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Home Office: rules

Verified 11 August 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Home-based Outsourcing, also called door or home sale, is a commercial activity that involves travelling to the homes of potential buyers and consumers. It is a matter of selling goods or services to them by contract. Home selling is regulated to protect the consumer. The rules concern the content of the contract and the withdrawal periods.

This is a commercial activity that involves moving potential buyers and consumers to their homes to sell goods or services. The sale is concluded by means of a contract.

Home selling does not involve telephone or remote selling.

The seller carries out his trade independently.

He is not an employee of a company (unlike VRP: titleContent).

It is an intermediary between a direct sales company (whose goods or services it sells) and consumers.

Tagging can be done in the following locations:

  • Home
  • Consumer workplace
  • Seller's place of work if the canvassing took place just before in the street or a shopping centre
  • Outside (street, centre or shopping centre, etc.)

Depending on where the contract is signed

To qualify a contract as home sale, it must have been signed in the physical presence of the seller and the buyer.

The place where the contract is concluded must meet one of the following criteria:

  • It is different from the place or store where the seller carries out his business permanently or in a normal way, unless the customer has just been outdoors (on the street, at his home or at work).
  • This may be the location of an excursion organised by the seller for the purpose of promoting and selling goods or services.

Example :

The seller makes a proposal to sell to a customer in a shopping mall, and then takes him to his store to sign a contract.

Depending on the nature of the contract
Contracts accepted or excluded from home sales

Contracts accepted

Excluded contracts

- Contract for the sale of goods and services, purchase or rental

- Contract of childcare, assistance to the elderly or disabled, home help

- Health service, prescription and delivery of medicines

- Other social services

- Gambling

- Financial service (loan, insurance)

- Contract written by a public official (example: notary

- Tourist package

- Immediate supply of food, beverages, consumer goods (example: shopping tour in a rural area)

- Passenger service

- Single Internet subscription, telephone

- Property: construction, acquisition, transfer, leasing, use of timeshare property

For the contract to be valid, the home seller must comply with the following rules:

  • Inform Customer
  • Issue the contract during the canvassing
  • Provide customer with retraction slip
  • Do not receive payment within 7 days

Inform customer before entering into contract 

Before the conclusion of the contract, the seller must communicate to the customer in a legible and comprehensible manner, in paper or durable form, the following information:

  • Identity of the seller and the business whose products he distributes (postal address, mail and telephone)
  • Characteristics of the goods or services sold
  • The date or time limit on which the seller agrees to deliver the goods or perform the service
  • Cost of shipping or commissioning
  • Prices and payment terms (forms and interest rates in case of sale on credit)
  • Withdrawal conditions (deadline and slip for the customer to withdraw)
  • Legal or commercial guarantees
  • Spare parts availability
  • Ombudsman for consumer affairs

If the seller does not inform the customer correctly, he may be fined €3,000 (or €15 000 for a business).

In the event of a dispute, it is up to the seller to prove that he has fulfilled his obligations towards the customer.

Contract Discount Required

The customer must receive a contract from the seller and sign it.

The format can be paper or digital.

The contract must include the following information:

  • Buyer and Seller Contact Information
  • PO Number
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Commercial guarantees
  • Detachable withdrawal slip

If the seller does not submit a contract of sale or attach a withdrawal slip to the contract, he risks a prison sentence of 2 years and €150 000 (or €750 000 for a business).

Pay nothing for 7 days after signing the contract

Seller should not receive payment within 7 working days from the conclusion of the contract.

However, in the following cases, payment without delay is permitted:

  • Log Subscription (Daily)
  • Contract for personal services (childcare or assistance to the elderly)
  • Contract concluded during collective meetings organised by the seller at his home or at the customer's home
  • Contract of repair work to be carried out urgently at the customer's home upon request

Failure to do so could result in a 2-year prison sentence and a fine of €150 000 (or €750 000 for a business).

Right of withdrawal

14 days to renounce

The customer has 14 working days to renounce his commitment.

  • In the case of a service provision, this period shall start from the conclusion of the contract.
  • In the case of goods or services with a delivery, this period shall start from the conclusion of the contract or from the receipt.

If the expiry day is a Saturday, a Sunday or a holiday or unemployed, the period shall be extended until Monday or the following day of the holiday.

Where the order contains more than one item of goods delivered in more than one consignment, the period shall begin from the receipt of the last receipt. However, if the delivery of the goods is regular and over a defined period of time, the period begins from the receipt of the first good.

The customer must send the seller either a simple letter expressing his wish to withdraw, or by completing the following sample letter:

Withdrawal of a remote purchase (over the Internet, by mail, teleshopping or telephone)

14 days to return property

After receiving the goods, the customer has 14 days to return the goods if he wishes.

This cancellation of the contract.

The customer does not have to pay a withdrawal fee. He only has to pay the postal removal fee if the trader has informed him before. It can also pay the fees associated with the start of a service.

The trader must repay the entire amount paid for the contract.

Exceptions to the right of withdrawal

The customer cannot exercise his right of withdrawal for the following contracts:

  • Fully executed before the end of the withdrawal period, with the customer's agreement and with the customer's explicit waiver of the right of withdrawal
  • Goods or services whose price depends on market fluctuations that occur during the withdrawal period and which the seller does not control
  • Good made according to specific characteristics requested by the customer
  • Property that can deteriorate or perish quickly
  • Property that has been unsealed by the customer after delivery and cannot be returned for reasons of hygiene or health protection
  • Goods which, after having been delivered and which, by its nature, is indissociably mixed with other articles
  • Alcoholic drink that is delivered after 30 days and whose value depends on market fluctuations independent of the seller
  • Work to be carried out urgently at the customer's home at his request, subject to spare parts and work strictly necessary to respond to the emergency
  • CD, DVD or computer software when unpacked by customer after delivery
  • Magazine or magazine without subscription
  • Contract concluded at an auction
  • Tourist accommodation, property transport service, car rental, catering, leisure activities to be provided on a specified date
  • Digital intangible content (software for example) that started to run after prior agreement of the customer and with his waiver of his right of withdrawal


if the customer signs a contract that is already dated, undated or antidated, they cannot withdraw.

If the seller does not provide the customer with the right of withdrawal information, the customer has 12 months to withdraw (from 14 days).

If the seller provides this information within 12 months, the time limit shall start from the date of receipt of the information.

Seller may be fined €15 000 maximum (or €75,000 for a business).

The customer must first seek an amicable solution.

Friendly solution

Traders in France

He can contact customer service.

In the absence of a response, or in the event of an unsatisfactory response, the consumer service may be contacted. Contact information must be included in the general conditions of sale or on the seller's website.

If the dispute persists, it can send the seller a registered letter with notice of receipt summarising the subject of the complaint.

If the seller does not respond to the mail, or if the seller responds unsatisfactorily, the customer may to the consumer ombudsman.

It can also alert the Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Enforcement (DGCCRF).

Who shall I contact

In another EU country or Norway or Iceland

In case of dispute with a trader from another country of European Union, Norway or Iceland, the consumer may request the intervention of the European Consumer Centre (CEC France).


In case of dispute with a trader outside theEuropean Union, it may lodge a complaint with International Consumer Protection and Control Network (ICPEN) .


In the absence of an amicable solution, the client can go to court.

The competent court is dependent on the sums involved in the dispute.

  • For litigation less than or equal to €10 000, it is the local court or the judicial court.
  • For litigation greater than €10 000, it's the court.

Who shall I contact

If he is a victim of an offence (e.g. abuse of weakness), he may file to the public prosecutor at the court of his place of business.

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