campsite

How to open a campsite?

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To create a campsite, the choice of land is very important. Although most often the location will be a seaside resort, it is not possible to settle everywhere. Several national regulations restrict the freedom of the location.

It is strictly forbidden to camp, even temporarily and except specific exemption granted by the Minister or the Prefect, on:

To install your campsite, you must obtain the agreement of the one who has the use of the ground .

Please note, this agreement is not final: the mayor can locally prohibit camping for environmental or public safety reasons

Declared camping : it covers any camping site that can accommodate a maximum of 6 accommodations. You only need a planning permission.

Furnished camping  (i.e. the majority of campsites): this covers any camping site that can accommodate more than 6 accommodations. Its operation requires a certificate of conformity of the works and a planning permission.

In addition, opening a campsite on non-building land is not recommended: the legislation differs depending on whether it is a tent, a mobile home or a caravan.born.

In any case, you must check with your municipality to find out what is authorized and what is not.

Which legal structure to choose for a campsite?

The first possible status is to open a campsite as an individual entrepreneur, possibly under the status of auto-entrepreneur . This status is attractive for entrepreneurs because it is characterized in practice by its great simplicity. You simply have to make a declaration of your activity as a self-employed person to the registry.

Please note, the auto-entrepreneur is subject to compliance with the  ceilings auto-entrepreneur . As a result, your camping activity should not exceed € 70,000 in annual turnover. If this ceiling is exceeded, the micro-enterprise tax regime no longer applies. The profits are then taxed according to the common law regime of the sole proprietorship .

If you want to make significant investments to develop your campsite, it is often better to set up a company . Several situations are then possible:

You are considering opening a campsite with associates . You have the choice between creating an SAS or creating an SARL. These two types of companies limit the financial liability of the partners to the amount of their contribution. In other words, if you can no longer pay your creditors, they cannot seize your personal property (apartment, car, etc.). These two companies are distinguished by their operation, the SAS being considered to be more flexible than the SARL. Its organization is fully defined by the articles of incorporation.

You are planning to open a campsite on your own . You can choose to create a SASU or a EURL . These are the one-person forms of SAS and SARL (comprising a single partner) of which they share exactly the same characteristics.

You are planning to open a campsite with your spouse. You have the choice between SAS or SARL. Your spouse will be entitled to receive a share of the benefitses of the company (subject to making a contribution to the company). Note that only the LLC allows your spouse to benefit from the protective status of collaborating spouse.

Advice on drafting the statutes

INSEE qualifies the activity of campsite manager under the APE code 55.30Z, with the following wording ” Campgrounds and parks for caravans or leisure vehicles .” So take care to formulate your corporate purpose accordingly.

Also pay attention to related activities that you would consider undertaking within your campsite: these may be subject to specific regulations. This is for example the case of the activity of sale of drinks (refreshment bar or restaurant) which requires to be holder of an IV license.

Note also that the regulations of campsites strictly prohibit electing the main domicile in your campsite (by setting your domicile in a campsite, you in fact escape the taxation of fixed accommodation).

Finally, keep in mind that once your company is created, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry will come back to you, your activity being above all commercial.

You have an overview of what awaits you to set up a campsite. If you are interested in getting into other accommodation-related activities, find out how to open a hotel  or even how to open a bed and breakfast .

Editor: Marine de Villoutreys, graduate of the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas, student lawyer at the Paris Bar Training School. Marine specializes in supporting business creators. Under the supervision of Pierre Aïdan, Doctor of Law and Harvard graduate.

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