How to Register a Sole Proprietorship in Réunion

Learn how to set up as a sole proprietorship (entreprise individuell) in Réunion, as well the required documents and the taxation system.

Anja Simic
Written by Anja Simic
August 12, 2021
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Réunion is an island located in the Indian Ocean in East Africa, east of Madagascar. It is a French Republic overseas department and region. The head of state is the president of France, and as in France, the official language is French, and the local currency is the Euro. Réunion has its own court of appeals in Saint-Denis. The island is ranked among the economically most successful islands in the Indian Ocean. Its main sectors of economic activity are agriculture, tourism, and the production and export of both rum and cane sugar. Despite the economic success and growth, unemployment continues to be a problem.

The island is suffering from a high unemployment rate and suboptimal distribution of wealth. The legal system in Reunion is based on French law in general, and the French Commercial Code regulates the corporate practice. 

Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for legal advice. Please always check official websites or seek legal advice before you take action.

Types of businesses in Réunion

As everywhere, you will have to choose the nature of your company.  Here are the main types of business you can start in Réunion: 

  • L'EIRL: individual entrepreneur with limited liability 
  • L'EURL: one-person limited liability company
  • La SARL: limited liability company 
  • La SA: public limited company 
  • La SAS: simplified joint stock company 
  • LA SNC: general partnership
  • L’entreprise individuelle –  sole proprietorship

What is a sole proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is a simplified form of business. Anyone over the age of 18 can declare this type of business and then become an individual entrepreneur. It is not possible to have an associate with this status. The owner has all its capital and is entitled to all its profits. All obligations and liabilities of the sole proprietorship are the personal responsibility of the proprietor. This form is mostly used for small businesses because it's highly flexible to the changing environment.

Registration of the sole proprietorship

Because The commercial register of Réunion is part of the French Commercial Register (Registre du commerce et des sociétés - RCS), to start your business, you need to register it there.

You must contact the competent business formalities center (CFE). The CFE makes it possible to carry out all the formalities of registration, modification, or cessation of activity in the trade and companies register (RCS). Content of the register should have the following

  • Full legal name
  • Type of business
  • Full address
  • Representatives
  • Current status (active/inactive)
  • Any additional data

For setting up a sole proprietorship, no minimum capital is required. At the end of your procedures with your CFE, you will obtain one of the following:

  • Registration certificate in the Trade and Companies Register (RCS) for commercial activities;
  • Registration certificate in the Special Register of Commercial Agents (RSAC) for commercial agents; 
  • Registration certificate in the Trades Directory (RM) for craft activity.

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Taxes for sole proprietorships

Also, through the CFE, a declaration of existence must be filed with the Business Tax Service (SIE) on which the entrepreneur depends.

Personal income tax ranges from 0% to 43%.

The corporate tax in Réunion is set at 15%.

Value Added Tax is calculated at 8.5%.

Free Activity Zones (ZFAs) have been set up in the Overseas Territories, which potentially gives the right to exemptions from income taxes and local taxes. 

Regarding income tax, a company can benefit from it if it meets these requirements : 

  • Be located in one of the 5 DROMs (Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Mayotte, Reunion)
  • Achieve less than 50 million euros in turnover
  • Have less than 250 employees
  • Engage in certain economic activities listed in the law.

The tax advantage is reserved for companies that make expenditures on vocational training for employees or managers and pay a contribution to the experimentation fund for young people. So if you meet the conditions listed above, you can benefit from a deduction on the taxable profit of the company regardless of your tax regime.

If you're not looking to become an independent contractor, but hire one - learn how you can do it compliantly in Réunion.

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