All you need to know about quotes when you're self-employed in France


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  1. Introduction
  2. When do you make a quote as a self-employed worker?
  3. Why make a quote?
  4. How do you make a quote when self-employed?
    1. Mandatory information in a quote from a self-employed entity
  5. Free quote template for self-employed workers

A quote is a document a professional writes, laying out the details of their sales proposal for a potential client. Once accepted and signed by the client, it commits the self-employed entity (as with any business) to delivering the planned products or service, and assumes the legal value of a contract. Although it is recommended for every self-employed worker, a quote is not always required: the requirement depends on the industry they work in. Learn more about the industries that require a quote.

What's in this article?

  • When do you make a quote as a self-employed worker?
  • Why make a quote?
  • How do you make a quote when self-employed?
  • Free quote template for self-employed workers

When do you make a quote as a self-employed worker?

If the client can't clearly see the price of your goods or service on labels, tags or displays, you need to write them a quote (conforming to the obligation of information required in Article L112-3 of the Consumer Code). The quote allows you, as a self-employed entity, to clarify your unit price as well as other important details of your proposal.

A written quote also becomes obligatory if the potential client asks you for one. Generally, you need to send it within three to five days of the request. As soon as the quote is signed by the client, it commits you to delivering the sales proposal conforming to the conditions specified in the quote.

Why make a quote?

While it isn't mandatory, quotes are strongly recommended: by submitting your sales proposal in writing and by providing the precise details of your offer, you reduce the risk of misunderstandings regarding your service and the total the client must pay. What's more, a quote reassures your clientele of your business's reliability and professionalism. And once it's accepted, it frees you of the obligation to draw up a contract (since a signed quote has the same value as a contract).

From a legal standpoint, a quote protects you in the event of a dispute or non-payment for services delivered or products sold.

How do you make a quote when self-employed?

It's good practice to make the quote as detailed as possible to give the client all of the information about the offer within one document.

Mandatory information in a quote from a self-employed entity

Mandatory information in a quote includes: your name and DBA, contact details of your business or your home address (if you work at home), your telephone number and your SIREN or SIRET number. Retailers must add their company registration number and tradespeople must include their trades directory number. It is also advised that you add your professional insurance number, if you have one.

Your quote must also include a quote number, the date it was created and the validity period of the document – which, as a professional – you set. As for the client, you must add their name and business name, as well as their address.

The quote must specify the details of the offer, the names (description) of the products or services to be delivered, the proposed quantity, the pretax unit price and the total price excluding tax. If you are liable for value-added tax (VAT) as a self-employed entity, you must also include the proper VAT tax and the total amount to pay including tax. If you are exempt from VAT, you must state this on the document.

After the financial details, you must state your sales conditions: the planned date for the fulfilment of the service, the duration of the service, the payment terms and the penalty charges in the event of a missed or late payment.

Finally, you need to include your signature and a signature box for your client. This must be followed by "signed and agreed" and the date the quote was accepted.

Free quote template for self-employed workers

Urssaf offers a free quote template for VAT-exempt self-employed workers on its website. This customisable template is easy to modify according to your business needs, and it gives you all the fields that need to be filled in. Alternatively, if you have Microsoft Word or Excel, you can use one of the free templates they provide. Or, you can even use an automated billing solution such as Stripe Billing – an integrated software that allows you to create, modify and send all of your quotes and invoices. In freeing you from these tasks, Stripe Billing allows you more time to focus on your career. To learn how Stripe can help you to simplify the creation of your quotes and boost your productivity, contact one of our experts.

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