While weighing your do-I-or-don't-I options for going independent in France, consider these:
- You can explore unlimited realms of ELT around the world,
- You can accept work from almost every language school and company that rings you up,
- You have the freedom to accept other offers, not just in teaching (e.g. materials and test writing),
- You can accept unlimited vacataire offers (being independent IS your employeur principal),
- You can subcontract your freelance friends,
- You develop basic accounting skills.
- You have more flexibility with earnings and spending (e.g. fees, investments, etc),
- You can declare up to 50% of your rent as a business expense* not to mention telephone, internet, equipment, etc.,
- Training (e.g. TESOL France membership, attending and speaking at international conferences, etc) is written off as a business expense,
- If you are married, the reduction on income tax spills over onto your spouse.
- You are your own boss,
- It gives you an edge in your classes especially if you teach English for Specific Purposes (ESP) such as in Business or Finance,
- Your employer goes from being your boss to being your client,
- It looks great on your CV,
- You can develop self-promotional skills,
- It will improve your French.
- It can cause administrative overload, especially in the beginning,
- Independents often feel like they're drowning in mail, taxes, estimates, billing, banking issues, etc.,
- Dealing with the jargon – in English and in French - can cause migraines,
- Technically, you are personally liable for your assets should the business fail or a client calls into question your professional responsibility. *
What does it take?
- Extreme patience
- Meticulous organization
- A tough gut
- Functional French
- Pride & a tough ego ... yet: humbleness
- If applicable, a supportive spouse, ideally French speaking