▷ Freelance: which legal status to choose? 2020 -

Still a dynamic phenomenon, freelance status, in other words, self-employed workers, appeals to the freedom it confers. However, it does not correspond to a precise legal status, so there are several possibilities available to you.

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The different legal statuses for the self-employed

The sole proprietorship and its limited liability version

  • IS: Creating or closing a sole proprietorship is very easy and inexpensive. This status allows you to opt for the microenterprise regime, you are then affiliated to the self-employed regime from the creation of the company. On the other hand, in the event of difficulties of the company, your personal inheritance could be committed.
  • EIRL: Like the sole proprietorship, the formalities for starting and ending a business are simple and inexpensive. The additional costs are linked to the declaration of allocation of all assets allocated to the activity. The formalities can be more substantial if you decide to bring a property since it must be the subject of a notarial deed. If they exceed 30,000 euros, they must be the subject of an estimate established by an auditor or a management and accounting association. The main residence of the entrepreneur is sheltered from the difficulties of the business, which represents considerable security.
  • In contrast to the traditional sole proprietorship, the micro-enterprise regime (new name of the self-employed since 2016) offers a simple solution, in particular for activities complementary to salaried activity for example. Its limit is constituted by the thresholds of turnover which must not be exceeded.


Overall, the creation of a company requires more investment than the legal forms mentioned above, because you have to plan for higher transplant costs, advertising in a legal newspaper, or even the fees of a legal professional if you need advice for the drafting of your statutes. On the other hand, the company protects your personal heritage. This status also offers more credibility vis-à-vis third parties. You can choose the shape that best suits your needs.

  • EURL: the formalities for creating or terminating activity are compulsory. Your social security system is that of the self-employed and you can opt for the micro-enterprise system if you are sole associate manager (since the Sapin II law). Above all, by choosing this status, your personal wealth is not committed if the assets of the company are no longer sufficient to meet the debts of the company.
  • SASU: Like the EURL, the creation of a SASU generates a certain number of costs to be taken into account. You will not be able to adopt the microenterprise or self-employed plan. Your personal wealth will however be protected in the event of the company’s debts. The SASU gives the sole partner very great statutory freedom. It’s very interesting to prepare an evolution of the company with other shareholders.

For these two one-person companies, it is very easy to transform a EURL into a SARL and a SASU into a SAS when a new partner (or more) joins the business.

Wage portage

If you do not want to create a company, you can choose the option of salary portage. Appeared in 2008, this system allows freelancers to exercise missions within a company. The client company pays the wage portage company, which itself pays freelance. This allows you to have the benefits of the employee in social security, retirement and unemployment insurance. The carrier company helps you find your assignments and you incur no costs. This is the least “risky” solution, on the other hand, the portage company deducts the employer charges from your income, which considerably reduces your salary.

Activity and employment cooperatives (CAE)

The CAEs allow a project leader to test his activity while having a certain security since they offer him the status of salaried entrepreneur. In this case, you receive a salary and benefit from the social security cover of a traditional employee. The CAEs are constituted in the form of a Scop composed of a manager and project managers. They allow the project leader to have a legal framework, administrative management, information and individual support in order to support them in the development of their activity.

Balance sheet…

The choice of legal status will depend on your situation. You can opt for the EURL if you want to join later, the EIRL if it is not the case, the micro-enterprise if you want to test your concept, or the salary portage or the CAE, if you prefer more wage security.

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