francis.masson

Par francis.masson le 28/07/08
Dernier commentaire ajouté il y a 11 années 4 mois

July 2003

French wealth tax (Impôt de solidarité sur la Fortune - hereafter called «ISF») assessed on Russians holding real property in France through a UK Co.

By Me. Francis MASSON, Avocat à la Cour

Caution: this note dates back to July 2003 and will be shortly updated of recent changes. The author therefore declines any liability for any obsolete legal references.

This note will address the relevant headlines of ISF regulated by Articles 885 A through 885 Z of the French Tax Code, with a short outline of the Tax Treaties between France and the United Kingdom and between France and Russia.

1/ French tax provisions applicable to ISF - wealth tax

1-1 Taxable persons

Article 885 A of the French Tax Code provides as follows:

"Are subject to the annual ISF, when the value of their assets exceeds the limit (Of € 720 000) provided for under Article 885 U:

1° Physical persons having their tax domicile in France, for their assets located in France or abroad;

2° Physical persons not having their tax domicile in France, for their assets located in France.

Except in cases stated in Article 6-4. a and b, married couples are subject to a joint taxation...

The conditions of taxation are determined as of January 1st. of each year.

Professional assets defined by Articles 885 N to 885 R shall not be taken into account for the taxable basis of ISF."

Only physical persons may be subject to the ISF.

Married couples are subject to a joint taxation, except if their matrimonial regime provides for separation of their assets and they do not live together, or, if having started divorce proceedings, they have been authorized by the court to have separate domiciles.

Physical persons having their tax domicile outside of France are exclusively taxable for their assets located in France. Their financial assets (money market funds and other cash deposit in banks, bonds, shares of non real estate companies, etc...) are expressly exonerated.

Under Article 750 ter 2° 4th paragraph of the French Tax Code, real property or real property rights, directly or indirectly possessed in France, as well as shares of non listed legal entities having their registered office outside of France and whose asset mainly (for more than 50% of the value of assets located in France and not used for their own commercial activities) consists in real property or real property rights located in France, constitute assets located in France.

For shares of said deemed real estate foreign entities, the taxable value is represented by the proportion between the value of real property located in France and the value of total assets of the company located both in France and abroad.

Example:

Foreign legal entity, whose total assets amount to € 20 million as of January 1, 2003, broken down as follows:

-real property located in France (not used for the foreign company's own commercial activities):

€ 8 million

-real property located outside of France: € 3 million

-other assets located in France:

(a) real property used for the company's own commercial activities: € 3 million

(b) other assets: € 1 million

-other assets located outside of France: € 5 million

TOTAL ASSETS € 20 million

Said foreign legal entity is deemed to be in France a real property company, because real property located in France (€ 8 million) represents 8/12, or 66,66% of French assets (€ 8 million + € 3 million + € 1 million). The shares of said company held by physical persons domiciled outside of France will be subject to ISF in the proportion of 8/20, or 40% of their value.

1-2 Taxable assets

All assets, whether movable assets or real property as of January 1st., including receivables, are subject to ISF. In case of usufruct, the beneficiary of usufruct is exclusively taxable.

1-3 Exemptions

In addition to net professional assets (being defined by Article 885 N of the French Tax Code as assets necessary to the main exercise, by the owner or his spouse, of an industrial, commercial, agricultural or independent profession), exemptions include assets up to € 720 000, antiques (such as furniture, jewels, etc...older than 100 years), works of art, such as paintings, literary and industrial property rights, and financial assets held by physical persons not having their tax domicile in France, among others.

1-4 Value of taxable assets

The value of assets is the fair market value of the assets as of January 1st of each year and for shares of listed companies, their last quotation before January 1st or the average quotation of the thirty days preceding January 1st.

Debt, such as taxes (income tax, ISF, etc...), loans (for the balance of principal remaining due) may be deducted (which is not the case for the 3% annual tax).

1-5 Applicable rates of ISF

Only the net asset value above € 720 000 is taxable at the following rates for the following brackets:

-Up to € 720 000: 0%

-Between € 720 000 and € 1 160 000: 0,55%;

-Between € 1 160 000 and € 2 300 000: 0,75%;

-Between € 2 300 000 and € 3 600 000: 1%;

-Between € 3 600 000 and € 6 900 000: 1,30%;

-Between € 6 900 000 and € 15 000 000: 1,65%;

-Above € 15 000 000: 1,80%.

For example, would xx Co. Assets Ltd. reveal the identity of its shareholder(s) and be deemed a real estate company as defined in 1-1 above (we ignore whether the company held other movable assets or real property in France as at January 1st, 2003 and do not have its financial statements closed as at December 31, 2002) and on the basis of an estimated value of € 2 500 000 of its French real property, then the shareholder(s) would be subject on June 15, 2003 to an ISF tax of:

- up to € 720 000 = 0

- on € 440 000 x 0,55% = € 2 420

- on € 1 140 000 x 0,75% = € 8 550

- on € 200 000 x 1% = € 2 000

TOTAL ISF € 12 970

1-6 Late payment interest and penalties

As for the 3% annual tax, late payment interest amounts to 0,75% per month, plus a 5 % increase of the tax, whose payment has been differed.

2/ Tax Treaties between France and the United Kingdom

Neither the May 22, 1968 Tax Treaty between France and the United Kingdom, as amended, which for France exclusively applies to personal or corporate income taxes and withholding taxes, nor the June 21, 1963 Tax Treaty between France and the United Kingdom, which for France applies to the inheritance tax (for the United Kingdom to the estate duty) do apply to or contain provisions regarding the wealth tax.

3/ Tax Treaty between France and Russia

The November 26, 1996 Tax Treaty between France and Russia, which entered into force on February 9, 1999 contains several provisions relating to (a) the definition of real property (b) the wealth tax (entered into force on January 1, 2000), and (c) the related tax credit.

Under Article 6-2 of the Treaty, real property shall have the meaning given by the State, where said real property is located.

Article 22.2 of the Treaty provides that wealth represented by shares or similar rights in a company or legal entity, whose asset is mainly composed, directly or through the interposition of one or several other companies or legal entities, of real property located in a contracting State or of real property rights, is taxable in said contracting State.

Said provision allows France to assess to the wealth tax (ISF) a physical person residing in Russia for shares it holds in a legal entity, whose asset is composed, directly or indirectly, for more than half its asset value, of real property located in France or related property rights.

Under Article 23.2 of the Treaty, double taxation for Russia is avoided as follows: when a resident of Russia owns wealth taxable in France in accordance with the Treaty, an amount equal to the wealth tax paid in France shall be deducted from the wealth tax of said resident in Russia. Such deduction cannot however exceed the amount of the considered wealth tax, computed before deduction in accordance with Russian law.

________

Par francis.masson le 28/07/08
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July 2003

French 3% annual tax assessed on French/foreign real estate companies

By Me. Francis MASSON, Avocat à la Cour

Caution: this note dates back to early June 2003 and will be shortly updated of recent changes. The author therefore declines any liability for any obsolete legal references.

No French legal provisions or case law would expressly exonerate a forward real property sale (vente en l'état futur d'achèvement) from the French 3% annual tax applicable to the direct or indirect ownership of real property assets bought in Paris by a UK Co. on a forward sale basis .

At this stage, this note will focus on the main provisions of the law and will not address all its technicalities.

This 3% annual tax on legal entities, which directly or indirectly hold real property or real property rights, is assessed, when due, upon the fair market value of said real property or real property rights as of January 1 of each year and is payable before May 15.

The tax was introduced by Article 4-II of the Law 82-1126 dated December 29, 1982 and amended in 1989 and 1993 (Articles 990 D through H of the French Tax Code), which defines legal entities subject to it, exemptions, the nature of property rights subject to it, obligations of legal entities, the penalties, sanctions and guarantees offered to legal entities.

1/ Legal entities subject to the tax

Article 990 D of the French Tax Code provides as follows:

"Legal entities which, directly or through an interposed entity, possess one or several real properties in France or hold real property rights on these assets are liable to pay an annual tax equal to 3% of the fair market value of said real property or real property rights.

Is deemed to possess real property or real property rights in France through an interposed entity, any legal entity, which holds a participation, whatever its form or percentage, in a legal entity owning said real property or real property rights or holding a participation in a third legal entity, which owns said real property or real property rights or which is interposed in the chain of participations. This provision applies whatever the number of interposed legal entities."

This provision is interpreted by the French tax authorities as applying to all legal entities, whether they have their registered office in France or abroad, whatever their legal form (corporations, companies with limited liability, civil or other companies, partnerships, Anstalten, Stiftungen, etc...).

However, the tax is due by the legal entity (ies) nearest to the property or real property rights, which do not benefit from the exemptions provided for by Article 990 E 2° or 3° of the French Tax Code (see below).

2/ Legal entities not subject to the tax

Article 990 E of the French Tax Code provides as follows:

"The tax provided for by Article 990 D shall not apply to:

1° Legal entities, whose real property assets as defined in Article 990 D, located in France, represent less than 50% of French assets. For the implementation of this provision, assets, which legal entities stated in Article 990 D or interposed entities use for their own professional activity other than a real estate activity, shall not be included into real property assets;

2° Legal entities, having their registered office in a country or territory, which entered with France into an agreement providing for administrative assistance in view of fighting against tax fraud or evasion, which declare each year, no later than May 15, to the place stated by Article 990 F, the situation, composition and value of real property assets possessed as of January 1st, the identity and address of their shareholders as of the same date and the number of shares or similar rights held by each of them;

3° Legal entities which have in France their effective place of management ("siège de direction effective") and other (foreign) legal entities, which, under a tax treaty, shall not be subject to a heavier taxation, when they communicate each year or commit themselves to and comply with such commitment to communicate to the tax administration, upon its request, the situation and composition of real property assets possessed as of January 1st, the identity and address of their shareholders, partners or other members, the number of shares or similar rights held by each of them and the justification of their tax residence. The commitment must be taken as of the date of purchase of the property or real property rights or the participation referred to in Article 990 D by the legal entity...."

This Article includes other exemptions, which are not relevant (listed companies, international organizations, States and public institutions, pension funds and charitable entities).

For the purpose of Article 990 E 2° above of the French Tax Code, the tax treaty between France and the United Kingdom provides for administrative assistance in view of fighting against tax fraud or evasion, which does not however include Gibraltar, Hong-Kong, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

So did many other countries, such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, etc... Subject to meeting the other conditions provided for by said Article, the 3% tax exemption may apply.

For the purpose of Article 990 E 3° above, the tax treaty between France and the United Kingdom provides a clause for equal tax treatment (non discrimination). Subject to meeting the other conditions provided for by said Article, the 3% tax exemption may apply.

3/ Taxable assets, basis and rate of the tax

Taxable assets are defined as real property located in France or related real property rights (usufruct, right of use, etc...). It does not matter whether the real property is land, forest, real property rented or not, the nature of the rent or use of the real property.

The basis of the 3 % tax is the fair market value (valeur vénale) as of January 1st. According to French case law, it corresponds to the price, which normal offer and demand for a specific assets would allow to obtain at a certain date, depending from its physical and legal characteristics and its location...

Debts, including loans, contracted for the acquisition of real property are not deductible from the fair market value.

4/ Commitment provided for by Article 990 E 3° of the French tax Code

None of the two notarised deeds of purchase include a commitment of the company to communicate to the tax administration the information stated in said Article.

Under Article R.23 B-1 of the French Code applicable to Tax Proceedings (LPF), the tax administration may request the legal entity to communicate the information provided under Article 990 E 3° and in the absence of answer within 60 days of said request, as well as in case of insufficient answer (additional delay of 30 days), immediately assess (Taxation d'office) the legal entity, should the latter not file the 3% tax return for the year concerned and the years not covered by the statutes of limitations.

5/ Obligations to declare, payment, assessment, control and sanctions

Legal entities subject to the tax must file the tax return nr. 2746 in 2 copies with and make the related payment to the relevant administration (Recette des Impôts) before May 15, if they do not benefit from the exemptions stated in paragraph 2/ above and do not declare the identity and address of their shareholders, the number of shares, etc...

In the absence of declaration and tax exemption, the tax administration may directly assess the legal entity after a 30 days summons, claim late payment interest at the monthly rate of 0,75%, plus a 5% increase of the taxes, whose payment has been differed (except in case of late, but voluntary filing with simultaneous payment). It may also take a mortgage on the real property.

Interposed legal entities are deemed jointly liable for the payment of the tax after a 20 days summons by the tax administration.

The latter may also invite the legal entity subject to the tax to appoint a tax representative within 90 days of its request in order to receive communications relating to the commitment provided for by Article 990 E 3° of the French tax Code.

If due, the tax is not deductible for the determination of the corporate or personal income tax due by the legal entity or its shareholders (in case the real property is rented).

Under tax administration comments dated October 22, 1993, when the real property is used without compensation by one or more physical shareholders, it is admitted that the related advantage in kind shall not be added back to other income of the legal entity, for the purpose of determining its corporate income tax, nor to the normal income of its shareholders.

6/ Rough estimated risks for 2001, 2002 and 2003

Subject to verification of cumulated payments made to the seller for the purchases as of respectively January 1, 2001, 2002 and 2003 (the notarised and other deeds do not specify dates of payments), the tax risks may be appraised as follows (for simplification, we have converted French Francs into Euros for 2000 and 2001) :

(a) estimated value, including acquisition costs, as of January 1, 2001: € 457 000 x 3% = € 13 710;

(b) estimated value of 2/3 of price, including acquisition costs, as of January 1, 2002 (FF or € figures are missing - does not include second notarised purchase signed on March 6, 2002 for flat 156, nor the related guaranty deposit) : € 988 000 x 3% = € 29 640 ;

(c) estimated value, as of January 1, 2003 (does not include last 2 payments made in 2003) : € 1 335 760 (FF 8 762 000- flat nr. 155) + € 1 151 000 = € 2 486 760 x 3% = € 74 603.

Estimated 3% tax in principal for the 3 years, not including the 5% penalty nor late payment interest starting from the date of either the filing of the tax return without payment or the tax assessment: about € 118 000.

Unless The Co. Ltd. reorganizes its shareholding and complies with the provisions of Article 990 E 2° or 3° mentioned above, it was, is and will be subject to the 3% tax on an annual basis.

7/ Other taxes related to French real property

We understand that the flats will not be rented, but used from time to time and therefore no income would be generated, which could give rise to either corporate or individual income tax.

(a) French residential real property is normally subject to an annual real property tax called "taxe foncière", except for new constructions, which benefit from a 2 years tax exemption after the year of completion, as will be the case for Co. Ltd. for 2004 and 2005.

Said tax is assessed in a very complex manner on the basis of a deemed rental value determined in each city ("valeur locative cadastrale"). In year 2006, it could amount to an estimated € 5-8 000 for the 2 flats.

(b) The use of French residential real property is also subject to an annual housing tax due by in principle by the tenant as of January 1st of each year (it may be alternatively the user or owner, if it is not rented or used). Its amount depends from the number of parents and children who entitle to reductions. Its amount is often not far from the taxe foncière.

(c) Residential premises vacant for a period of more than 2 years in cities of more than 200 000 inhabitants may be subject to a tax on vacant residential premises, except if the owner may prove that the flat was occupied more than 30 consecutive days during the 2 years. The tax goes from 10% (first year) to 15% (3rd. year) of the gross deemed rental value.

__________________

Par francis.masson le 28/07/08
Dernier commentaire ajouté il y a 11 années 4 mois

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juin 2006

Monsieur le Directeur de l'urbanisme

Direction de l'urbanisme

Préfecture du xx

Bld. du 112ème Régiment d'Infanterie

Monsieur le Directeur,

L'un de mes clients souhaite réaliser un hôtel 4 étoiles luxe d'exception, comportant environ 115 suites de 65 m², sur la commune de xxxxxxxxx, dont l'impact positif pourrait être considérable sur le développement de celle-ci, notamment en termes d'apport touristique et de créations d'emplois.

Ceci dans le respect des réglementations applicables en la matière, notamment en ce qui concerne la protection des paysages et de l'environnement.

Ce client examine les possibilités de construire cet hôtel sur un terrain actuellement classé en zone naturelle Nv, propriété de l'établissement public du CREPS du ministère de la jeunesse et des sports à BXXXX.

Je vous prie de bien me confirmer :

- qu'aucun schéma de cohérence territoriale n'est actuellement applicable à S-R ; mais,

- qu'un périmètre de SCOT incluant cette commune a été délimité avant le 1er janvier 2006.

Nous souhaitons en outre connaître votre interprétation de l'Article L. 122-2 du Code de l'urbanisme dont le texte est le suivant :

« Dans les communes qui sont situées à moins de quinze kilomètres de la périphérie d'une agglomération de plus de 50 000 habitants au sens du recensement général de la population ou à moins de quinze kilomètres du rivage de la mer et qui ne sont pas couvertes par un schéma de cohérence territoriale applicable, le plan local d'urbanisme ne peut être modifié ou révisé en vue d'ouvrir à l'urbanisation une zone à urbaniser délimitée après le 1er juillet 2002 ou une zone naturelle.

Dans les communes mentionnées au premier alinéa et à l'intérieur des zones à urbaniser ouvertes à l'urbanisation après l'entrée en vigueur de la loi nº 2003-590 du 2 juillet 2003 urbanisme et habitat, il ne peut être délivré d'autorisation d'exploitation commerciale en application des 1º à 6º et du 8º du I de l'article L. 720-5 du code de commerce ou d'autorisation de création des salles de spectacles cinématographiques en application du I de l'article 36-1 de la loi nº 73-1193 du 27 décembre 1973 d'orientation du commerce et de l'artisanat.

Il peut être dérogé aux dispositions des deux alinéas précédents soit avec l'accord du préfet donné après avis de la commission départementale compétente en matière de nature, de paysages et de sites et de la chambre d'agriculture, soit, lorsque le périmètre d'un schéma de cohérence territoriale incluant la commune a été arrêté, avec l'accord de l'établissement public prévu à l'art L. 122-4.

La dérogation ne peut être refusée que si les inconvénients éventuels de l'urbanisation envisagée pour les communes voisines, pour l'environnement ou pour les activités agricoles sont excessifs au regard de l'intérêt que représente pour la commune la modification ou la révision du plan ».

Nous comprenons de la lecture de ce texte :

- qu'en l'absence de SCOT, le PLU ne peut être modifié ou révisé en vue d'ouvrir à l'urbanisation une zone naturelle;

- que les établissements hôteliers relevant de l'Article L. 720-5 I 7°du Code de commerce ne sont pas visés par l'interdiction de délivrance d'une autorisation d'exploitation commerciale du deuxième alinéa;

- qu'en présence d'un périmètre de SCOT arrêté et en l'absence de SCOT applicable, il peut être dérogé à l'interdiction du premier alinéa de l'Article L. 122-2 avec l'accord de l'établissement public de coopération intercommunale dans les conditions visées au dernier alinéa de cet article.

Au-delà de cette interprétation littérale, faut-il comprendre que la construction en zone naturelle d'un hôtel d'exception parfaitement intégré au paysage et à l'environnement suppose nécessairement une révision du PLU dans les conditions de l'Article L. 123-13 du Code de l'Urbanisme ?

Et s'agissant « de la réalisation d'une construction ou d'une opération, à caractère public ou privé, présentant un intérêt général pour la commune », cette révision pourrait-elle, à l'initiative du maire, être effectuée selon une procédure simplifiée, selon ce même Article L. 123-13 ? Après enquête publique.

Dans l'attente de votre réponse, je vous prie de croire, Monsieur le Directeur, en l'expression de ma considération très distinguée.

Francis Masson

Avocat à la Cour

PS La réponse fut négative avec avis défavorable du Préfet

Par francis.masson le 28/07/08
Dernier commentaire ajouté il y a 1 année 7 mois

June, 2006

Feasibility of a 4 star luxury, 80-115 suites hotel project on the French Riviera

Main features of the commercial business licence (Autorisation d'exploitation commerciale) required for the creation of a hotel of more than 30 rooms outside the Ile-de-France, which license must be obtained prior to any planning consent.

By Me. Francis MASSON, Avocat à la Cour

Caution: this note dates back to early June 2006, just before an Ordinance of June 8, 2006 and will be shortly updated of recent legal changes. The author therefore declines any liability for any obsolete legal references.

Although closely linked, as the planning permission application is subject to the prior registration of the hotel licence application with the CDEC, the applicable regulations are totally independent:

The planning application is subject to the Code of Urban Planning and the filing of a prior CDEC application, while the CDEC licence is subject to the Commercial Code.

The matter is even more complex, as the hotel business licence involves many public bodies and other regulations relating to competition, tourism, employment, regional development, construction and equipment, environment, etc.

The corresponding ministries or their departmental representatives must be closely consulted and give their opinion to the CDEC, before the latter reaches its decision. The mayor and the city hall are an important part of the decision-making process, but not the only one.

The applicable legal provisions are:

- Articles L. 720-1 to 11 of the French Commercial Code relating to commercial facilities under the heading "De l'équipement commercial", requiring a prior commercial business licence for the creation or extension of retail outlets, hotels and cinemas, creating a Commercial Facilities Commission in each Department (Commission Départementale d'Equipement Commercial, hereafter the "CDEC"), and specifying its composition and role, the economic criteria it must comply with in reaching its decision, the time periods to decide upon the application and the appeal before the National Commission called the "CNEC"; and,

- Decree No. 96-1018 of November 26, 1996, regarding the content of the licence application, the duration of the validity of the licence and sanctions.

Ministerial Orders ("Arrêtés") of January 15 and February 13, 1997, a general Circular of January 16, 1997 applicable to all commercial facilities, a specific Circular of February 25, 1997 applicable to hotels and a Circular of March 7, 2005 supplement the above-mentioned law and decree.

There may be changes introduced by a new draft law nr. 2383 "aiming at guaranteeing the balance between the different forms of businesses", sent by the Senate to the National Assembly on June 17, 2005, which will create interdepartmental commissions, enhance the quality criteria of town planning and environment and increase sanctions for violations of the law.

The purpose of these regulations, frequently amended since 1973, is to allow the growth of all forms of commercial businesses and to prevent the disorganised growth of new distribution channels from resulting in the collapse of small businesses, wasting of commercial facilities and harm to employment.

Global statistics published by the Ministry of Commerce relating to licences granted for all creations/extensions of retail outlets, hotels and cinemas in France during the period 1997-2004 indicate that about 80% of all licence applications were approved in the years 2001-2004 for an average area of 1,130 sqm.

We have not found CDEC statistics for the Var Department and only one positive decision (See Annex 2 hereto) of the National Commercial Facilities Commission dated December 16, 2004, which authorised the extension of a "Champion" supermarket from 1,200 m2 to 1,800 m2 in La Crau (Var).

For the Alpes-Maritimes (Nice, Antibes, Cannes, Grasse, etc...), we found CDEC statistics for 2005 and 2002.

During 2005, 26 licences (including 6 for hotel creations or extensions) were granted, 6 applications withdrawn and 3 refused, out of a total of 35 applications submitted to the CDEC.

No application for a hotel creation or extension was withdrawn or refused in 2005.

In 2002, 32 licences (including 6 for hotel extensions) were granted, 9 applications (including 1 hotel extension) refused and one subject to appeal before the CNEC, out of a total of 42 applications.

I/ The prior CDEC business licence for hotels

1.1. The licence

Under Article L. 720-5 I. 7° of the French Commercial Code, a business licence is required for new construction, extensions or transformations of existing buildings resulting in the creation of hotels (constitution d'établissements hôteliers) with a capacity exceeding 30 rooms outside the Ile-de-France and 50 rooms within the Ile-de-France.

See Annexes 1 and 3 for the definitions of a tourist hotel and tourist residence according to the Ministerial Order of February 14, 1986, as amended, and the hotel classification standards and procedures.

In a decision dated March 9, 1990, the Conseil d'Etat, the highest French administrative court, held that a business licence shall not be required for a tourist residence.

1.2. Time limit for delivering the licence

The CDEC has a period of 4 months from the date of the registration of the application to render its decision (Article L. 720-10 of the Commercial Code).

In the absence of a decision, the licence is deemed tacitly granted.

1.3. Scope of the licence – Motivation of the decision

The hotel business licence is granted or refused for:

- a specific hotel project, which the licence must describe, and a specific number of hotel rooms/suites and related facilities; the Ministerial circular of February 25, 1997 specifies that for suites, a room (une pièce) equals a sleeping-room (une chambre); and,

- The designated commercial name of the future operator.

The licence is granted or refused for the entire project and cannot be granted only for a part of it.

The decision must be motivated and refer, among other things, to the provisions of Articles L. 720-1 and L. 720-3 of the Commercial Code.

The January 16, 1997 circular specifies that restaurants are not subject to the CDEC commercial licence.

The hotel business licence must be delivered prior to the delivery of the planning consent.

1.4. Other public bodies involved

The licence application is filed with the Préfecture, which represents the Ministry of Interior at the Departmental level.

The application is examined by the Departmental Director of Competition and Consumption, the "DDCCRF", the anti-trust arm the Ministry of Finance, who prepares a report, gives the DDCCRF's opinion and obtains the opinions of:

-The Departmental Director of Equipment of the Ministry of Transportation, Equipment, Tourism and the Seas on the impact of the project in terms of regional development and the overall equilibrium of the area.

- The Departmental Director of Employment on the impact of the project in terms of employment.

- The Departmental Commission on Tourism ("CDAT"), which must give its report to the CDEC within 6 weeks from the date of its consultation by the Prefect.

This CDAT is composed of:

- Permanent members: the Regional Director for Tourism, the Departmental Director of Competition, a representative of the Departmental Committee of Tourism, the union of tourist offices, representatives of the Chambers of Commerce, Trades and Agriculture and of the consumers associations; and,

- 4 representatives of the hotel industry and 1 representing travel agencies.

The Regional Director of Tourism presents the opinion of the Departmental Commission on Tourism to the CDEC.

1.5. Obligations of the CDEC

In reaching its decision, the CDEC must first consider the global requirements of regional development, environmental protection, the quality of town planning, modernisation of the commercial facilities, etc.

The CDEC shall also:

- Have reference to the studies of the Departmental Commercial Facilities Monitoring Centre (Observatoire Départemental d'Equipement Commercial).

The missions of the Observatoire are to prepare an inventory of the commercial facilities in the Department with a sales area of more than 300 m2 for various business categories, review the evolution of the commercial facilities and conceive a Plan of Commercial Development (Schéma de Développement Commercial) for the Department.

The Observatoire of the Var Department issued in December 2002 a rather thorough report of 50 pages, with an analysis of the offer and demand, including the Fréjus-St-Raphaël area, (See hotel facilities, page 31, the preceding and following charts and the 2 annexes nos. 6 and 7) which may be consulted on the following link: "http://www.cdig-var.org/virtual/1/lots/ODEC%202002(1).pdf".

The Conseil d'Etat has cancelled several CDEC licences for not having taken the studies of the Observatoire into consideration.

- Obtain the prior written position of the Departmental Commission on Tourism; and,

- Applying the principles defined in Articles L. 720-1 and L. 720-2, take the following into consideration in making its decisions (Art. L. 720-3 II, III and L. 720-5 I 7°):

1. The overall supply and demand for each business sector in the commercial area concerned; the overall impact of the project on private-car and delivery-vehicle flows; the quality of public transport services or alternative means; the accommodation capacities for loading and unloading merchandise (These last 3 requirements were added by a law of December 13, 2000).

2. The density of supermarket and hypermarket outlets in the area.

3. The project's potential impact on the commercial and handicraft activities in the area and in the neighbouring towns and on the balance sought between the different sectors.

4. The project's likely impact in terms of salaried and unsalaried employment.

5. How competition operates within the commercial and handicraft sectors.

6. The density of hotel facilities in the area.

II/ Composition of the CDEC and right of access to the reports

The CDEC is presided over by the Prefect, who informs the CDEC of the Plan of Commercial Development in force in the Department.

The Prefect does not vote.

Outside of Paris, the CDEC is composed of the 6 following members:

- the mayor of the city where the hotel is to be located;

- the president of the public body for inter-municipal co-operation responsible for space planning and development;

- the mayor of the most densely populated municipality of the district;

- the president of the chamber of commerce and industry or its representative;

- the president of the chamber of trades or its representative; and

- a representative of the consumers associations in the department.

A least four positive votes are required.

The following persons also attend the meetings of the Commission, without the right to vote:

- the Prefect;

- the Departmental Director of Competition and Consumption;

- the Departmental Director of Employment;

- the Departmental Director of Equipment; and

- the Regional director of Tourism.

The applicant has a right of access to the reports of the various public bodies involved prior to the meeting of the CDEC and may be heard by the Commission at the applicant's request.

III/ Content of the CDEC licence application

Under Articles 18-2 of the Decree of March 9, 1993, amended by the Decree of November 26, 1996 and a Ministerial Order of January 15, 1997, the application must be filed in 13 copies and specify the following:

1/ Applicant

- Identity of the applicant, corporate name, purpose and address of the person or legal entity, certificate of incorporation filed with the Commercial Court;

- Capacity of the applicant: operator or future operator; owner or future owner of the constructions; developer.

2/ Information on the terms of completion of the project

- List of land parcels concerned by the project and plan from the land registry (cadastre);

- Title of ownership, option to buy or promise of sale, owner's authorisation for the planning application and construction, commercial lease or notary's certificate to that effect.

3/ Information on the project

A/ Location

- Address, present and future transportation infrastructures;

- Overall impact of the project on private-car and delivery-vehicle flows;

- Quality of the public transport services or potential alternative means;

- Accommodation capacities for goods loading and unloading.

B/ Description of the project

- Drawings with the proposed number of rooms/suites; description of past project(s) submitted for the same land and date(s) of previous decision(s).

C/ Terms and conditions of operations

- Commercial name of the future hotel with the written consent of the owner of such name;

- List of hotels operated under such name in the Department;

- Marketing network: information on the proposed marketing method and means;

-Classification: nature of the proposed classification in accordance with the February 14, 1986 Ministerial Order.

4/ Content of the impact study

A/ Delimitation of the area of future influence underlining the tourist interest, the economic activity, the flows linked to the means of communication (airports, highways, etc.) or other reasons for visiting and staying at the hotel, with documents such as a map of the area showing its limits and the city of location; statistics about present and expected tourists flows, business activities, infrastructures creating new flows and increasing the number of clients.

B/ Market description of the area

Provide available information about the existing demand, the level of offer compared to demand, the potential demand.

C/ List of existing hotels and other lodging facilities and new projects in the area

Specify the capacity and occupancy rates of existing hotels and hotels under construction (with expected capacity), as well as other existing and future lodging facilities, such as tourist residences, holiday villages.

D/ Expected annual turnover (VAT included) of the hotel project

E/ Reasoned estimate of the impact of the project upon the equilibrium of the area and existing activities

F/ Analysis of the anticipated consequences of the project on the job market

The analysis must indicate the full-time equivalent of salaried jobs to be created and the risks of the elimination of salaried and non-salaried jobs in the area.

G/ Means used to modernise and adapt the hotel facilities to the evolution of consumption methods and marketing techniques, for the consumer's comfort and the improvement of the employees' working conditions

Specify equipment and services for clients near the hotel (parking spaces) and inside.

Innovation of marketing techniques.

Specify the means and facilities improving the employees' working conditions.

IV/ Implementation of the CDEC licence

1. Communication of contracts under Article L 720-7 of the Commercial Code

All contracts of any kind, which relate to the control or development of the land on which the hotel will be developed, including contracts for transfers free of charge, services in kind and intangible consideration, concluded by public or private persons for the pursuance of a project authorised under Article L. 720-5 shall be notified by each contracting party to the Prefect and the regional auditing court.

The notification must be made within 2 months of the date of the conclusion of the contracts, or, if entered into before the grant of the licence, within 2 months of the delivery of the licence. The violation of this provision is subject to a fine of 15,000 €.

2. Substantial changes of the project – New licence application

In case of substantial changes of the project or a change of the commercial name during the review of the application by the CDEC or during the completion of works, a new licence application must be submitted to the CDEC. It must describe the proposed changes and their consequences on the information contained in the initial application or licence.

3. The planning consent application

The planning consent application may only be filed, if it is accompanied by a copy of the registration letter for the hotel business licence application with the CDEC.

The planning consent and hotel business licence applications may be examined simultaneously.

However, under Article L. 720-10 of the Commercial Code, planning permission shall not be granted, construction shall not commence and no new application shall be filed for the same property with the CDEC before the 2 months deadline for appeal expires or, in the event of an appeal, before the decision on appeal by the CNEC (National Commission), which must render its decision within 4 months of the appeal.

In the worst case scenario of an appeal before the CNEC, this means that no planning licence may be delivered before the expiration of a period of 10 months starting from the date of filing of the business licence application with the CDEC, unless the CDEC/CNEC render their decisions within less than 4 months.

Because of the CDEC licence, the duration of the city hall's examination of the planning application is extended from 2 months to 5 months, or 9 months in the event of an appeal before the CNEC.

These time periods set forth in Article R 421-18 of the Code for Urban Planning are subject to changes by Governmental Ordinance nr. 2005-1527 dated December 8, 2005, relating to the planning licence and town planning authorisations and by subsequent decrees.

This Ordinance shall enter into force at a date determined by Decree and on July 1, 2007 at the latest. We are not aware of the publication of any such Decree.

4. Period of validity of the hotel business licence

When a planning permission is needed, a business licence becomes void, if no valid planning application is filed within 2 years from delivery of the licence or if the hotel does not open to the public within 3 years from the delivery of the final planning consent.

5. No new CDEC application for a period of one year

If the application for a hotel business licence is rejected on substantive grounds by the National Commission, no new application may be filed by the same applicant, for the same project, for the same land, for a period of one year from the date of the decision by the National Commission.

6. Sanctions - Penalties

The start of any construction or any hotel operation without a business licence is subject to a daily penalty of 1,500 € per hotel room. A penalty five times higher is applicable to legal entities for the same violations.

7. Notification and publicity of the CDEC decision

The CDEC decision is notified to the applicant by registered letter with return receipt requested before the expiration of the 4 month time period.

It is posted for 2 months at the city of the location of the project and an excerpt is published in 2 local or regional newspapers in the Department.

8. Court cases regarding the commercial business licence

In a significant decision dated May 27, 2002 "SA Guimatho et SA Dijori", the Conseil d'Etat held as follows:

For the implementation of the combined provisions of article 1 of the December 27, 1973 law and articles L. 720-1 to L. 720-3 of the commercial code, it is to the commercial facilities commissions, subject to control by the administrative judge, to determine whether a project which requires a licence may, in the business area concerned, jeopardise the balance sought by the law-makers between the different types of trades and if it does, to determine whether such disadvantage is offset by the positive aspects of the project, in considering , first, its contribution to employment, space planning, competition, the modernisation of commercial facilities and, more generally, the satisfaction of consumers needs and, second, in evaluating its impact on the traffic and parking conditions near the proposed site."

In other words, the Commercial Facilities Commissions must therefore first evaluate the risks of collapse of small businesses and whether the hotel project may jeopardise the balance between the different forms of hotel facilities in the commercial area in question.

(a) This first test is made by comparing the density of hotel facilities in the commercial area with the corresponding average rates at the national and Departmental levels.

The Commissions may not proceed directly with the second step of analysing the positive aspects of the project. They must go through the first step of the analysis beforehand.

On October 25, 2004, the Conseil d'Etat cancelled a licence granted by the CNEC for the creation of a new 70 room 1 star hotel in Lanester, because the CNEC failed to evaluate first whether the project would jeopardise the balance between the different forms of hotel facilities in the area and because it directly mentioned the positive aspects of the project.

(b) If the risk of collapse of small businesses exists, then the Commissions must compare the costs of such risks with the advantages in terms of employment, regional development, competition, modernisation of commercial facilities and, more generally, consumer needs.

Applying this two-step analysis requirement to hotels, the Conseil d'Etat rejected:

- on March 23, 2003, a request for the cancellation of a licence granted for the extension from 41 to 70 rooms of a 1 star Etap hotel in Macon Sud;

- on November 28, 2003, a request for the cancellation of a licence granted for the creation of a new 63 room 2 star hotel in Aurillac.

As one can plainly see, the granting of a commercial business license for a hotel or tourist residence is highly regulated.

Contacts should be taken with the various authorities mentioned above, including the Departmental Chamber of Commerce, the office of the Director of Tourism as well as appropriate representatives of the hotel industry to ascertain their support and assistance in finding a suitable site.

A further note on French law relating to seaside development and the main constraints of applicable town planning provisions.

Encls:

Annex 1 - Definitions of tourist hotel and tourist residence

Annex 2 – CNEC decision of December 16, 2004

Annex 3 - Hotel classification standards

Annex 1 - Definitions of tourist hotel and tourist residence

TRANSLATION FROM THE FRENCH

Ministerial Order of February 14, 1986, as amended, setting forth the classification standards and procedures for tourist hotels and residences

I. Definitions and classification standards

I- A tourist hotel is a classified commercial lodging establishment, which offers furnished rooms or apartments for rental to a temporary clientele or to a clientele which rents on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, but which, with some exceptions, does not elect domicile there. It may provide restaurant services. It is run all year on a permanent basis or during one or several seasons only. It is called « seasonal hotel », when it is open for less than nine months per year in one or several periods.

II- a) A tourist residence is a classified commercial lodging establishment, operated on a permanent or seasonal basis. It consists in a homogeneous group of furnished rooms or apartments comprised of apartment buildings or houses, offered for rental on a daily, weekly or monthly basis to a tourist clientele, which does not elect domicile there. It contains a minimum of common equipment and services. In all cases, it is managed by a sole physical person or legal entity.

b) It may be subject to the co-ownership of real estate regime governed by law no. 65-557 of July 10, 1965, as amended, or the regime governing companies engaged in the time-sharing of real estate, as defined by law no. 86-18 of January 6, 1986, provided that the co-ownership regulations or the documents listed by Article 8 of law no. 86-18 of January 6, 1986 expressly stipulate:

1) The destination and the conditions of use of the private and common parts, which comply with the method of use defined by this article for such type of classification and which include an ongoing rental obligation of not less than nine years for at least 70% of the furnished rooms or apartments, with the right for the co-owners or shareholders of the time-sharing companies to benefit from a preferential reservation;

2) The management of the whole tourist residence by a sole physical person or legal entity, pursuant to a contract or mandate with the co-owners or shareholders of the time-sharing companies.

Arrêté du 14 février 1986 modifié fixant les normes et la procédure de classement des hôtels et des résidences de tourisme

I. Définitions et normes de classement

I. – L'hôtel de tourisme est un établissement commercial d'hébergement classé, qui offre des chambres ou des appartements meublés en location à une clientèle de passage ou à une clientèle qui effectue un séjour caractérisé par une location à la journée, à la semaine ou au mois, mais qui, sauf exception, n'y élit pas domicile. Il peut comporter un service de restauration. Il est exploité toute l'année en permanence ou seulement pendant une ou plusieurs saisons. Il est dit « hôtel saisonnier » lorsque sa durée d'ouverture n'excède pas neuf mois par an en une ou plusieurs périodes.

II. – a) La résidence de tourisme est un établissement commercial d'hébergement classé, faisant l'objet d'une exploitation permanente ou saisonnière. Elle est constituée d'un ensemble homogène de chambres ou d'appartements meublés, disposés en unités collectives ou pavillonnaires, offerts en location pour une occupation à la journée, à la semaine ou au mois à une clientèle touristique qui n'y élit pas domicile. Elle est dotée d'un minimum d'équipements et de services communs. Elle est gérée dans tous les cas par une seule personne physique ou morale;

b) Elle peut être placée sous le statut de copropriété des immeubles bâtis fixé par la loi n° 65-557 du 10 juillet 1965 modifiée ou sous le régime des sociétés d'attribution d'immeubles en jouissance à temps partagé défini par la loi n° 86-18 du 6 janvier 1986, sous réserve que le règlement de copropriété ou les documents prévus par l'Article 8 de la loi n° 86-18 du 6 janvier 1986 prévoient expressément :

1) Une destination et des conditions de jouissance des parties tant privatives que communes conformes au mode d'utilisation défini au présent article pour ce type de classement et comportant une obligation durable de location d'au moins 70% des chambres ou appartements meublés qui ne saurait être inférieure à neuf ans, les copropriétaires ou les associés des sociétés d'attribution pouvant bénéficier d'une réservation prioritaire ;

2) Une gestion assurée pour l'ensemble de la résidence de tourisme par une seule personne physique ou morale, liée par contrat de louage ou mandat aux copropriétaires ou associés des sociétés d'attribution.

Annex 2 – CNEC decision of December 16, 2004

R É P U B L I Q U E F R A N C A I S E

COMMISSION NATIONALE

D'ÉQUIPEMENT COMMERCIAL

D É C I S I O N

La Commission nationale d'équipement commercial,

VU le code de commerce ;

VU la loi n° 73-1193 du 27 décembre 1973 modifiée d'orientation du commerce et de l'artisanat ;

VU la loi n° 2000-1208 du 13 décembre 2000 relative à la solidarité et au renouvellement urbains;

VU le décret n° 2002-1369 du 20 novembre 2002 relatif aux schémas de développement commercial ;

VU le décret n° 93-306 du 9 mars 1993 modifié relatif à l'autorisation d'exploitation de certains magasins de commerce de détail et de certains établissements hôteliers, aux observatoires et aux commissions d'équipement commercial ;

VU le décret n° 2002-1369 du 20 novembre 2002 relatif aux schémas de développement commercial ;

VU l'arrêté du 12 décembre 1997 fixant le contenu de la demande d'autorisation d'exploitation de certains magasins de commerce de détail ;

VU le recours présenté par la SCI « MILY» et la SA « CHRISTIA », le 13 septembre 2004, ledit recours enregistré le 15 septembre 2004 sous le n° 2459M et dirigé contre la décision de la commission départementale d'équipement commercial du Var en date du 19 juillet 2004 refusant l'extension de 600 m² d'un supermarché à l'enseigne « CHAMPION » d'une surface de vente de 1 200 m², portant cette surface à 1 800 m² à La Crau (Var) ;

VU les travaux de l'observatoire départemental d'équipement commercial du Var ;

Après avoir entendu :

Monsieur Marcel MARMET, gérant de la SCI « MILY » et président du conseil d'administration de la SA « CHRISTIA » ;

Monsieur Patrice ROLLAND, responsable expansion « CHAMPION » ;

Madame Céline FOURDRILIS, chargée de mission « APCM » ;

Monsieur Gérard PELLATI, membre du bureau de la chambre de métiers du Var ;

Monsieur Jean Christophe MARTIN, commissaire du gouvernement ;

Après en avoir délibéré dans sa séance du 16 décembre 2004 ;N°2459 MCONSIDÉRANT que la population de la zone de chalandise a connu une hausse de 18% entre les deux derniers recensements généraux de 1990 et 1999, tandis que celle de la commune d'implantation progressait de 29 % durant la même période ; que la population de la zone rectifiée par le service instructeur de la Direction des entreprises commerciales, artisanales et de services pour y inclure des communes situées à moins de 12 minutes du présent projet, a augmenté de 10,10 % ; que cette zone bénéficie en outre d'un apport touristique important;

CONSIDÉRANT que l'équipement commercial de la zone de chalandise rectifiée se caractérise par la présence d'hypermarchés d'une surface totale de 25 575 m², de supermarchés totalisant 17 136 m² de surface de vente ainsi que des commerces traditionnels ;

CONSIDÉRANT qu'après la réalisation des projets autorisés et du présent projet, la densité commerciale en grande et moyenne surface à dominante alimentaire de la zone de chalandise du demandeur serait inférieure aux moyennes de référence tant nationale que départementale ; que la densité de la zone de chalandise rectifiée par le service instructeur, serait toutefois supérieure aux moyennes de référence nationale et départementale, cette densité devant être relativisée par l'importance de la fréquentation touristique ;

CONSIDÉRANT que l'extension sollicitée de ce supermarché ouvert au public en 1989 contribuerait cependant à limiter l'évasion commerciale vers les principaux pôles des agglomérations d'Hyères, La Valette du Var et Solliès-Pont et bénéficierait ainsi aux commerces traditionnels implantés dans la zone ; que ce projet ne paraît pas par suite susceptible de porter atteinte à l'équilibre entre les différentes formes de distribution de la zone de chalandise;

CONSIDERANT au surplus que ce projet permettra, en modernisant ce supermarché, de stimuler la concurrence avec les autres grandes surfaces de la zone de chalandise au bénéfice des consommateurs locaux ;

DÉCIDE : Le recours susvisé est admis.

Le projet de la SCI «MILY» et la SA «CHRISTIA» est donc autorisé.

En conséquence, est accordée à la SCI «MILY» et la SA «CHRISTIA» l'autorisation préalable requise en vue de l'extension de 600 m² d'un supermarché à l'enseigne « CHAMPION » d'une surface de vente de 1 200 m², portant cette surface à 1 800 m² à La Crau (Var).

La Présidente de la Commission nationale d'équipement commercial

Anne-Marie LEROY

____________

Par francis.masson le 24/07/08
Dernier commentaire ajouté il y a 11 années 4 mois

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Agent immobilier, « Consultant hôtelier » et droit international privé par Me. Francis Masson, Avocat à la Cour, 8/4/2008. Loi française d'ordre public

Avec l'internationalisation et la diffusion d'internet, de plus en plus d'intermédiaires établis dans des pays à fiscalité privilégiée et charges sociales réduites, opèrent sur le marché parisien de la transaction immobilière et hôtelière et faussent le jeu de la concurrence. Analyse préliminaire des risques encourus.

I/ Absence de carte d'agent immobilier du « consultant hôtelier » établi à l'étranger pour la vente d'un hôtel (murs et fonds) sis à Paris et loi étrangère convenue entre les parties:

1.1 La loi française:

La convention des parties ne peut mettre en échec les Articles 1, 3, 5 et 6 de la Loi n°70-9 du 2 janvier 1970, modifiée, réglementant les conditions d'exercice des activités relatives à des opérations portant sur les immeubles et les fonds de commerce situés en France, dite Loi Hoguet.

Cette loi est d'ordre public et il n'est pas possible d'écarter ses dispositions par la volonté contraire des parties, par exemple par l'application d'une loi étrangère convenue entre les parties, si l'immeuble, le fonds de commerce ou la société française les détenant est situé en France.

1.2. Les principales dispositions de la Loi Hoguet modifiée sont les suivantes:

Article 1

" Les dispositions de la présente loi s'appliquent aux personnes physiques ou morales qui, d'une manière habituelle, se "livrent ou prêtent leur concours, même à titre accessoire, aux opérations portant sur les biens d'autrui et relatives à :

" 1° L'achat, la vente, l'échange, la location ou sous-location, saisonnière ou non, en nu ou en meublé d'immeubles "bâtis ou non bâtis ;

" 2° L'achat, la vente ou la location-gérance de fonds de commerce ;

"3° La cession d'un cheptel mort ou vif ;

" 4° La souscription, l'achat, la vente d'actions ou de parts de sociétés immobilières donnant vocation à une attribution "de locaux en jouissance ou en propriété ;

" 5° L'achat, la vente de parts sociales non négociables lorsque l'actif social comprend un immeuble ou un fonds de "commerce ;

" 6° La gestion immobilière.

" 7° A l'exclusion des publications par voie de presse, la vente de listes ou de fichiers relatifs à l'achat, la vente, la "location ou sous-location en nu ou en meublé d'immeubles bâtis ou non bâtis.

" 8° La conclusion de tout contrat de jouissance d'immeuble à temps partagé régi par les articles L. 121-60 et suivants du code de la consommation. »

L'expression « se livrent ou prêtent leur concours » est interprétée très largement par les tribunaux et vise la participation de l'intermédiaire à la réalisation de l'opération par une intervention directe et déterminante ou l'accomplissement de certains actes, tels que visites des lieux, publication d'annonces, rendez-vous avec les contractants ou négociation du contrat, voir rédaction de l'acte sous seing privé, etc.

Cette activité doit être exercée de manière habituelle et suppose la répétition d'actes de même nature sur les biens d'autrui, qu'elle soit rémunérée ou non.

Article 3

« Les activités visées à l'Article 1er ne peuvent être exercées que par les personnes physiques ou morales titulaires d'une carte professionnelle, délivrée par le préfet, précisant celles des opérations qu'elles peuvent accomplir.

« Cette carte ne peut être délivrée qu'aux personnes physiques qui satisfont aux conditions suivantes :

« 1° Justifier de leur aptitude professionnelle ;

« 2° Justifier d'une garantie financière permettant le remboursement des fonds, effets ou valeurs déposés et "spécialement affectée à ce dernier ;

« 3° Contracter une assurance contre les conséquences pécuniaires de leur responsabilité civile professionnelle ;

« 4° Ne pas être frappées d'une des incapacités ou interdictions d'exercer définies au titre II ci-après.

« La garantie mentionnée au 2° ci-dessus résulte d'un engagement écrit fourni par une entreprise d'assurance "spécialement agréée, par un établissement de crédit ou une institution mentionnée à l'article L. 518-1 du code "monétaire et financier... »

L'Article 14 de la même loi prévoit les sanctions pénales suivantes:

« Est puni de six mois d'emprisonnement et de 7 500 Euros d'amende le fait :

« a) De se livrer ou prêter son concours, d'une manière habituelle, même à titre accessoire, à des opérations visées à "l'Article 1er sans être titulaire de la carte instituée par l'Article 3 ou après l'avoir restituée ou en ayant omis de la "restituer après injonction de l'autorité administrative compétente ;

« b) Pour toute personne qui assume la direction d'un établissement, d'une succursale, d'une agence ou d'un bureau, de "n'avoir pas effectué la déclaration préalable d'activité prévue au dixième alinéa de l'article 3 ;

« c) Pour toute personne qui exerce les fonctions de représentant légal ou statutaire d'une personne morale, de se livrer "ou de prêter son concours, même à titre accessoire, d'une manière habituelle à des opérations visées à l'article 1er "sans remplir ou en ayant cessé de remplir les conditions prévues aux 1° et 4° de l'article 3.

« Est puni des mêmes peines le fait de négocier, s'entremettre ou prendre des engagements pour le compte du titulaire d'une carte professionnelle, sans y avoir été habilité dans les conditions de l'Article 4 ci-dessus."

L'Article 16 des sanctions plus lourdes :

« Est puni de deux ans d'emprisonnement et de 30.000 euros d'amende le fait :

« 1° De recevoir ou de détenir, à quelque titre et de quelque manière que ce soit, à l'occasion d'opérations visées à "l'Article 1er, des sommes d'argent, biens, effets ou valeurs quelconques :

« a) Soit en violation de l'Article 3 ;

« b) Soit en violation des conditions prévues par l'Article 5 pour la tenue des documents et la délivrance des reçus, "lorsque ces documents et reçus sont légalement requis ;

« 2° D'exiger ou d'accepter des sommes d'argent, biens, effets, ou valeurs quelconques, en infraction aux dispositions "de l'Article 6. »

2. Jurisprudence :

La Cour d'Appel de Dijon (JurisData : 2002-173876) a écarté l'application de la Convention de Rome du 19 juin 1980 applicable aux obligations contractuelles, sollicitée par l'intermédiaire suisse qui revendiquait l'application de la loi suisse pour la vente d'un bien sis en France et jugé dans un arrêt du 28 Mars 2002:

« Tous les éléments de la situation étant localisés dans un seul pays, le droit français est applicable.

« Et ce type d'opérations est régi en France par une législation d'ordre public soumettant les intermédiaires et les modalités de leurs interventions à des règles strictes et précises.

« Ainsi la loi suisse, dont l'application est revendiquée par l'intermédiaire, ne peut faire échec à cette réglementation "nationale, puisqu'il n'est pas possible d'appliquer une loi manifestement incompatible avec l'ordre public du for.

« ...Ces règles impératives n'ont pas été respectées, ce qui entraîne la nullité du contrat et donc l'impossibilité pour l'intermédiaire de revendiquer une rémunération au titre de ce contrat. »

1.3 La Cour d'appel d'AIX EN PROVENCE, Chambre correctionnelle 5 (JurisData : 2007-341524) a jugé le 13 Juin 2007 :

« ...Le prévenu est poursuivi pour avoir exercé illégalement la profession d'agent immobilier. En effet, le prévenu a "exercé une activité d'entremise et de gestion d'immeubles et de fonds de commerce, sans être titulaire de la carte "professionnelle, faute d'en avoir sollicité le renouvellement.

« L'infraction est constituée, même si le prévenu remplit par ailleurs les conditions d'aptitude professionnelle requises "par la loi et a déposé des fonds à titre de cautionnement de garantie d'agent immobilier.

« Par ailleurs, la circonstance que le prévenu ait présenté, postérieurement à la « commission des faits, une demande "de renouvellement de sa carte professionnelle est sans effet sur la constitution de l'infraction.

« Par conséquent, le prévenu est déclaré coupable d'exercice illégal de la profession d'agent immobilier. »

La nullité des accords intervenus entre un « consultant hôtelier » étranger avec application de la loi étrangère pour la vente d'un hôtel sis en France est encourue, avec le risque d'avoir à rembourser les sommes perçues par le consultant étranger de l'acheteur ou du vendeur et d'être poursuivi pénalement.

Les intermédiaires concernés seront avisés de consulter un professionnel du droit avant de se lancer dans cette aventure.

L'acheteur et le vendeur concernés ou un agent titulaire de la carte seront les premiers à dénoncer l'exercice illégal de la profession d'agent immobilier pour refuser le paiement de toute commission ou honoraire de transaction ou en demander la restitution après avoir utilisé les services de celui-ci, sans parler des risques de poursuites pénales et fiscales, si l'intermédiaire en question s'est organisé pour exercer au départ d'un pays sans convention fiscale avec la France.

L'acheteur ou le vendeur établi en France ou à l'étranger et rémunérant lesdits intermédiaires devront être également très prudents en ce qui concerne la TVA due, la déductibilité des sommes payées au regard de l'IS et la retenue à la source applicable pour tous paiements de commissions ou honoraires à ceux-ci.

2/ Application de la loi française convenue entre le « Consultant hôtelier » étranger et son client français pour l'achat d'un hôtel situé à Londres, lieu de la prestation spécifique (A suivre).

Par francis.masson le 09/07/08
Dernier commentaire ajouté il y a 11 années 5 mois
Par francis.masson le 09/07/08
Dernier commentaire ajouté il y a 11 années 5 mois

AVOCAT D'AFFAIRES - AVOCAT INTERNATIONAL TRILINGUE ANGLAIS ALLEMAND

Droit des Societes et des Affaires - Achats - Ventes -Réorganisations de Sociétés -

Droit immobilier - Investissements étrangers en France

Anglais professionnel et allemand courant

Francis Masson

Avocat au barreau de Paris

26, Avenue de la Grande Armée

75017 Paris - France

http://fr.viadeo.com/fr/profile/francis.masson

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/francis-masson/14/299/282

Facebook: francis.masson.18@facebook.com

Twitter @Fgth016masson

@: massonfd@aol.fr

COMPETENCES : Fusacs, droit des sociétés et des affaires, fiscalité

et investissements internationaux, droit international des affaires

- Audits juridiques, achat et vente de sociétés et fonds de commerce

par des investisseurs industriels, commerciaux, bancaires, immobiliers,

hôteliers français et étrangers; financements et sûretés; réorganisation

de sociétés ou groupes; lettres d'intention, protocoles d'accord,

promesses et contrats d'achat/vente, garanties de passif, etc.; création

de filiales communes, pactes d'actionnaires ; appels d'offres; IPO, LBO,

OPA, OC, TSDI, private equity, cross border M&A; produits dérivés.

- Fiscalité française et internationale des sociétés, groupes et personnes

physiques, contrôles fiscaux et pratique des conventions fiscales

internationales.

- Contrats de fourniture industrielle, baux commerciaux, contrats de

fabrication, d'agence commerciale, distribution, licence, publicité,

assistance technique, etc.

- Négociations, transactions et contentieux civils et commerciaux,

français et internationaux.

PARCOURS PROFESSIONNEL :

2010 - 26, Avenue de la Grande Armée - Paris 17.

2007-2009 130, rue de la Pompe - 75116 Paris.

1990-2007 Masson Piéron Swartz & Beaucourt

6, rue Jean Goujon - 75008 Paris.

1977-1990 Conseil Juridique - Law Offices of Samuel Pisar

(Paris/New York/Washington)

68, Boulevard de Courcelles - 75017 Paris.

Francis Masson a conseillé et conseille des groupes tels que Alfa group

(Russie), St-Gobain Pont-à-Mousson (Usine clés en mains et

transferts de technologie), H. J. Heinz Company et ses filiales

Star Kist Foods Inc. et Weight Watchers, International Data Group

Inc. (Le Monde Informatique), Independent Newspapers Ltd.

et leurs filiales françaises (Publicité extérieure), Maxwell

Communication Corp. et des PME françaises ou étrangères,

côtées ou non, pour de nombreux investissements, financements,

levées de fonds et achats/ventes de sociétés dans les industries

du luxe, des médias, du satellite, de la presse, des imprimeries,

le groupe suédois Reinhold pour des investissements de 10 à 300 MEuro;

dans l'hôtellerie et les bureaux, des investisseurs américains, anglais,

irlandais, suédois, russes, etc. Il a fréquemment travaillé pour des

cessions de portefeuilles d'actis ou de sociétés aux côtés de

grandes banques françaises ou internationales, telles que la

CDC, CCF, CDE, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, City Group,

Caisse de Dépôt du Quebec, etc..

Il est fondateur du Monde Informatique, de la SAGA-Défense

(SA de la Grande Arche), associé et membre fondateur de

Leonardo Finance SA, WellcomeSat Europe Ltd.(GB),

l'Internationaler Juristenverein, Düsseldorf, RFA, et a créé avec

le groupe Reinhold le 1er centre d'affaires Regus sis au

72, rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, Paris 8, en face de l'Elysée.

Il a travaille avec de nombreux cabinets européens à Londres,

Berlin, Rome, nord-américains (NYC, Washington, LA), russes,

etc.

Missions à l'étranger: Londres, New-York, Philadelphie, Berlin,

Dublin, Stockholm, Moscou, Suisse, Espagne, etc.

Formation :

- 1976-1977: Programme d'initiation au droit privé allemand -

Ministère de la Justice de Rhénanie du Nord-Westphalie.

Stages chez Mannesman et le Cabinet Loschelder, Heuking,

Kühn & Partner: Düsseldorf, RFA.

- 1975-1976: Traducteur-interprète Comités parlementaires et

Cour Fédérale du Canada, Ottawa.

- 1975: Maîtrise de droit des affaires et droit international -

Paris II Assas, France.

- 1972: Maîtrise d'allemand - Université de la Sarre, RFA.

Loisirs, autres centres d'intérêts :

Course à pieds, tennis, ski, opéra, lecture.