If you wish to employ an artisan to do some work in your cottage in France, here is a list of documents you need to ask him/her before signing a 'devis' (estimate).
- an extract from the Register of Commerce (extrait d'inscription au registre du commerce et des sociétés),
- a certificate of registration in the Register of Craft Trades (carte justifiant l'inscription au Répertoire des Métiers),
- a company document (estimate, publicity) stating the company name, address and registration number.
Read my post about employing someone in the Black in France here.