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Notary's fee

05.09.2016

The sum paid to French notarys, which is commonly and mistakenly referred to as “Notary’s costs”, actually comprises ­: taxes paid back to the Public Treasury, expenses, and remuneration of the notarial service.

  • What does the "Notary's costs" include ?

    • Taxes (approximately 8/10ths of the costs, that go to the State and local authorities) : these are sums that the French notary must collect and pay to the State on behalf of their clients.
      They vary according to the type of instrument and property.

    • Expenses (1/10th): sums that the Notaire disburses on behalf of their clients to pay the various parties in the transaction and/or the cost of the various documents, and to settle one-off expenses incurred at the clients’ request (e.g. certain travel costs).

    • The remuneration of the notarial service (1/10th).

  • The Notary's fee

    • Since the Notaire acts in public interest, the remuneration of the notarial service is strictly controlled and is governed by regulated fees .

    • The fees was set by the decree dated 8 March 1978 and has essentially been modified four times : by the decree dated 16 May 2006, by the decree dated 21 March 2007­, by the decree dated 7 February 2011 and finaly by the decree dated 26 February 2016 and bylaw dated 26 February 2016.

    • In this respect, it is worth noting that 73% of French people consider that fixing of Notarys' fees by the State is “a good thing because it ensures equality between citizens” (Harris Interactive – Notaires de France survey, March 2013).

    • Important : The monies that the clients leave with the French notary for the completion of their file, and which more often than not constitute provisions, are deposited at the Caisse des Dépôts (Deposit and Consignment Office) and are inspected on a regular basis.
      These funds do not earn interest and that the French notary is paid only when all the  formalities  are completed.
      It is therefore not in the French notary's interest to let a matter “drag on”.

    • Strictly speaking, the fees therefore comprise of :
      proportional and fixed emoluments (fixed by decree) for all the instruments and formalities to which the public authorities have decided it applies (e.g. marriage contracts, gifts, divisions, sells, loans, etc.),
      fees for all instruments for which the decree provides that payment is freely agreed between the French notary and his client (e.g. commercial leases, articles of association, Real estate bargaining, detachables consultations, etc.).

  • Emoluments

    • Fixed emoluments are charged for instruments for which no proportional fee is payable.

    • This fee varies according to the type of instrument. The net amount paid to each act with fixed emoluments indicated in the decree of February 26, 2016 with reference to a service number.

    • Examples :
      - Gifts between spouses (during the marriage ) : service number 22, €115,39 (excl. VAT)
      - Drawing up a posthumous power-of-attorney : service number 35, €115,39 (excl. VAT)
      - Initial or amended PACS (Pacte Civil de Solidarité ˜ civil union) document : service number 40, €192,31 (excl.)

    • Formality emoluments often charged for the completion of an instrument varies according to the type of instrument and the amount stated in the Decree of 26 February 2016.

    • Examples :
      - authenticated copy : service number 121, €1.15 (excl. VAT)
      - plain-paper copy : service number 213, €0.38 (excl. VAT)

    • Proportional emoluments are calculated by applying a percentage (rate) to the value specified in the instrument.

    • The rate is on a sliding scale and is different depending the instrument. These instruments are categorised in the decree in the table N°5 completed by a number.
      The method for calculating the fee - rate and slices which these regressive rates apply - is specified in bylaw of 26 February 2016, also with reference to the number.

    • Example :

    • Proportional emoluments for property selling : N°54 of table N°5 of the Decree
      Art. A. 444-91- Selling or will transfer counter (number 54 of Table 5) gives rise to the perception of a proportional fee, according to the following scale :
       

      Tax bracket Tax rate
      From 0 to €6,500 3,945%
      From €6,500 to €17,000 1,627%
      From €17,000 to €60,000 1,085%
      More than €60,000 0,814 %
    • Please note : The sum of the proportional emoluments and formalities related to real estate sales may not exceed 10% of the property value.

    • The French notary may grant a discount on the proportional emoluments of certain benefits. It shows the benefits concerned.

    • This discount is on the part of the proportional emoluments calculated on the tax bracket beyond a threshold (k € 150 or more) and may not exceed 10% *.
      The methods used and the discount will then apply to all customers.

  • Fees

    • Fees paid directly to the Notaire apply to instruments, which don't figure in the table 5 of Decree of 26 February 2016. In this table, it is provided that the payment is agreed freely between the French notary and his client.

    • Example of instruments :
      - sale of businesses, legal advice.
      - fees for real estate trading**
      - transaction fees
      - fees for detachables consultations of benefits whiwh figure in items of the table 5 of Decree of 26 February 2016.

    • Clients must be notified beforehand in writing of the sum to be paid or the method used to calculate it, and give their approval to the French notary.

    • * Beyond 10 MF tax brackets, the rate discount can reach up to 40% but only for the services specified in Art. 444-10-II of the Decree of 26 February 2016.

      ** These benefits are no longer under the fee-based sector since March 1, 2016.

See also

03.08.2016

European Certificate of Inheritance

29.11.2016

The letter of the notaries of France in the world / November 2016

02.12.2016

Conseil du coin : Meet a notary at the cafe on December 3!