Expolangues was abuzz this year with seminars devoted to trainers who have taken the leap and gone independent. The majority of the attendees were auto-entrepreneur and many were travailleur indépendant. I am quite pleased to see the growth of independent trainers; it means the field is headed towards an even higher level of quality and trainers are taking charge of their own professional development.
Taking charge of the paperwork (a popular French pastime) is also key. I've checked and it's possible for both travailleur indépendants and auto-entrepreneur trainers to obtain a Numéro de Déclaration. Many of you may have heard of (or may already have) a Numéro de déclaration d'activité. This is a declaration of your activity as a training entity. It enables private clients to declare your services using their DIF funding (droit individuel à la formation). If you specialize in teaching students in higher-education establishments, then this number if not necessary. But it's good to have should you wish to take on private clients.
All of the documents, FAQ, and other handy information can be found here: https://www.declarationof.travail.gouv.fr/index.php
The basic instructions for what is required when putting together your first "declaration":
The document that you should fill out (though you can also do it online!) for your first "declaration":
I strongly recommend you set up an online account.
There is even an handy tutorial (in French) that walks you through all the steps for setting up an account. Wonderful!
This will make things easier down the road when you have to submit your annual BPF, or Bilan pédagogique et financier (an annual report on the amount of money you've earned as a trainer, expenses, the number of hours, and the number of trainees you taught. This report is due every year at the end of April. If you miss more than two annual declarations in a row, you risk losing your number.).
When doing your first declaration you must provide proof of your:
- Code APE/NAF (e.g. 804C for language training - though I'm told APE has changed to another, similar acronym - shall check on this),
- Address (e.g. copy of your electricity bill)
- Your company name (The name you used when you first registered as an independent - most of us use our own names - some of us have chosen company names).
- Your first "convention" or contract signed with a direct client (public or private),
- Field of activity (e.g. 136 Langues vivantes, civilisations étrangères et régionales),
- Name of the founder (you)
- If you have any employees paid with a CDII, CDD, or CDI salary (if you're auto-entrepreneur or independent then probably not).
And as always with technology, hope for the best but prepare for the worst. When filling out your online account and data, before you click "continue", print out the page just in case the website is buggy. That will help you save time if you need to fill out a paper version and mail it in (registered of course!).
Going freelance in France has gotten easier over the past few years. Fortunately for us, it's the same for that loisir français of doing paperwork!
Part 2 of this article (the BPF annual declarations) will appear mid-March when the BPF forms are available on the declarationof.travail.gouv website.