Any partner, be it married or Pacsé of a tradesperson, artisan or of a sole trader, who helps their partner and regularly contributes to the running of the company in France, is legally obliged to declare themselves under the status of “Conjoint Salarié” – partner being in the meaning of spouse or legal partner, or  “Conjoint Collaborateur” – partner being in the meaning of business-partner, or “Conjoint Associé”.

Conditions of eligibility for the status of “Conjoint Collaborateur”

To be able to choose between these statuses, the company must be an “entreprise individuelle” or the owner must be the sole partner of an “EURL” or majority owner of an SARL or an SELARL.

The partner (as in spouse or partner) must be the legal partner of the business owner, which excludes people who are in “Concubinage” or are “pacsé” and the person must help out regularly in the running of the business, without receiving any form of remuneration and without being legally a partner or associate of the company.

The business owner can always request and opt for the confirmation of the status of “Conjoint Salarié” for their legal partner (spouse or partner) from the CFE (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises) 

The advantages for the “Conjoint Collaborateur”

If the spouse decides to opt for the status of “Conjoint Collaborateur” they then qualify for the right to training by way of the “Formation Professionnelle Continue”, savings plans set up by the company in question, and the protection of their personal estate, which remains separate from the legal obligations of the company. Alongside which, they also qualify for the rights to health and insurance of the branch of independent workers or sole traders in France at the same level as the business owner.

In terms of retirement benefits, they must be signed up to the usual retirement insurance schemes.

A “conjoint collaborateur” who has worked for ten years alongside their legal partner without being paid, in the case of the death of their legal partner (the business owner) will benefit from a payment resulting from what moneys remain after the company has been liquidated. If the legal partner was a “commerçant” or an “artisan” the surviving spouse has the right to a succession payment equal to 3 times the annual minimum wage (SMIC) in France.

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