July 29, 2021

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Goodwill: aid for recovery with too weak a scope



After ski resorts without ski lifts, amusement parks without attractions, here is the aid from companies without eligible companies. A decree published in May provides for the payment of aid to certain business buyers. This is intended to compensate for the loss of turnover suffered due to closure during the first half of 2021.

This decree is a false aid. Why ? The aid is open to companies which cumulatively fulfill several conditions.

1. They must have been created by December 31, 2020 at the latest

2. They must have acquired at least one goodwill the sale of which has been recorded by an authentic deed or under private signature, duly registered, and which was entered between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020 in a public register kept at the registry. the commercial court in which the fund is operated and which they still own on the date of filing the aid request

3. The activity allocated to the goodwill remained the same after its acquisition

4. The activity allocated to the business has been the subject of a ban on uninterrupted public reception between November 1, 2020, or the date of acquisition of the fund, and May 1, 2021 in application of the provisions of the decree. of October 29, 2020 referred to above

5. They justify zero turnover in 2020

6. They are neither controlled by another company, nor do they control another company under the conditions provided for in Article L. 233-3 of the Commercial Code.

Drastic conditions

The first three conditions without possible discussion, on the other hand points 4 to 6, almost all companies get out of the aid and demonstrate the desire to get as many companies out of the system as possible.

Take point 4, the ban on uninterrupted public reception. A mountain ski rental business, for example, was not administratively closed because only the ski lifts were (beautiful hypocrisy!). On the other hand, the massive negative impact on their turnover was very real… no help.

Point 5, zero turnover in 2020? A restaurateur, for example, who could have filled the first four points, leaves the system with point 5. A restaurateur who would have taken over a restaurant in February 2020, did not make zero euros in 2020 … But he was massively impacted during the year 2020. Again, no help …

And point 6 now, they often have family companies, generally owned by the couple of entrepreneurs who are used to acquire business assets. These companies hold their contributions: in this case also no aid for these companies.

Correct the mistakes

So far, no other aid has been validated with such restrictive conditions. Does the government want to avoid the windfall effects or the buyers of companies in difficulty, the profiteers of the crisis? Yes, but in this case, let’s study the files because the companies in these situations should not be so numerous!

And entrepreneurs who risk their own property and the comfort of their families recognize themselves, they have paid registration fees on the basis of the turnover of their ceding companies, they have families, they have employees!

There is still time to act and correct the mistakes, but time is running out. It will take pragmatism to come out of this recovery plan with pride and with all the living forces of our country which are mostly very small and medium-sized enterprises.

The Federation of Small Businesses of France is ready to defend these cases and offers its help to study them. We are sure that prior work with the Directorate-General for Enterprises would help sort out the files. It is about entrepreneurs, it is about jobs, it is only about the dynamics of the recovery and it is about the equality so dear to our values.

Viviane Chaine-Ribeiro is president of the Federation of Very Small Enterprises (FTPE).