Boost your career as a professional translator!

Boost your career as a professional translator! SDL hosts a virtual conference featuring a selection of free resources to help grow your freelance business, as well as an update on the new features of the world’s most trusted translation software - SDL Trados Studio 2017

Click for Full Participation

Advice: avoid \"profession liberale\" status in France at all costs
Thread poster: Arthur Borges

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 01:01
English
+ ...
Oct 8, 2002

...is a sadist, Gaullist diehard or Scrooge who knows it\'s cheaper to write you a check on a local bank than to pay you into a foreign account. and if you believe him, you are at best a masochist. As one French colleague once warned, URSSAF is URSS-AF (URSS being the French acronym for USSR).

There is nothing to prevent you from billing out of Bahrein or Botswana, where indeed, VAT (sales tax) is FAR lower, if not non-existent. There is not only an URSSAF number, it comes with a pension fund and health insurance fund you ALSO have to PAY INTO. All three are fairly autocratic, if not despotic and you would do well to steer of all that if you can. For tax purposes, you would do well to simply bill out of wherever you\'re billing from right now.

In short, AVOID \"profession liberale\" status in France at all costs, because if you don\'t it will prove even more expensive.

(the opinion expressed represents nothing other than a sour grapes of good faith trampled underfoot by a handful of stick-in-the-mud quasi civil servants who may not constitute a representative sample of that tribe...but I\'d never do it again.)



_________________



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Clair@Lexeme  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:01
Member (2002)
French to English
What a terrifying warning ! Oct 9, 2002

I\'m sitting waiting for my first tax bill since becoming \"profession libérale\" and have no idea what\'s in store ! You\'ve not reassured me in the slightest !

Oh well, I\'ll try and get some sleep tonight if I can...



Direct link Reply with quote
 

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 01:01
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Well, Oct 10, 2002

These monoliths of prey have more human(e) tendencies if their habitat is not Ile de France. There may even be a inverse mathematical relationship between size of heart in mm and distance from the capital in km.

I know of one young pediatrician who set up shop in a small town on the French Riviera and worked and worked until she filed her first income tax statement only to be called in for a interview by her tax inspector -- who expressed shock at her having declared a higher income than the town\'s most reputable pediatrician who had been in business for over 30 years. He then promptly went on to ask her to withdraw the statement, revise the figures downward by about 40% and refile.

A toi de jouer !


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
German Solution Nov 6, 2002

Maybe there is a \"German solution\" in France, too? In Germany you can study your whole life (as long as you pay about 300 EUR per year). The universities are totally anonymous and nobody cares how much and what you are doing at university (I am there since 20 years). And if students work mainly in the evening, night, weekend or vacation, they are free of charges for insurances, pension fonds etc.. So there is no need to change the professional status from \"student\" to \"freelancer\"))

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-06 00:05 ]


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxcvaudry
French to English
Profession liberale - avoiding difficulties and realistic alternatives? Nov 13, 2002

Hello



I will be shortly setting up as a translator and would be more than delighted for any advice from translators based in France, especially concerning the administration.



To give you some background, I am a Scottish lawyer (6 years experience) and I have worked in France, as a lawyer, for the past 3 years. I am married to a French man and have an adorable little baby boy who is the main reason for my decision to give up law

- apart from the constant stress, long hours, huge tax bills and charges etc

etc. I have a lot of translating experience during my time as a

lawyer and find it very rewarding.



The status of \"profession liberale\" was, unfortunately, unavoidable for me when I came to France at the end of 1999. I can honestly say that I am totally fed up with the problems and the expense linked with having this status, which must exist regardless of whether one is a lawyer or a translator!



My worry is therefore.....the administration! I know, as I have been \"profession

liberale\" for the past three years, how complicated and expensive it is and

to be honest, I never understood anything really and didn\'t have the

time nor energy to anyway (I therefore just naively let my - it turns out, bad - accountant deal with things ! )However, not controlling properly, nor getting

good advice about how to reduce the chiffre d\'affaires was obviously a bad

idea, as this past year has been awful financially in the sense that I

have been working for the French State, and a massive percentage of my

- not that high - \"retrocessions\" has disappeared to pay the URSSAF,

RAM, whatever. I do not want to make the same mistake now when I set up

as a translator.



Do you have the status of \"profession liberale\" and can give me an idea of how to avoid any difficulties linked to this status? What realistic

alternatives are there? Is setting up a company, eg in the UK, really viable (surely it means just more problems, and expense having to transfer money etc). Is there a point at which you should stop

working because the charges and taxes just get too high as a result?!



Thanks very much in advance for any help you could give me on setting up as far as

the admin. is concerned (I have ordered the book by M Paysant on

freelancing and have done a bit of research but there is nothing to beat the

advice of people who have already been there!)



Regards

Claire


Direct link Reply with quote
 
David Sirett
Local time: 19:01
French to English
+ ...
Few difficulties most of the time Nov 13, 2002

I don\'t find profession libérale status difficult or complicated in administrative terms. URSSAF and the VAT people ask me for money four times a year, the compulsory retirement insurance three times a year, and the compulsory health insurance twice a year. Around April I do my very straightforward accounts (simple receipts-expenses book-keeping) and fill in a few declarations. Overall, not a heavy workload.



The main problems arise if you have a poor year after a good one: it takes a long time for the system to react, so you\'re paying high charges through the low-income period, although excess charges, etc., do eventually get paid back. I believe some regional URSSAF offices are more helpful than others in such situations. I don\'t know whether this is handled better in other countries.



For me, setting up a company in England would pobably generate further complications concerning my right to reside permanently in France and local health care, though of course this would not matter for Claire as long as she is married to a Frenchman!



Regards

David


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Arthur Borges
China
Local time: 01:01
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Adorable Babies and Dreadful Deadlines Nov 14, 2002

There are offshore options that only *competent* \"conseiller fiscal\" can set you straight on.

I would however like to comment on the impact of motherhood: when they need attention, it\'s RIGHT NOW.

Unfortunately, clients and translation agencies exhibit precisely this same trait of character too.

But missing deadlines can prove fatal: negotiate the longest possible deadlines you can tweak out of the client for maximum unscheduled babycare time but once you\'ve committed to a deadline, KEEP IT.

If you phone in with a last-minute excuse, the client will probably do her/his best to appear very compassionate about baby\'s sudden bout of diarrhea and the immediate hospitalization it obviously requires, but you have probably lost your client. Moreover, some agencies will consider you in breach of contract and not pay.

Good luck with both careers!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
Lesley Clayton
France
Local time: 19:01
French to English
+ ...
Go to www.canam.fr Nov 14, 2002

and order their free book \"Objectif Entreprise\". This should help you choose which statute to set up under. I found it invaluable and it\'s easy to read!

Good luck.


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Susan O'Neill
France
Local time: 19:01
French to English
solution to the 'profession liberale' problem in France Nov 15, 2002

Another way is to work through \'portage salariale\'. This is what I do, and I keep a \'salarié\' status, they do all the billing/paperwork on my behalf, and I get a paycheck each month. Of course, this costs too, 12% to be precise, so in effect I get paid 50% approx. of what I bill, after all the deductions, but it saves the administrative hassles, and I have a lot more time to search for translation.

Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxcvaudry
French to English
Thanks for all your replies Nov 25, 2002

hello everyone



Thanks for all the replies - I\'ve been doing some additional research and it would seem that profession liberal is the way to go, even though it is expensive. I can more than recommend the book \"Les Carnets du Solo\" by M. Paysant, it is an excellent Noddys Guide to all the administration involved in setting up (or it seems to be, maybe I\'ll change my mind once I\'ve actually done it!)



David thanks for the tips - we will certainly keep the nanny on for the days I am translating. I know that most clients - law firms, pharmaceutical companies, what have you, do not care less about family commitments. The law firm where I am working and which I will leave in precisely 15 work days time (youpi) is a case in point. My boss had a fax machine installed at her bedside at the clinic where she gave birth....No comment.



One last thing, this is a wonderful site, I discovered it only recently (so recently that I haven\'t filled out all the info. on my profile yet...)and will be logging on regularly! Nice to know that we are not alone!!!


Direct link Reply with quote
 
xxxBourth
Local time: 19:01
French to English
Do your sums right Dec 5, 2002

I simply don\'t understand people who moan about how expensive it is to be profession libérale. If you compare apples and oranges, yes, it is. But like on like, it\'s not.



When you are salaried you tend not to examine the total cost of your employment, i.e. what you cost your employer. Have a look at a salaried person\'s payslips and you\'ll see all the social security money etc. that the employer has paid for him.



With profession libérale status, you can\'t expect to earn (before \"charges\") only what you earned as an employee. You have to aim to earn what you earned plus what your employer paid. If you do that calculation and set your rates accordingly, you\'ll be no worse off.



If companies can afford to employ people, people who fall sick more than is reasonable, who slack off at long coffee breaks, whose keyboard efficiency is reduced by cigarettes, or who step outside, who go on strike for the right to nick office supplies (and worse), who run up personal miles on the company account, etc. etc., plus buy presents for their kids at the end of the year, via the Comité d\'Entreprise, etc., then a professional libérale can definitely afford to employ himself. If you want the advantages of long coffee/cigarette breaks, strike action, etc. factor that in too.



In fact, if you work hard and tend not to rely on others to do your work for you, you\'ll find yourself earning more than an employer would have agreed to pay you.



Why is it that supposedly intelligent people seem to think there\'s some sort of magic money box out there enabling companies, say, to operate economically, and that without that magic company status you don\'t have access to its contents? There\'s no magic to it, just the maths to ensure you make a profit.
[addsig]


Direct link Reply with quote
 

veratek
Brazil
Local time: 14:01
French to English
+ ...
auto-entrepreneur registration booming in France Nov 21, 2012

Although there have been some alarming articles about Hollande's govt wanting to curtail the auto-entrepreneur status in France, it is booming.

Much more than "prof liberale" as far as I hear.

http://www.serviceentreprise.com/creations-entreprise-plein-boom-trois-n98147.html


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:01
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
Auto-entrepreneur, new solution? Nov 22, 2012

I think it's pretty late (for Claire) to post this now, but hope this helps for other colleagues who are setting up in France as freelance translation.
I am myself an "auto-entrepreneur" since June 2012, the registration was simple and now I have the help from the government for "jeune entrepreneur", so I pay only 5.5% of my total turnover. I think this status is goog to get started legally. Anyway, I haven't has my first tax bill yet.

One of the conditions: your turnover cannot exceed 32,000 EUR per year.
Have a look here for more information:
http://www.lautoentrepreneur.fr/adherez.htm

Hope this helps


Direct link Reply with quote
 

Khwansuree DEROLLEPOT  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 19:01
Member (2012)
English to Thai
+ ...
*freelance translators, of course. Nov 22, 2012

*freelance translators, of course.

Direct link Reply with quote
 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Advice: avoid \"profession liberale\" status in France at all costs

Advanced search







BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, ProZ.com integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »
WordFinder
The words you want Anywhere, Anytime

WordFinder is the market's fastest and easiest way of finding the right word, term, translation or synonym in one or more dictionaries. In our assortment you can choose among more than 120 dictionaries in 15 languages from leading publishers.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums