Patronage and the Civil Law Notary

It is not necessary to give a large sum to be a patron. Cultural projects looking for patrons are often right in front of your nose, at the end of your street; they are part of your daily life.

So far as businesses are concerned, patronage is an essential communication tool. All companies, irrespective of their size from SMEs to multinationals can devise patronage initiatives. The company can expect the patron to enhance its image, making it more transparent, more concerned with civic duty, more community minded etc.­

  • ­The benefits of the patronage law

Under the French Act of 1 August 2003 relating to patronage, companies and individuals who make a donation to a French museum (having the status of an association pursuant to the French Act of 1901 or which come under a local authority) can benefit from tax reductions :

  • 60% of the amount of the payment for businesses (limited to 0.5% of turnover),
  • 66% for individuals (limited to 20% of the taxable income).

  • The various forms of patronage

There are several ways of becoming a patron: gifts of cash, gifts in kind or skills, as an associate or in partnership in order to support a work of general interest.

  • The relationship with the profession

Accordingly, in 2003, after enactment of the patronage act, associations and foundations, the French Ministry of Culture and Communication entered into an initial agreement with the High Council of French Notariat (Conseil supérieur du notariat) representing French notaires, to help develop patronage initiatives. Said agreement was renewed in June 2010.

The relationship between the notaire’s profession and the cultural world goes back several centuries. It is often instruments recorded by notaires that enable us to reconstruct the history of some work of art. For whom was it created, where was it intended to go? How much did it cost? A multitude of questions to which instruments recorded by or inventories drafted by notaires can answer.

Since then, a number of local initiatives launched and supported by notaires have contributed to the emergence of the “patronage” culture. The first “patronage centres” have been created. Their role is to facilitate contacts between potential patrons and project owners in the same region. They will expand in the next few months and years.

To find out more about patronage, visit the French Ministry of Culture and Communication's website : www.mecenat.culture.gouv.fr

Frequently asked questions