Working as a freelance : what about you ?
Freelancing in France
Freelancing is becoming more and more common. Nowadays, the number of freelancers in France is estimated at 930,000. This number has been constantly increasing over the past ten years, which shows the growing weight of this form of employment. Today, a quarter of companies use freelancers. These are not only used to cope with increased activity. More and more companies are using freelancers, including on strategic functions. The main benefits cited by companies are :
- Increased flexibility
- Rare and specialized skills not available internally
- Responding to specific needs of end customers
- Support on strategic missions
The typical profile of a freelance is a person of around 35 years old, accumulating several years of professional experience with a high level of qualification (Master’s degree). The Ile-de-France region concentrates almost half of the freelancers in France. However, this distribution could change significantly in the coming years, given the development of digital and remote working. The missions last on average 6 months, but this average is very variable according to the typology of the assignment.
Why work as a freelance ?
There are many reasons to become a freelance. It could be the desire to be your own boss, the freedom to organize your schedule as you want, or the exploration of new facets of your job, or even the reorientation towards new jobs. Certain qualities can increase the probability of success, namely a recognized expertise, a good understanding of the market, tenacity or a solid network of relationships. However, it is not necessary to develop all these qualities at once to the maximum before jumping on board, fortunately ! Otherwise no one would start his own business !
How to become a freelance ?
If the freelance status appeals to you, the first thing to do is to get around appropriate people. On the one hand, because the support of your family and friends is important. On the other hand, to be able to submit your project to a neutral and objective external eye, in order to limit the pitfalls. In addition, if you do not already have enough customers to immediately ensure a sufficient amount of revenue, solutions exist to get your business started : personal networks, past professional contacts, events, subcontracting, freelancing platforms. However, beware of your degree of economic dependence on a single client ! According to INSEE, one in five self-employed workers is economically dependent on another entity.
When you have visibility on your potential sales, you can draft your business plan. Next will be the search for funding and partners, as well as requests for aids and subsidies if the need arises. Once your business creation project has been validated, you will be able to be assisted for the paperwork. These include the articles of incorporation, and the filing for the French authorities. Given the multiple legal, fiscal and social options possible for a freelance, do not hesitate to reach out a CPA on how to incorporate a business !