifications (transfer of the company’s registered office, company name…), formalities with the clerk’s office of the competent commercial court, etc.

Finally, we assist you in carrying out operations such as contributions, transformations, mergers, and demerger of the company.

Due diligence

When an external growth opportunity arises, we are able to carry out, as an advisor or as auditor, an audit of the acquisition of the target prior company to your decision-making process.

Support for executives

Our mission goes beyond the preparation of your company’s financial statements. For family businesses that are our clients, we support the business manager in terms of personal assets so that his decisions in relation to this company having an impact on his assets have optimal outcomes for him and his family.

The diversity of our skills allows us to accompany you  primarily in the context of your personal tax declarations. We prepare your income tax returns in France, as well as your potential tax return on real estate wealth.

We assist you in the choice of your individual and collective health and heavy provident insurance contracts.

We verify that the formalism for implementing the contracts covers the risk of tax and social adjustment.

If necessary, we assist you in the context of your personal tax audits.

From the entrepreneur’side, the acquisition of his company’s real estate is often an interesting way to reconcile the interest of his company with the development of his personal wealth. We stand by the business manager from the initiation of the project, the investment decision-making process, the choice of investment structure, to the preparation of the necessary documents to obtain funds from financing organizations.

We have a significant network of specialized professionals in insurance brokerage, notary services, social or tax lawyer, whom we can mobilize to complement our support.

Finally, we accompany and study with our clients the various possibilities of social regimes and mode of remuneration in order to optimize the executive’s remunration from a tax and social standpoint.

MyUnisoft, a digital, collaborative and innovative accounting software

We have an innovative, efficient and collaborative accounting production tool, a true marketplace with an open API, to which most common apps used by entrepreneurs can connect, whether they are digital neobanks, revenue tracking tools, data analysis or payroll software.

Thanks to agreements concluded with most banking institutions, we can set up with your bank an automatic recovery of your bank flows in EBICS format.

We can provide your accounting teams with our software, in order to work collaboratively on your financial data in real-time. We also can entirely handle your accounting if you do not have an accounting service.

Frequently Asked Questions about Accounting and Taxation for Merchants and Artisans

What are the tax regimes for merchants and artisans ?

Merchants and artisans are generally subject to the Industrial and Commercial Profits Tax regime (BIC). When the entrepreneur does not exceed certain turnover thresholds, they are taxed under the micro-enterprise regime, the micro-BIC

The threshold is calculated based on the revenue collected exclusive of tax. It is €72,600 for service activities falling under the BIC. It is €176,200 for the sale of goods, accommodation (such as guest rooms and vacation rentals), and equipment rental activities.

If the income generated exceeds the thresholds of the micro-enterprise, it is subject to the simplified real regime or real regime and must produce an accounting and a tax return (cerfa 2031).

What is the difference between “fonds de commerce” (business assets) and “fonds commercial” (goodwill) ?

The “fonds commercial” should not be confused with the “fonds de commerce,” of which it is only a component.

The “fonds de commerce” corresponds to the set of tangible assets (such as merchandise, equipment, etc.) and intangible assets (such as clientele, employee skills, leasehold rights, trade name, etc.) allocated to the operation of a commercial or industrial activity. They are often inseparable and constitute their value.

The “fonds commercial” is an intangible asset mainly composed of clientele, brand, trade name, and market shares. It brings together the acquired elements of the “fonds de commerce” that cannot appear in other balance sheet items. It, therefore, has a residual character compared to the identifiable elements of the “fonds de commerce.”

Is the “fonds commercial” (goodwill) depreciable ?

The Accounting Directive, adopted by the last ANC Regulation, establishes a presumption that the “fonds commercial” has an unlimited useful life and is therefore not depreciable. It is subject to a provision for impairment in the event of a loss of value. A impairment test should ideally be conducted once a year, even in the absence of an indication of a loss of value. However, this presumption can be overturned when there is an objectively predictable limit to the exploitation of the acquired “fonds commercial.” In this case, it is amortized over its predictable useful life, or over ten years if this duration cannot be reliably determined.

As a simplification, small businesses may choose to amortize acquired “fonds commercial” over a fixed period of ten years, without having to determine whether its useful life is limited. The application of this measure exempts from conducting an annual impairment test.

The tax administration does not recognize the deductibility of the amortization of the “fonds commercial” unless it has an objectively limited useful life. Article 23 of the 2022 finance law introduced a temporary deduction system for the accounting amortization of “fonds commercial” (not “fonds de commerce”) acquired between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2025.

What is the sales area subject to the tax on commercial surfaces?

The tax on commercial surfaces (TASCOM) applies to businesses operating a retail store, regardless of their legal form or the nature of the products sold. Generally, only stores with a sales area exceeding 400 square meters are subject to the tax..

The sales area of retail stores, which is taken into account for the calculation of the tax, includes the spaces used for customer circulation to make purchases, those used for displaying goods offered for sale and their payment, as well as those used for staff circulation to present goods for sale. This definition also includes areas used for the collection of goods as long as the public can freely circulate there. The surfaces of production and storage facilities, as well as those where services are provided and which are closed to customers, are not taken into account in determining the total surface area subject to the tax.

The applicable rate depends on the turnover of the establishment concerned. There is a standard rate while certain businesses, which are required to manage a large sales area, benefit from a 30% tariff reduction, in particular: furniture stores, motor vehicle stores, agricultural machinery store, building material supply store, flower , plant, seed, fertilizer, pet and animal food store.

Why choose an accountant who knows the specificities of merchants and artisans?

More than just monitoring your accounting, taxation, and annual accounts, a chartered accountant who specializes in artisans and merchants will be able to support and advise you at every stage of your project. He will help you choose a legal status adapted to your situation and project when starting your business, evaluate the business you are considering selling, handle the drafting of employment contracts and affiliations with social institutions, provide advice in case of labor disputes, and give you the expected guidance in the choice of the providence intended to improve  the social protection of the company manager.