Starting a freelance translation activity in Paris
Thread poster: Nicole Miguel

Nicole Miguel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:42
English to French
Jan 26, 2010

Goog morning,

I am currently working as a freelance technical french translator in Lisbon and would like to move back to Paris after 13 years of activity. I would like to address this request to French freelance translators working in Paris or in France:

- What is the easiest and the least expensive way to start a translation freelance business in France (single person, no employees, working from home) ?

- What are the social contributions and taxes to pay each year when the activity involves working with european-based translation agencies and an anual income of approx. 70.000 euros?

- When are taxes due? On a monthly basis, semester basis or anual basis?

- What are the formalities needed in terms of accounting (book holding with expenses, costs). Can this be done by the translator himself or does he need to use the services of an accountant for that?

I have read that taxes can reach 49 % of the translator's anual income, which seems to be extremely high to me. In Portugal, taxes amount to 30 %, which allows to live decently. My worries are whether moving to France really compensates the high level of taxation.

Many thanks to everyone who is willing to clear my doubts about running a translation one-person business in France !!!


 

Laurent KRAULAND  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:42
French to German
+ ...
French forum... Jan 26, 2010

Hi nicole11,
I guess you would have more luck posting this message in French (and in the French forum, of course)...

Link: http://www.proz.com/forum/french-25.html

HTH

PS: there also are some hints/answers regarding your questions there.

[Edited at 2010-01-26 17:53 GMT]


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:42
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Natalia's article Jan 26, 2010

Hi Nicole,

I would suggest that you read Natalia Eklund's article – available at http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/77/ . You won't get an answer to all your questions but you may find some useful information.

As Laurent suggested, check out the French forum, too.

Kind regards,
Attila


 

Nicole Miguel  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:42
English to French
TOPIC STARTER
Mais où avais-je la tête? Jan 26, 2010

Hi Laurent, Hi Attila,

But of course !!!! Thank you so much for your advice. I'll guess I'll be luckier on the french forumicon_smile.gif

Nicole


 

Natasha Dupuy  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:42
French to English
Figures no longer correct Jan 26, 2010

Attila Piróth wrote:

I would suggest that you read Natalia Eklund's article – available at http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/77/ .


Interesting article, but watch out: the figures quoted no longer apply.

Nicole, you do have a lot of questions and all of them have rather complex answers. Here is a little information that might help you figure out where to dig deeper:

- The easiest and the least expensive way to start a translation freelance business in France: If you are earning 70K a year, your options will be limited to 1) Entreprise Individuelle au réel (you charge and claim VAT, you deduct your business expenses, you usually hire an accountant to deal with the mess)
2) SARL, but I don't know much about this, sorry.

- What are the social contributions and taxes to pay each year?
You can get an idea of what you might have paid in taxes for 2009 here: http://droit-finances.commentcamarche.net/contents/impot-revenu-declaration/imp120-calcul-de-l-impot.php3

As for social contributions, you can get a fair idea here: http://www.entrepriseindividuelle.info/Calc_CharSoc.php


- When are taxes due?
You can choose to pay your charges monthly or quarterly. Taxes (income tax and taxe professionnelle) are paid annually.

- What are the formalities needed in terms of accounting (book holding with expenses, costs). Can this be done by the translator himself or does he need to use the services of an accountant for that?
I would say most people hire an accountant. Whatever you decide, when you are "EI au réel" you must register with an AGA (association de gestion agréée) and you have to send them your accounts to be checked at the end of every year. If you don't sign up with one (the cost is around 200 euros per year), you are penalised when it comes to income tax (income tax calculated on 125% of your income instead of 100%, I think)


Hope this helps

Natasha


 

Natalia Eklund  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 22:42
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
SARL Jan 27, 2010

Hi Natasha,

Yes, the figures in the article I wrote are no longer valid, since they revise them every year. But the general idea is the same.

Based on your information, I highly advise you to consider skipping all the intermediary stuff and jumping directly into an SARL/Eurl format.

I just did this after running a simulation comparing social contributions and income tax payments if I continued as an independent or changed over to a company.
(Note: I am not married and have no children, so I was paying a lot of taxes.)

Basically, you can estimate that if you are invoicing 50K euros and up per year, then the company format is best.

I found a great accountant who handled EVERYTHING for me. It was so simple.
If you want to contact him to discuss your situation and have his opinion, let me know.

Good luck,
Natalia


 


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