Article: How to Become a Freelance Translator in France
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 21:25
Jun 26, 2005

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "How to Become a Freelance Translator in France".


Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:25
German to English
Carte de séour Sep 20, 2005

what IS the story with the carte de séjour in France these days; I thought it had been abolished for EU citizens? (I can't assume you are an EU citizen of course)
Me and my family are working towards a move to France - I'm not in any way put off by the way


N.M. Eklund  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:25
Member (2005)
French to English
+ ...
Better late than never! Aug 22, 2008

Hi Daniel,
Oh dear, I hadn't realized that there was a forum.

Well, I'll answer just in case someone else has the same question.

Yes, the carte de sejour HAS been abolished for EU citizens. Now people can happily employ a Polish plumber, and no one will get into trouble!

I hope your move to France went well!


[Edited at 2008-08-22 16:12]


Marc Sejourné  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:25
English to French
Warning and "sociétés de portage" (proxy companies) Dec 4, 2008

I spent around 2 years and half as an independant translator in France, in the Alps, near Chambery. For the quality of life, it was brillant - I recommend!

Now to setup your own business is risky, tricky, time consuming and a huge waste of money. I did not survive it...

Want to be scared?
Do you know that the URSSAF will charge you a "minimum" (hefty) annual fee even if you did not make any income, even just for a few months?
Do you know that personal bankrupcy does not exist in France? You will have to pay for the rest of your life if you did not create a limited company.
Do you know that there is no prescription for tax debts before 30 years? They can seize your income, your bank account, your car or whatever. During 30 years.

My opinion is that you should do it only if you plan to develop an agency with a few employees and a steady activity.

If your purpose is to be self employed, there is a much safer option: the "sociétés de portage" - not sure how to translate that, a proxy company? An intermediary?

They charge your clients, who are therefore happy because they have an official invoice with VAT number etc.

They then write down a working contract for you for the length of the mission, and pay you a salary, around 50% of what you billed after all regulatory deductions (social security, pension, unemployment etc. - very complicated). They keep a (very small) percentage for their own work.

So you can work independently while receiving a salary.

What is good is that in case of "blowhole" (no order - it happens), you are entitled to receive a compensation from the Assedic.

It is a bit "border line" from a legal point of view (no subordination, you are not a "real" employee) but it really is perfect for someone self employed.

You can stop and resume whenever you feel like. In Chambery, the local assembly had setup their own "société de portage", CED Entreprises, to assist.

I hope this advice will save you time and money! All the best in your project.


Local time: 07:25
English to French
+ ...
New status Jul 11, 2013

Those of you interested in working as a tranlator in France should rather register as AUTO-ENTREPRENEUR nowadays. It is a simplified version of MICRO BNC with reduced taxes paid only when you cash in. The Auto-entrepreneur status was put in place in 2009. Major advantage: the whole registration process can be done online. No more going back and forth to the URSSAF office.

The official portal is:

Good luck


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