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help to go self-employed

Posted by nic.west-193395 - Created: 13 years ago
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I am a qualified graphic designer, and had to give up my job in England when my husband's work brought him out here. So I would like to become self-employed doing a bit of graphic design, web design and illustration as this means I can work from home. I'm not really looking for loads of money, or even full-time work, but would just like enough to do to stop my brain from turning to jelly!

BUT I NEED HELP!!! I have no idea about the law with regard to self-employment in France, other than that I've been told it's very expensive. But of course I don't really want to spend more in tax than I'm earning! I've also been told that I could register as an artisan, because I'm not earning very much (or anything, in fact, at the moment!). But I don'tknow anything about that either!!

Can anyone out there tell me where I should begin?

nic.

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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by urbinoArt - 11 years ago

http://www.freelanceinfrance.com/found this company all about the umbrella system, in English

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Posted by urbinoArt - 11 years ago


Hi there,
I am a graphic designer/painter in the same position as yourself, I have struggled around for years (been here for 13!) I also came to france because of my (now ex) partner's job (and then had kids). It seems every way I've tried, it all sounds too expensive and complicated, unless you are going to make a lot of money to cover all charges, its not worth it. Unlike in the uk, where it's so simple. I have ended up teaching art and doing the odd bit of design. However I once investigated the 'maison des Artistes' based in Paris (includes graphic design) its purpose is to give artists, who tend to be low earners, the security of belonging to an official body and having social security benefits, retirement and an ability to bill legally etc.
I would like to investigate it further and it struck me that with you and 'pippet' (above) we could pool our efforts and look into how to get started again. The only thing that put me off was how to go about being accepted, i understand they are quite choosy about who they 'let in' ...

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Posted by nic.west-193395 - 13 years ago

I would be very interested at this point in having a look at info about umbrella companies; even if I don't go down that route it would be nice to look at it all anyway......

nic.

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Posted by pippet-197767 - 13 years ago

I am an illustrator living in Nice though I haven't worked for a few years since having children. When I recently thought of starting to work again, I too looked in umbrella companies and have lots of info on how they work but to be honest I found it pretty complicated not only from your point of view but for your future client too. Unfortunately unless you are prepared to out lay some money first I think it is pretty difficult in France to get going .

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Posted by nic.west-193395 - 13 years ago

No, I'm looking to pick up work over here from the huge English-speaking community. I like the sound of umbrella companies, but tried to contact a couple to no avail. I'm not sure my French is good enough to explain what I want. Dos anyone know of any english speaking umbrella companies over here???nic.

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Posted by TonyP-191937 - 13 years ago

Are your clients going to be French?  If you are going to be working for old contacts in the UK but doing the work here it is more complex.  You ought to be billing the clients through a UK co, but paying French tax on your salary.

In that case it is another reason to use an umbrella company.

Tony

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Posted by nic.west-193395 - 13 years ago

thanks for the advice everyone! It's given me something to think about. Any other ideas/info please feel free to post them here!

cheers

 

nic.

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Posted by mike-179830 - 13 years ago

Since the beginning of this year it has been possible to defer the first year's social charges and pay them off over the next five years.

Also, you only go to the Chambre de Commerce if you are going to be a commercant. As a designer you will almost certainly be defined as a professional libéral, which means you go directly to URSSAF. Far easier to pay an English-speaking accountant to set it all up for you for €100 or so. And that way you will also be given accurate and up-to-date information...

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Mike

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Posted by nic.west-193395 - 13 years ago

sounds good....but whaddya do if you haven't got a spare couple thusand euros lying aound?nic.

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Posted by ivi - 13 years ago

If you have residency then I would simply go to the nearest Chambre de Commerce (Chamber of Commerce of course!) and register as a MICRO ENTREPRISE.  You have tax benefits, nearly no accountancy to do (you need to keep a list of invoices and bills), the year end declarations is a doddle (total of invoices has to be written in a box on your declaration) and they send you everything in the post which you need to pay.  You get sent a Carte Vitale (your HEALTH CARE CARD which remains in force for three years after you close your entreprise).  The first year charges are done on a forfait basis (around 15.000 francs, which is what 2.000 euros) and you pay pro rata.  So if you start half way through the year you will end up paying 1000 euros.  You are taxed on 48% on your invoices (there is a 52% forfait tax deduction) and you get a SIRET and all the rest.  No accountants, nothing.  Good way to start.  And if you end up not invoicing very much then they reimburse you any extra charges..... (given that they charge you on a supposed income the first year).  I hope I've been clear, but anyway it's the way to do it IMVHO. Good luck.