If you like to cook food, this can be a way to earn your pocket money while in France. In this article we will see the pros and cons of opting for this as your part time income source.
Once you have decided to opt for this, you need to register yourself as an auto-entrepreneur and declare yourself as a home based cook. This is done in the website of URSSAF. Once in the page, chose « Fabrication de produits alimentaires de plats préparés associée le cas échéant à de la vente directe sans consommation sur place » from the first drop down and « Fabrication artisanale de plats cuisines divers à emporter (couscous, paëlla, etc ) » in the second. You will be then asked to fill up a form. Follow that part.
Once you have done the registration, and have started to work, the first thing that you want to assure is the hygiene of your cooking space. You have to be irreproachable in this, as you can get visit of officers from the “contrôles sanitaires”, police, or even from officers of DGCCRF. Feel free to share photos of your cooking space, this will give assurance to your clients.
You need to know, if you are coming to this business, that according to the ministerial decree of 9 may 1995, professionals of food are legally responsible of anything happening to their clients after consuming your food. Hence you have to very vigilant regarding the cleanliness as well as the quality of product you are using while cooking your food.
During an inspection, you may have to prove that you know all the rules related to hygiene. A safe way to do that will be go for a HACCP training. By calling to the DDPP office of Paris (01 40 27 16 00) I learned that even though it is not mandatory for people who will be a cook at domicile, one needs to know and show that they are aware of the principles of cleanliness during a hygiene check, and a training of HACCP is an way for that.
In case you are thinking to stock your food after preparing, you have to get an “agrément sanitaire CE” as well. In case you are not stocking the prepared food and selling directly to your clients, you won’t need that agrément.
Loyalty and non-discrimination related clauses are also to be taken care of. According to this, once you start a profession, you will have to treat everyone equally, and hence you cannot offer different price to different person for the same food, or you cannot give different amount of food to different people who are paying the same price. On this, you need to maintain details of what you are offering, including the quantity of food and price, and which should be publicly visible.
Last but not the least, getting an insurance “Responsabilité Civile Professionnelle” will be a good idea, which will help you if something goes wrong oneday.
Remember, in case you are getting CAF help, starting an auto entrepreneur business may stop that help. Also, if you have already finished your studies, register yourself in the Pole Emploi before going for the AE status. Being in the pole emploi will give you access to the ACRE, which means, interesting tax discounts for the inital periods of your activity. In case you have not finished your studies yet, you cannot register to Pole Emploi yet, as officially you are not yet looking for a job.
If you want to read further on this status of Auto Entrpreneur, go through our articles here.
Once you have started your food business, don't forget to list your food store with IIF, so that community members can know about your food business and order, if they like your presentation and if you can assure delivering in their locality.
PS: If you want to give me your photo while cooking, as the cover image for this article, do let me know.
Sourav Choudhury is a social entrepreneur living in France since 2003 and working for the cause of Indian community of France, since 2007. He is founder of multiple projects: the largest social network of the Indian community of France, a French language school for english speaking expatriates, this website, and few other projects.