Hello Ben, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.
Your proposals are perfectly proper and quite legal. Presumably you will let the French company run off and then dispose of same. You will have to have a Registered Office in the UK for your company, but that is easily arranged. There is no requirement for a British company to have Directors or shareholders resident in the UK or even be British Citizens. If your annual turnover exceeds or approaches GBP 79K you will need to register for VAT and any supplies made which are not zero rated eg exports will have to have the tax added to the invoices. Your company will build up profits which will be subject to UK Corporation Tax (CT), currently 20% if the turnover does not exceed GBP 300K per annum. You say you will not be taking out all profits. This tax penalty would be reduced by paying yourself a salary and the employer's element of NI or by paying into a pension fund on your behalf.
There you are; a general canter through some of the possibilities. Please come back to me if you require more detail.
Thank you for your answer, “perfectly proper and quite legal” was exactly what I wanted to hear!
However, as much as wish it did, that does not convince me on the French legality.
Please correct me on my ignorance / cowboy knowledge on any of the following:
I don’t think paying myself a salary is from UK to France is a possibility. To my basic knowledge, if i were an employee, the UK company would still need to pay French social charges - equivalent to UK NI, but around 50% of the salary amount.
And as an owner/director drawing either monthly or as dividends, I believe I may need to submit books to the French authorities costing thousands in accountancy fees as it does now - the very thing I am trying to avoid.
I am fully registered in France, pay for and receive healthcare for my family. And not trying to dodge the taxman (although I wish he would leave me alone lately) so much as reducing the ridiculous money it costs for bookkeepers, accountants, bank fees (you’d be amazed) that it costs to run twopenny company like mine, and keeping a bit of money in the UK.
Yes this question requires answers from multiple areas really, so I shall find the relevant sections.
But if in summary you think that from the UK end this is legal then that is a great starting point to start my investigations.
Thank you for your replies so far.
According to authorities here, a UK company actually does need to register and comply with the French social system rules should it wish to employ a French resident remotely.
I know about the French healthcare system (and am a fully paid up member), that is not a problem.
I live in France, pay tax and social charges here; my question was about the legality of owning a UK based company and invoicing said company as a sole trader from here.
You have answered my questions from a UK perspective, but for the French end of things I think I must speak to a lawyer here.
I think that I have had my question fee's worth so shall mark as paid.
You are very kind. If my friend responds I will, of course, pass on his information. It is always said that French tax is so complex a local person must be engaged.
Thank you for your support.