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ok, i`ve tried searching for anything to do with the above mentioned title and had no luck, so i`ll try a post, here goes, any advice appreciated.

i`m in the process of getting registered to work here and am unclear about the insurances necessary for my trades. i`m going to start off as simply as possible after recently attending a chambre de metiers course and basically realising that i can`t cope with the tax system yet until my language improves dramatically, so it`s an "enterprise individuelle" under a "micro-bic" tax regime for me to start with in order to give me time to get more used to things, get over feeling like going back to being a five year old, and work on my french of course!.

i wish to offer as many services as possible within my capabilities, qualifications and experience obviously so that i don`t limit my chances of finding work these include carpentry and joinery ( not roofing though, mainly non structural stuff, 2nd fix,menuissirie i think they call it without a dictionary to hand) painting and decorating interior and exterior and wall tiling, floorcovering works- ceramic tiles, carpets,vinyls, woods, screeding, boarding, small non structural building works such as stone garden walls,patios and decking, fencing, general property maintenance and general labour of any description really including things like garden maintenance lawn and hedge cutting as well if possible.

with regard to insurance for my customers to guarantee the quality of my work;

1. is it possible to insure myself for all these things under one banner?

2. or do i need a separate insurance for each activity?

3.would trying to do too many things just be too costly from this point of view?

4.can i approach any insurance company broker for a quote? several would be a good idea i guess)

5. what other insurances do i need. (public liability)

6.is there anyone out there who is doing something simialar who can advise me how to go about it?

this was`nt really covered on my course and too be honest by the end of it couldn`t bring myself to ask the question, just wanted to get out of there!!

so to sum up: i have the papers and experience, how do i insure myself as a multitrade artisan within these fields and get on with earning a living here?

part answers or advice to any one of my one thousand questions will do just fine thankyou!

please heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllllllllllllllllllllllllllpppppppppppppp me!!!

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Firstly the reason for doing the stage de gestion at the Chambre de Metiers is for you to understand all these bureaucratic problems,how things work in France and who to go to to get sorted. I will warn you now that you may have trouble getting full Deçennale & Civile insurance for carrying out many different trades unless you register as a full Entreprise de Bâtiment. As an artisan you normally only register as one skill. We are insured for all building trades and its expensive, just under 4000€ per year and that is with no claims in ten years. Only a few companies offer this insurance and they usually contact you direct once you have done your course and have gone into the system. They do frown though on people registering as gardeners and then carrying out building works which in a lot of cases is done to avoid paying hefty social charges that proper artisans have to pay and by those scum working on the black here and cheating the system.
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Moderator Val2? don't think so...........


............... and why can't she call those working on the black scum anyway. They pay all these rotten lousy bills as they are legal and above board and it would make my blood boil to see anyone working and not registered, I'd be calling them worse than scum personally.

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hi val,

yes i appreciate what the point of the course is!! 8 hours a day for 5 days, with various very bad and confusing translations thrown in. i can`t imagine why i am not 100% clear on it?!

so to sum up ; your advice is - to limit my chances of finding any work by registering as one thing only, or , become a gardener!!

like i said, insurance for artisans was`nt really covered that`s why i am asking.

i`m aware that different lengths of insurance are required for different trades e.g decorating 2 year guarantee carpentry 10 year gurantee (decenale)

i`ve also seen many french firms which appear to be one man bands offering " revetements du sols et murs" to include "peinture et decoration" " carrelage et moquette" maybe this is the route i should take.

anyway i`m much clearer on it since reading your message!

merci bien.

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Bannon. That is mild language to use when you have to sort out the mess some of these so-called builders are making and clearing off when things hot up never to be heard of again. To see a ripped-off householder in tears when she has paid out good money and got a result that a monkey could have done better dosn't go down well in my book. Gert this was not a personal thing against you, just trying to get the info across in cyberspace and without expressions etc is very difficult to do.
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Val, you were making the clear distinction between those working as registered artisans and those working on the black... and calling them 'scum'. That was the part I was unhappy about.

In my opinion it is wrong to attach such a lable to people working on the black - they are not all bad workman the same as not all travellers are thieving gypsies!

To those that do rip people off and to those that do shoddy work then call them what you like and you'll have my support every time.




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now, now ladies, if everyone could stop bickering! anyone got any useful info about the original post?

can`t blame anyone for doing whatever they can to survive here, it`s just the same in the uk, the only difference being it seems very daunting and ten times more complicated for anyone new here ( like me) to set up doing anything !! hence the black market obviously, if the french simplified things it would`nt be the problem it obviously is to some people. 

congratulations to those who have worked there way through it and are now trading successfully, it is quite a challenge and quite an achievement from where i am standing.  

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Going back to the original post. We are inssured through Mutuelle de Poitiers. We have the Public Liability and Decinel insurance. The cost is 2200,00 euros pa. We (I say we but I mean my husband - entreprise individuelle) does: stud work, plasterboarding, plastering, tiling and "maconnerie" works.

When he first started he considered offering lots more services but realised that he should just keep to small works as working alone without the help of a labourer is difficult.

To get our insurance we had to transfer our house insurance (held previously with AXA) which was no great hardship as new policy was 300,00 euros pa cheeper. Also gave attestations from all previous employers (translated) saying that he was competent in the trades he was offering. Also gave an attestation from UK accountant saying that he (hubby) had run building firm before moving to France. And lastly gave attestation from UK insurance firm saying that he had held Public liability before with no claims. All the above attestations were needed because he has no formal qualifications, so I pressume if "papers" are shown all should be ok.

Hope all this helps.

P.S. I agree with the scum comment.

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Sorry should have added the following to your questions:

From our experience:

1) Yes one policy covers all "jobs/trades". You will be given a long list of trade descriptions which you then try and decipher and tick the relevant boxes to what you want to do.

2) No.

3) Yes.

4) Yes.

5) What we found was if you asked about one then the other was automatically included. Did hear though that decinal insurance was not obligatory (from someone who attended the course and subject was covered). I think of the 2200,00 we pay 600,00 of it is for the Public Liability.

6) Yes, us.

Just going back to offering lots of options to increase customers. I have listed the works my husband does and he is now booked until Sept 06.

Again, hope this helps.


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[quote]Hi. Going back to the original post. We are inssured through Mutuelle de Poitiers. We have the Public Liability and Decinel insurance. The cost is 2200,00 euros pa. We (I say we but I mean my husband...[/quote]


I attended a wedding here in France last year and the Priest in his address said "beware of the greys". I asked a French collegue what he meant by this as I'd never heard the term before. He said.... "the Arabs".

There you go, and that's a Priest for you... at a wedding. And the real puzzled was - he was black (if that's the right term these days). By all accounts there is a shortage of Priests here so they are brought in from overseas.

Seems to me also that once Brits get over here, many shake off the mutually beneficial social responsibility and become flag waving ex-pats.

PS. Sorry to have hijacked this posting guys.



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thankyou vey much, took a while to come but eventually some really helpful information, much appreciated!! my intentions are very simialar so very relevant to me. one other thing, did you set up under the "real simplifee, real normal or micro bic tax systems" as an "enterprise indiviuduelle"? if the first i guess you have accountancy fees to consider also or are you the "conjoint collabarateur" ( spelling? ) within the business dealing with the books?

interesting what you said about the decennale not being obligatory, must have missed that,( don`t have the best concentration span!) i guess it is up to the customer employing you as to whether they are bothered about a guarantee or not, as long as they realise you don`t have one at the start i guess? will get one anyway. public liability is obviously a must.

good to hear you are booked up for work, so many negative comments floating around this forum sometimes.

would you mind if i pm you if i think of any further questions?

thanks again.


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[quote]thankyou vey much, took a while to come but eventually some really helpful information, much appreciated!! my intentions are very simialar so very relevant to me. one other thing, did you set up under...[/quote]

I have seen many posts from forum users e.g. Val2 that Assurance Decennale was compulsory for all artisans. Is it really the case or is it a manifestation of self preservation or self promotion for those who have it?

Recently, I was told by a French macon that assurance decennale is not compulsory for all artisans. He said it is open to an artisan to mark on the devis something like 'sans assurance decennale' and then it is up to the customer.

He also said that many macons who work in 'petit maconnerie' never have such insurance.  Provided it is made clear to the potential customer that there is no AD there is no problem.  Just taking this a little further, he said that most macons would not quote for or issue AD for certain jobs because it would be a nonsense using an example of making a window opening in a wall that was probably in need of underpinning or substantial repair.

Before the usual suspects ask if am I working au noir etc etc, I am am not working at all... and I have never worked in France either. I may do so in the future but that is the future.


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Tell me why the gendarmes demanded to see a policy when they did a spot check after being told we were working on the black? I care not what others get upto unless they are ripping unsuspecting clients off.I know what I know,have had years of working in France and don't need someone telling me different!
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[quote]Tell me why the gendarmes demanded to see a policy when they did a spot check after being told we were working on the black? I care not what others get upto unless they are ripping unsuspecting client...[/quote]

Hi val2

In the past on a couple of occasions I have been asked to do things by police officers in the UK which in my view were unwarranted. Both times I asked for the basis of such a request i.e.what authority under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) was being exercised to make such demands; on both occasions the officers desisted and went on their way. I also have direct knowledge of police officers having less than a perfect understanding of the powers and responsibilities of the law they were were purporting to exercise.

Can I infer from your posting that the basis for your assertion that Assurance Decennale is necessary for all artisans is simply that you were asked for it once by a gendarme? If so, you are in a weak position to maintain that this is in fact the case aren't you? The moral of the story is a request by an official may have no proper basis in law. Is it at all possible that your assertion may be wrong?

This forum's primary function (in my humble opinion) is to provide information that hopefully is useful to others.  Normally to be of use information needs to be accurate. If anyone posts a view that claims to be the true position and has that view challenged what's the problem. When a senior member of this forum regularly posts an opinion on the legal position of artisan's insurance (which may servr to influence the decision making of many people)  one might expect and hope for a better response.

 So if anyone out there knows the true position based on the law perhaps they can settle this important issue.


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I have looked at the link which looks excellent.

The relevant part which I have muddled through due to limited French seems to relate to companies that build new houses from scratch?

question 1 - what is BJSLIV all about?

question 2 - is the Spinette law the limited to new build like a 10 year NHBC guarantee or does it have wider implications?

thanks again


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regarding the aforementioned article, surely this about complete house construction where a deccenale makes complete sense of course, but what about " a bit of block work" in one area or a repair somewhere, or for e.g a stone wall in the garden? there must be an element of taking each job on it`s merits along with discussion with the customer, as the previous poster very sensibly suggested with regard to a window opening.
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In my experience even authortitative bodies - those that are recognised or accepted as being true or reliable - often get it wrong. 

I've just had a meeting with my local Chambre de Metier on a separate isssue, and was told as an aside that Artisan insurance is not compulsory and that anyway, most cannot afford it.

I'm not saying they are wrong it, but I'm not sure if they are right either. 

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