How to go from employee to freelancer

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How to go from employee to freelancer


Many employees decide one day to go into entrepreneurship. However, switching is not always easy to do and there is a certain amount of information to know before becoming a freelancer. To help you transition from employee to self-employed, we have listed all the steps you need to take, as well as the mistakes you should avoid.

The difference between the two states

Before explaining how to switch between them, it is important to keep in mind the differences that exist between employee and freelance status.


The main difference between salaried and freelance is the salary. In the vast majority of cases, in fact, the worker is guaranteed a fixed monthly salary even if his duties may vary from month to month. On the contrary, the freelancer is paid according to the work done and his turnover depends on his various contracts. He therefore does not have the comfort and assurance of a fixed salary, but he is not limited in his salary since he chooses his contracts and rates himself.

The way to work

Employees usually have fixed working hours, where freelancers can manage their working hours as they see fit. In fact, if a freelancer wants to work harder to earn more in a given period, she can do it. Likewise, rest days are often fixed for employees (weekends in most cases). But be careful, the choice of working hours and days is not always an advantage and many freelancers find it difficult to stop working, even if it means pouring into their evenings or weekends. It should therefore be remembered that an employee benefits from a certain stability, with fixed and defined hours, where the freelancer benefits from real freedom and flexibility in the way of working, but without minimum wage guarantees.

The steps to a successful transition

To achieve a successful transition and go from employee to entrepreneur smoothly, it is important to follow a few key steps. Note that until you find enough stability in your eyes as a freelancer, you can combine your position as an employee and your business as a freelancer. We have listed 4 key steps to successfully complete your transition:

Having a well-defined business project

Before embarking on entrepreneurship, it is important to think about your project and ask yourself why it would be wise to choose to become a freelancer. If the flexibility, the ability to earn a salary commensurate with the work done, the autonomy and the desire for new things satisfy you, then you will probably really want to make the leap. So think about the skills you could offer as a freelancer, because they will be at the heart of your business and make up your sales proposition. By the time you have a well-defined project in mind and the resources to launch it, you will have already taken a big step forward. Even a posteriori market analysis can be judicious, to know how to position yourself and who your customers will be.

Choose the right legal status

Starting a freelance business necessarily involves setting up a company, and passes through the choice of a legal form. You have many choices: micro-enterprise, sole proprietorship, SASU, salary portage … Each of them offers advantages and disadvantages, related to the cost of creation, the turnover threshold or even taxes.

You are free to choose the state that suits you best, but beware, they involve various regimes and tax obligations.

Find the right missions

The choice of missions as a freelancer is a very important step. In fact, it’s up to you to find them using the right channels. Do not hesitate to search the Internet for contracts that match your services, but also to use your network if you know people interested in your skills. It’s not always easy to find the right missions, but that’s not why you have to accept all offers. Always keep in mind that a freelancer chooses his clients.

Establish a good freelance routine

To be efficient and keep a work pace that suits you, try to find the routine that’s right for you. Indeed, as a freelancer, the lack of constraints can sometimes lead to a decline in productivity. Do not hesitate to make a precise program, which separates the working time from the personal time. When you have found a good organization that suits you, you can easily increase your productivity.

Masked salary: what you need to know

The term “disguised wage work” comes from everyday language and does not correspond to a precise legal definition. This is the case where a contractor is considered self-employed but works for a single client under conditions similar to those of employees. If this employment relationship actually corresponds to an employee relationship, it can have legal consequences on social security, labor law and taxation.

In fact, in the case of hidden subordinate work, the 2 parties expose themselves to possible sanctions (up to 3 years of imprisonment and a 45,000 euro fine for the employer, and the reimbursement of some social benefits or allowances for the contractor). You can still work for only one client, if your business is consistent with that of being self-employed.

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