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France invoicing

akomitska
Active

Hello,

 

I'm a newbie here! I've come to this website, since I'm wishing to work as a freelancer either as a writer/editor, or as as a graphic designer. I've already found quite a few sites to seek work on, however, I currently live in France and I'm unaware of the legal matters I should look into before ever taking the path of a freelancer.

 

I've so far went through some topics on this forum, notably related to VAT, taxes and issuing invoices, and, as I understand, the majority of freelancers register as auto-enterpreneurs before the state. Now, I'll look into all this information in greater detail in the near future but right now I feel like I should grasp the basics and inform myself on what I'm getting myself into before even starting.

 

My first question is, since I haven't done any freelance work before and technically, I'm just starting out with the idea to try it out and see if it works for me, should I even declare my work, if I land any job, which I'm pretty sure won't be very profitable? The thing is that I'm Bulgarian, I've recently moved to Paris and I'm living with friends, so I'm paying taxes to my own country (+ I'm taking a gap-year in between my studies), hence, I'm not registered for France's social security system. Is there a minimum of money I should be making before registering as self-employed? Also, as far as payment goes, does it matter if I register a personal or a business Paypal account? What about invoices - what should I definitely include in them? And is there an institution I could go to in order to speak to a representative who could explain all of this at once?

 

Thank you kindly for your help!

7 REPLIES 7
versailles
Community Guru

@Anna K wrote:

 

> the majority of freelancers register as auto-enterpreneurs before the state.

 

This is definitely the simpliest form of incorporation in France. As a Bulgarian citizen, you are free to incorporate in France.

 

> should I even declare my work, if I land any job, which I'm pretty sure won't be very profitable?

 

You cannot conduct a lucrative activity without reporting it. 

 

> The thing is that I'm Bulgarian, I've recently moved to Paris and I'm living with friends, so I'm paying taxes to my own country

 

You will have to pay your auto-enterpreneur business tax (around 25%) in France and you will have to report your net earnings either in France or Bulgaria. You need to check with the tax office for this.

 

You will have to open a French bank account (not necessairy a business account, any free individual account will do, but it has to be dedicated to your activity)

 

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless

Thank you for your prompt replies!

 

As far as reporting my income goes - I don't want to build a lucrative business out of my freelancing just yet. As I said, I just want to see what it's like, whether I'll physically have the time to do it and whether I'll have success in finding jobs. In that case, I'm guessing, I wouldn't have to register beforehand. And when the time comes that I'll have to, is there some sort of a minimal revenue that I should be getting before declaring it?

 

As for the tax office - can I schedule a meeting with a representative that can explain to me how to react in my situation? I wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer or an accountant, obviously, so is there anyone I can contact in a state institituion?

 

I've already opened a personal bank account. However, what type of Paypal account should I link it to or I could start with a personal one at this point?

 

Also, some time ago I was looking into English tutoring jobs and what struck me was that the majority of teachers/any kind of job candidates are preferred to be "self-employed", so that the company that's hiring you has less to pay to hire you. Is that true? I mean, how do you even work for a company if you've declared to be self-employed? Does that mean that you don't sign a "regular" contract with the company you're working for? Also, how do you handle payments for your social security - where do I apply for a number and how do I pay ir on my own if I have no employer?

 

Thank you!

Anna,

 

Unfortunately, we won't be able to connect you with a tax adviser. You can look for additional information about reporting income in the country of your location on official government websites and by contacting local tax advisers. 

 

As for accessing your earnings, you should be able to select from available withdrawal methods. PayPal or Direct to Local Bank Transfer should be among your options. You can find more information and links here.

 

The way your relationship with your client is classified depends on multiple factors. You can check this help article as well as Upwork User Agreement for more information.

~ Valeria
Upwork

@Anna K wrote:

Thank you for your prompt replies!

 

As far as reporting my income goes - I don't want to build a lucrative business out of my freelancing just yet. As I said, I just want to see what it's like, whether I'll physically have the time to do it and whether I'll have success in finding jobs. In that case, I'm guessing, I wouldn't have to register beforehand. And when the time comes that I'll have to, is there some sort of a minimal revenue that I should be getting before declaring it?

 

You would probably get away with a few jobs without declaring. But if you want to freelance even on a very part-time basis, you need to dedicate time to your client and deliver the work. In France, you have to register as an autoentrepreneur and you have to declare your earnings every quarter, even if your earnings are zero. Anything you make, even if it is only $10.00 you will be taxed about 25%. As Upwork has to charge you VAT on services rendered, eventually some authority will tumble to the fact that you are not declared.  

 

As for the tax office - can I schedule a meeting with a representative that can explain to me how to react in my situation? I wouldn't be able to afford a lawyer or an accountant, obviously, so is there anyone I can contact in a state institituion?

You need first to contact your local URSSAF office: This is the website link where you can search the office closest to you: https://www.urssaf.fr/portail/home.html

 

I've already opened a personal bank account. However, what type of Paypal account should I link it to or I could start with a personal one at this point?

A personal bank account is sufficient. PayPal will only pay into the bank of the country where you are resident. Also if you accumulate too much money in your PayPal account without transferring it to your bank, they will require identity verification.

 

Also, some time ago I was looking into English tutoring jobs and what struck me was that the majority of teachers/any kind of job candidates are preferred to be "self-employed", so that the company that's hiring you has less to pay to hire you. Is that true? I mean, how do you even work for a company if you've declared to be self-employed? Does that mean that you don't sign a "regular" contract with the company you're working for? Also, how do you handle payments for your social security - where do I apply for a number and how do I pay ir on my own if I have no employer?

 

Preference for the self-employed is self-evident, but that does not necessarily mean that you do not sign a contract with a client. It means that you are fully responsible for all your taxes including health and pension contributions. You will not be taken on anywhere in France legally, unless you are declared in some way. Employers who take on casual, undeclared workers get heavily fined if they are caught.


 


@Anna K wrote:

 

I don't want to build a lucrative business out of my freelancing just yet. As I said, I just want to see what it's like,


It's OK then, don't bother, you won't last on Upwork for long. If you are not serious about this, you'll get lost in the ocean of all those Upwork freelancers who don't earn a cent, and eventually Upwork will more or less kick you off.

 

With regard to the other questions, you are asking a lot that is totally out of the scope of this community, which is about Upwork, not about French tax and business system.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
versailles
Community Guru

You may need to get a French social security number too.

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   —William Ashbless
kochubei_valeria
Community Manager
Community Manager

Hi Anna,

 

You may need to consult with a legal adviser about both working while you are in France and reporting your Upwork income. Unfortunately, we won't be able to advise in your specific situation.

~ Valeria
Upwork
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