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Navigating employment and entrepreneurship in France

If you’re a British expat in France or considering the move, the prospect of combining salaried employment with entrepreneurship might be on your mind. It’s an exciting venture, but one that requires a clear understanding of the social regimes at play. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essentials, ensuring you’re well-prepared for this unique professional journey.

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Navigating employment and entrepreneurship in France

Is it possible to have a micro-enterprise while being an employee in France?

It is entirely feasible to establish and run a micro-enterprise concurrently with a salaried position. This applies to various types of employment contracts, ranging from permanent to fixed-term contracts, temporary positions, and even internships. The key lies in ensuring that your chosen micro-enterprise falls within the scope of activities covered by the micro-enterprise regime.

> You might be interested in this article: What activities can be carried out in a micro-enterprise?

Here are the essential conditions to consider:

  • Contractual authorisation: First and foremost, it’s imperative to verify whether your existing employment contract permits engagement in entrepreneurial activities. Ensure there’s no exclusivity clause that might hinder your pursuits.
  • Non-compete clause: Your micro-enterprise should not directly compete with the business activities of your employer. This underscores the employee’s obligation of loyalty towards their employer.
  • Working hours segmentation: It is strictly prohibited to conduct your micro-enterprise activities during your designated salaried working hours. This distinction is vital to maintain a clear separation between your roles.

Social regimes while combining entrepreneurship and employment

By embarking on the path of self-employment alongside salaried employment, you’re essentially straddling two distinct social statuses. However, rest assured that you’ll remain affiliated with the general Social Security system. Let’s delve into the key aspects you need to know:

Contribution breakdown

Salaried employment: Contributions for your salaried employment are seamlessly deducted from your monthly pay, ensuring you’re in compliance with the established norms. 

Micro-entrepreneurship: As a micro-entrepreneur, contributions are calculated based on your turnover. This allows you to engage with the entrepreneurial realm while contributing to the broader social security net. 

Healthcare continuity

One of the primary concerns when embarking on this dual professional journey is healthcare coverage. Fortunately, when you initiate an independent venture alongside your employed role, your health costs continue to be covered by the general scheme.

Daily allowance for work stoppage

Since January 1, 2016, both self-employed individuals, whether with or without a salaried activity, are required to make daily allowance contributions. This provides a safety net, ensuring you have access to replacement income in case of work stoppage.

Waiting period: It’s worth noting that for the self-employed, the waiting period is seven days, compared to the three-day period for employees.

Family allowances

In the realm of family allowances, you’ll contribute to both the employee scheme and the liberal professions scheme. This ensures a comprehensive support system for you and your loved ones.

Retirement planning

Retirement planning is a crucial aspect of this dual affiliation. Here’s how it works:

  • General scheme for employees: You’ll continue making contributions to the general scheme, securing your retirement within the framework of your salaried employment.
  • Professional section for liberal activities: Simultaneously, as a micro-entrepreneur, you’ll pay contributions to the professional section relevant to your specific entrepreneurial endeavour.
  • Supplementary pensions: Your supplementary pension payouts will be calculated based on the accumulation of points acquired within each plan. This ensures a balanced and fair approach to securing your financial future.

Useful resources

Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie (Chamber of Commerce and Industry): The Chamber of Commerce and Industry is a valuable hub for businesses in France. They offer resources on starting and managing a business, access to market research, and assistance with administrative procedures. They also provide networking events and workshops. Visit the CCI website

Agence France Entrepreneur: AFE is a government agency dedicated to supporting entrepreneurship in France. Their website offers comprehensive guides on starting and managing a business, legal requirements, and access to funding. They also provide a directory of local resources and support centres. Visit the website

Service-Public.fr: Service-Public.fr is the official website for public services in France. It offers a wealth of information on legal procedures, permits, and administrative requirements for both employees and entrepreneurs. It’s an invaluable resource for navigating the bureaucratic landscape. Visit the website

Final notes

Balancing salaried employment with entrepreneurship in France offers a wealth of opportunities. By comprehensively understanding the intricacies of the social regimes, you’re setting yourself up for success on this unique professional journey. Remember, you’re not alone – countless expats have navigated this path successfully, and with the right knowledge, you too can thrive in this vibrant business landscape.

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