Freelancers are more popular than ever in this century. It could be attributed to the high-speed internet and the need for people to strike a work-life balance. Freelancing makes it possible for people to work anywhere in the world. In a bid to better our lives and increase our sources of income, we often find ourselves plunging head-on into the business without taking into consideration some very important information. It is important to know what is required of you before you can start setting up shop overseas. This guide is going to guide you in some of the things you should consider before becoming a freelancer in France.
- CITIZENS AND NON-CITIZENS.
For French citizens either by birth or marriage, it is important to register your business with the relevant authorities before you can start working. For non-citizens, you will need an approved visa before you can start pitching your tent and doing any kind of transactions business-wise. Even if you are an online worker, working from home, the authorities need to know of your existence, and to do this you register your business through the URSSAF under the unique micro-enterprise taxation system. As you build your customer base and find your landing in France, many freelancers now then move to EURL classification, this is a sole proprietorship with limited liability or they can choose to be a part of a workers’ cooperative.
To register with the URSSAF you can contact the local chamber of commerce and tender your application.
- CONSIDER THE MODE OF PAYMENT.
As soon as the registration process is over and done with, nothing is stopping you now. With the fast internet and not buzzing calls from offices, with the correct marketing strategy clients should begin flowing sooner rather than later. The question is how do you get your money?
Since the majority of your work is online-based, meaning that your customer base might be local or international, you are definitely going to get paid through a wire service.
Many options exist, for example, western union or PayPal. But choose wisely which platform to use and get to know their fees and exchange rates.
- WHAT KIND OF BUSINESS WILL YOU BE FREELANCING.
Establish your specialty. This you do when you set up a profile. I cannot emphasize enough on this, your business profile is everything when it comes to freelancers. Take time to creatively come up with a brand that people can use for their projects. From the language used, and the arrangement of the content to graphical presentations. Be deliberate as much as possible. Be clear to the point and avoid having your ideas all over the profile. Be organized and let the ideas flow logically. Use platforms that are well-known and legit for example Upwork and Fiverr where they have a customer base that is searching for a wide array of skilled sellers. However some of these platforms may not be available in France for example Hopwork, therefore you can try Twago which is the largest marketplace for European freelancers.
Language barriers can be a hindrance, hence if you are not fluent in French, freelance in France caters to English speakers, so don’t worry about it.
The good news is that you are already in business and making money, the not-so-good news is that about 20% of your income will no longer be yours but the government’s, it is called taxes. So you report your income to the government and pay a tax on it. to be certain and remain tax compliant, it is important to keep a record of all your invoices and expenses. If you are not bookkeeping smart, you can ask the help of a trusted accountant on how to remain tax compliant in France for the citizens and the non-citizens, both in France and at home. Also, choose a method for how you want to declare your taxes. The method ranges from declaring it several times a year or annually. To make these decisions you may consult an accountant.
- HOW TO MARKET YOUR BUSINESS.
If your business is yet to pick up, or it has already thrived never forget that the most common marketing strategy for a business starts by setting up social media accounts. Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to mention but a few a great market place for upcoming and thriving businesses. Don’t just set up these accounts you have to be active on all of them that link to your business. On these platforms show your expertise publicly by setting up a well-organized portfolio. Social media earns you followers and that is how your network grows.
Ask your loyal clients for referrals and testimonials, but do not force them to. Sometimes a happy client may forget to leave a testimonial, respectfully you may request them to leave one. Client reviews are one of the most important marketing strategies an online worker can build on.