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France vs UK: where is the best place to be based?
Thread poster: RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT

RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Member (2009)
French to English
Sep 18, 2009

Hello,
I am a freelance translator and have just started up my business in France. I am lucky in that i don't have too many constraints and can move around quite easily. I have recently thought about moving to live with my parents and setting up my business in the UK. Aside from the obvious issues linked to living with mum and dad (!) does anyone have any thoughts on the pros and cons of doing this.
Is there anything i should take into account if i become a UK resident instead of a French resident including things that are not limited to my translation business (eg. I own a property there...).
Any thoughts would be very very helpful.
Ruth


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Sandrine Pouchain  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:09
Member (2008)
English to French
Finding clients Sep 18, 2009

Hello,

I think it is a great advantage to live in France : you live near your potential clients.

And you have a great knowledge of French culture.

Kind regards,
Sandrine.


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Edward Vreeburg  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 23:09
Member (2008)
English to Dutch
+ ...
drive on the other side of the road Sep 18, 2009

....?

Ed


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sokolniki  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:09
English to Russian
+ ...
Lucky you: you have a choice.. Sep 18, 2009

On a serious note, did you compare:

- cost of living
- cost of housing if you want to live by yourself
- income tax rate
- and most importantly, where is your bigger workload? I understand for interpretation assignments you can move easily back and forth, but where are your primary agencies/direct clients located?
- if you include travel/accomodation costs into your rates, will these agencies/direct clients agree to pay them?

I love both countries with all my heart. If it is not an economic or rational reason you are thinking, just listen to your heart.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Flemish to English
+ ...
France : the champion of taxes Sep 18, 2009

So much "love" here. A no-nonsense approach: France was and is thé world-champion of taxes, social security contributions, bureaucracy, rules and regulations. Google: tax-misery index.
-*-*-
On the other side of the Channel:

No bureaucracy at all, very business and entrepreneurial-minded authorities, VAT-treshold £68.000 (which means that your end-customers without a VAT-number don't have to pay VAT, which gives you a competitive advantage)and rising every year.
Just get a N.I. and start.
Social security contributions are low etc....
What would you choose?

Between the two systems (London-Paris) lies 1h30 minutes with the tax-deductible Eurostar.




[Edited at 2009-09-18 14:55 GMT]


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xxxLatin_Hellas
United States
Local time: 23:09
Italian to English
+ ...
Depends on Criteria Sep 18, 2009

If tax and bureaucracy are the criteria, for example, you are probably better off in the UK. If it is the cost of living, probably the trade-off between countryside and city is more important than which country in this case; however, if you are living with family support in the UK, that probably tips the balance. If you live close to an airport, going to France to visit clients should not be a problem, unless you really need daily contact.

Such criteria can be measured, even with numbers.

Otherwise, as mentioned, if the criteria is more subjective, go with the heart.


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RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for useful answers Sep 18, 2009

Hello
In the long term i want to live in the countryside and many of my friends are in France so i am sure i will move back....but in the meantime it would be nice to have a stable situation with a simplified tax system.
I'm worried there may be legal/fiscal matters that i haven't considered...


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:09
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Nothing that can't be easily sorted out Sep 18, 2009

RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT wrote:

I'm worried there may be legal/fiscal matters that i haven't considered...


Your domicile will change to the UK and your affairs will be handled by the UK authorities. I think it's no problem to move 100% (at least, we had no problems moving in the opposite direction) - the problems come when you try to straddle the Channel in a half-and-half situation.

One thing, I advise you not to close French bank accounts until you are really sure you don't want them. Opening a bank account in a country where you do not reside is extremely difficult nowadays. I personally have kept my sterling UK account for flexibility - my customers sometimes prefer to pay in pounds.


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RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 18, 2009

Thanks Sheila - that's very helpful.

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RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
I'm there! Sep 18, 2009

Wow Williamson - I'm there!

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Buzzy
Local time: 23:09
French to English
Some other considerations Sep 18, 2009

If you've already started up you have some idea of the bureaucracy involved in working in France, and I'm not going to argue about that, except to say that I found it less awful than I expected once I'd jumped through the first few hoops...
But depending on your circumstances, actual income tax on your profit may be lower and access to certain medical treatment faster in France.
In France there may also be benefits for starting up, or child benefit and subsidised childcare which I am told is much more generous than in the UK, if that's relevant to you. In the big towns public transport is generally pretty impressive and affordable, anywhere else it's practically non-existent...

Of course you must look at all the figures for your own situation. I agree that it can be a great asset living in the country of your source texts, if only to keep up with the latest buzzwords ! but nowadays with the internet there are other ways of keeping up.
Good luck in your weighing up. What about consulting accountants for a simulation?

(edited for repetition of words)

[Edited at 2009-09-18 16:26 GMT]


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RUTH ELIZABETH BARTLETT  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Member (2009)
French to English
TOPIC STARTER
I agree Sep 18, 2009

The bureaucracy wasn't as bad as i thought either and there are certain tax exemptions that can be good...and things like pensions....although i don't have kids so that doesn't apply...and i live on line 13 in Paris which is the exception to the good public transport rule!!
i'm sure the answer isn't as simple as it appears at first.
I think i will make an appointment with an accountant who specialises in these issues.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:09
Flemish to English
+ ...
European Union Sep 18, 2009

Buzzy wrote:

If you've already started up you have some idea of the bureaucracy involved in working in France, and I'm not going to argue about that, except to say that I found it less awful than I expected once I'd jumped through the first few hoops...
But depending on your circumstances, actual income tax on your profit may be lower and access to certain medical treatment faster to access in France.



Which she will have within the framework of the E.U. When she goes on holiday to anywhere in the E.U., the only thing she will need to take with her is an E.U.health-insurance card. With this card, she is entitled to healthcare anywhere in the E.U., France included.

Hint with regard to medical treatment : The Eurostar also goes to Brussels and Brits don't only visit Flanders Fields to remember, but also for specialised procedures at the seaside hospitals of the Belgian coast.
Together with France, the Belgian health-care system is one of the best in the world. No waiting lists whatsoever. According to a judgement of the European Court of Justice, the NHS has to reimburse such costs. (Case of British woman operated in France).

In short: to start with, I would choose Britain. Try to get a Euro-bank-account and if France it is problem to open one, go to Brussels. After all, we live in the E.U.

When you have made some money, you can still think about the pros and the cons of being based in France.



[Edited at 2009-09-18 16:23 GMT]


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Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 23:09
French to German
+ ...
Interesting point Sep 18, 2009

Williamson wrote:
No bureaucracy at all, very business and entrepreneurial-minded authorities, VAT-treshold £68.000 (which means that your end-customers without a VAT-number don't have to pay VAT, which gives you a competitive advantage)and rising every year.
Just get a N.I. and start.
Social security contributions are low etc....
What would you choose?

Hi Williamson,
on a personal level I am thinking about the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands. As the saying goes, "Been there, seen that" - to which I may add "moving ahead"... I don't have a problem with high taxes and/or contributions, as long as they are useful (and I am sure you will get my drift).


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Eleftherios Kritikakis  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 16:09
Member (2003)
Greek to English
+ ...
Priorities? Sep 19, 2009

I'm surprised that so many young people are more focused on health care issues than on business/development issues. Maybe lots of diseases are sweaping through the ranks of the European youth. I have never seen an entire generation of young people so concerned about being hospitalized patients.

Ok, here's the real deal:

a) If you' re planning to get sick evey week, choose a country with a great health-care system and move close to a hospital.

b) On the other hand, if you' re planning to be hospitalized only once every 8-10 years, then you should choose a system with lower taxation and more business opportunities. When I say opportunities, I mean actual cash in your hands, not just talk.

c) If you choose the UK, you may want to visit France often for the much better food.


But why so many postings lately with very obvious issues?





[Edited at 2009-09-19 16:01 GMT]


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