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Old 21st March 2007, 12:00
Tom Auvergne Tom Auvergne is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Clermont ferrand
Posts: 5
Default Is Freelance practical in France?

Hi everyone,

New to the Forums. I'm from the UK, and came over to France 8 months ago working for a UK firm. They have registered a new branch in France, but the tax and set up costs of this are triple compared to the UK. For this reason, in the next 4-5 months I've a preminition that the FR company may give up....
For 4 years I've been a amateur web designer, using HTML, CSS, a small bit of Java and that's about it. I use dreamweaver mostly as well as Photoshop / Fireworks etc.
Are there any Freelance expats working in the same field in France. Is it really as expensive to work Freelance here?
To set up a small business, like my current employers, it's cost more than a few K, lawyers and accountants fees, and the tax is almost half of what we bring in!!!
All I'm thinking is if I find myself without a job, could I viably and legally work from home?
Hope it makes sense,

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Old 21st March 2007, 23:47
frenchie frenchie is offline
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Aisne (02)
Posts: 62

As far as I know, no. I'm a web programmer and work as a contractor for an American company. There is no legal status that allows true freelance work in France as we know it in the US, and I imagine the UK. I had to create an "entreprise individuelle" in the form of a "micro-entreprise" (which legally requires earning under 27K/year before taxes).

I was able to start because of tax breaks in the area in which I lived - if you can set up in a "zone franche urbaine" that's a great deal, but the trade-off is that those are generally undesirable areas to live in. Now we have moved and I have yet to see the full effects of the taxes/national healthcare/etc I'll be paying, but so far it hasn't been pretty. Were my husband not gainfully employed, I would not be able to afford to do this for a living.

This is, in my opinion, the main reason that "travail au noir" (working under the table) is so prevalent in France. Taxes are the death of the freelance worker, artisan, and small business owner.

To find more information on it, you'll need to talk to/check the website of the Centre des Formalités des Entreprises of the area where you live.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

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Old 20th July 2007, 19:50
gbonnet gbonnet is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2
Default work from home / freelance

Hi Tom,

You need to have a look at companies of 'Portage Salarial', basically they will provide you with all the legal and contracting side of the job. You just need to find your customers.

I heard good comments about Cadres en Mission : http://www.cadresenmission.com

You should contact them

Good luck with that.

Last edited by gbonnet : 20th July 2007 at 19:56. Reason: spelling :)
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Old 27th September 2011, 15:30
tergra tergra is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 1

Yes Freelance is practical in France, as for me I am using http://www.rh-solutions.com, and am pretty happy about it. But indeed you should wander around the forums to know which one has the best reviews. :-)
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