Avocats
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    Bénédicte Litzler will attend to the 26th Conference of Avocats Conseils d’Entreprises, on the 27th and 28th of September in Antibes.
    Member of the Social Law commission, she will be part of all Social Law Workshops.

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    For the past several months, French legislators (deputies) have sought to implement a tax break on transfers by gift or inheritance.

    To this end, last May, legislators introduced a bill mainly aimed at increasing the tax allowance beyond which an inheritance or a gift is taxed, raising it from €100,000 to €159,325.

    Those legislators also proposed to apply tax allowances every 10 years instead of every 15 years as is currently the case in effect.

    Although the bill has not been voted on, it now seems to have little chance of being passed.

    In answering two ministerial questions raised, the French Government expressed its intention of not changing those tax rules.

    As per the increase of the current €100,000-allowance, the Ministry of Economy and Finance considers that the amount is “very close to the median net assets of all households, which, according to the INSEE, reached €113,900 per household in early 2015” and “that, on its own, it results in a very large majority of transfers being tax exempt“.

    As for the time period related to past gifts, the Ministry considers that the current time period is adequate, and as a reminder points out that “contrary to the sentiment expressed by (public) opinion, over three-fourths of inheritances are exempt from the payment of gift or inheritance tax.

    It is therefore in the best interest of taxpayers with a substantial estate to plan the transfer of their assets to their descendants in advance.

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    As summer ends, now is as good a time as any to be reminded of an indispensable precautionary measure that should be taken by all entrepreneurs!

    Unlike in the American system, under French law, your company is not automatically the owner of the creations (such as artwork, design or photo) that you order from and which are developed by external service providers, or those developed in-house by your company’s own employees.

    In order to be allowed to use those creations freely, within the framework of your employment contracts or your service contracts concluded with external service providers, your company must make sure to include a transfer of rights clause adapted to your business sector, scrupulously complying with the provisions set forth in the French Code of Intellectual Property. If such a transfer has not been set up – or in the event of a poorly prepared transfer – the property rights regarding the creation will remain in the ownership of the creator who can object to the said creation being used by your company, in any form whatsoever.

    That negligence is not without consequences for your company, whose entire business could, in extreme cases, be jeopardised.

    The absence of a transfer of invention rights to your company might also delay action by certain investors or buyers, or even cause them to reconsider their planned acquisition or investment.

    As a result, it would be especially unfortunate to be confronted with this complication when, in fact, it can be avoided beforehand, by making simple, albeit specific and adapted, arrangements in advance.

© Schmidt Brunet Litzler