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I am a Freelance worker and single. I'm EU citizen and I'd like to go live in France so I am wondering roughly how much should I pay per month to cover social security fees?

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How much you have to pay will depend on your status and the type of activity. There are also complex rules regarding the tax basis and the timing and some yearly minima (i.e. even if your revenue is very small, you still have to pay a few hundred euros).

In terms of status, you have several choices:

  • Auto-entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneur individuel
  • Entrepreneur individuel à responsabilité limitée
  • Entreprise unipersonnelle à responsabilité limitée
  • Société par actions simplifiée unipersonnelle

I don't know all the details but the first three are basically different ways to work “freelance”, with various levels of complexity. The last two are actually proper businesses (with a distinct legal personality).

The simplest is the “auto-entrepreneur“ status. It's designed to start an activity while retaining other sources of income (wages, unemployment benefits, retirement pensions) and your yearly revenue must be under a certain threshold to be allowed to use this status. In most cases, you pay about 23% of your revenue to cover all social security payments.

For the other statuses, as I said the rules are complex and I don't them very well but you should expect something like 25-35%. A big issue is that during the first two years, your revenue is not known (to the authorities anyway) so you have to pay a lump sum based on a fictitious revenue.

Finally, yet another solution is what's called “portage salarial“. The idea is that you get a work contract with an umbrella company that lets you do whatever you want but takes X% of your earnings for “hosting“ your business.

  • Thanks for your through explanation. But since it lacks the actual value of thresholds I'm still in the dark. It sounds to me huge to pay %25-35 of my revenue for social security though! Is there any source that I can read further or better, calculate my due charges? – joat Apr 20 '15 at 0:45
  • @joat Like I said, I am no expert so unfortunately I can't say much more than that. There are also many details you haven't specified so I suspect it would be difficult for anybody to provide a specific estimates without those details. – Gala Apr 20 '15 at 13:34
  • For the rest, 25-35% is probably a bit higher than in many countries but it does not seem huge compared to what you or your employer would pay if you were an employee. When making international comparisons, do remember that “social security” in France includes health insurance, old age pensions, maternity leave, unemployment and disability insurance. In some countries, some of these are funded through taxes (either through higher income taxes – they are actually slightly lower in France compared to other Western European countries – or other unrelated taxes). – Gala Apr 20 '15 at 13:35
  • In my country I pay just under 280 euro for all the social security, unemployment, pension, health etc. expenses since I entered the scheme as a freelance over a year ago. If 25-35% is the figure in France, so I would need to pay about 4-5 fold based on my current income. That's why I think it is HUGE and keen to know real French figures. Do you have any resources to compare the France figures with other EU countries? – joat Apr 20 '15 at 18:23
  • @joat What's your country? What kind of benefits can you expect for that kind of money? I am not ruling anything out but in Western European countries, healthcare costs alone are in the thousands of euros per person per year. You need to pay for that somehow so if you have decent coverage at Western European prices for €280, you are actually getting a massive subsidy. Also, based on your figures, you make €4000 per year, which is also very little for a country like France (or, similarly, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, etc.). – Gala Apr 20 '15 at 20:14

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