Challenge & Co provide a service for English speaking contractors and freelancers resident in France. Very similar to the service provided by ‘Umbrella Companies’ in the UK, but fully compliant with French law and based in France. In France, an Umbrella Company is referred to as a Portage Salarial.
The service we provide involves employing workers directly for the duration of their assignments – allowing contractors and freelancers to work legally and compliantly in France with ‘employee status’ rather than having to register as a business themselves. In our role as employer, we take on the burden of legal and administrative tasks such as employment declaration, insurance, invoicing of clients, deduction of expenses, calculation and payment of monthly social charges and payment of your wage after deductions,leaving contractors free to concentrate on their assignments and recruitment agencies assured that everything’s compliant!
English speaking contractors all over France are currently working on their contracts under our umbrella. Request a brochure HERE
to find out how our services can work for your contractors and clients…
Challenge & Co currently ensure numerous Recruitment Agencies and their clients remain compliant with placements in France. Please take a look through our FAQ’s to find out more.
Yes, in France an Umbrella company is referred to as a Portage Salarial. Challenge & Co is a French company providing portage services that are fully compliant with French law, however, we operate in both French and English with services tailored to English speaking contractors, their agencies and clients.
If the worker is registered as French resident then any for-profit activity must be conducted through a French structure unless the worker has employee status (contractors channelling their work through Challenge & Co are employed directly by us, so there is no need for them or their clients to set up a structure in France).
Challenge & Co is fully registered as an employer in France and pays employer’s social charges for every worker earning a wage as well as making the necessary deductions for employee’s social charges and paying these directly to the French Authorities. The contracts of employment we offer are, by law, in French, however, we also provide copies of these in English as part of our service to English speaking workers and their agencies or clients.
If you are not employing the worker directly for the duration of his or her assignment and the worker is not using a portage (umbrella company), then in order to remain compliant and avoid employer liability, you should ensure that the worker is invoicing through a structure registered in France by asking for proof of company registration. Equally important is proof that the worker is registered with the necessary agencies for payment of their social charges in order to avoid being liable for these as the agency or client.
The contractor lives in France but will be based in the UK for the role - does he have to declare his work with the French Authorities?
If a worker is resident in France, then both social charges and tax are due to the French Authorities regardless of whether the role involves temporary work outside of France.
Many contractors using our service conduct work on site in the UK or travel to other countries as part of their assignments, however social charges remain payable to France and the work must be declared to the French Authorities either through a declaration of employment or through a French structure. While tax and social charges are of equal importance, many companies fall foul of French law through failing to understand social charges.
Failure to pay social charges correctly may result in the agency or client being seen as the employer and backdated employer’s social charges being due in accordance with this.
No. If a worker is a French resident, then he or she requires a legal structure in France unless employee status is held (we employ all workers directly, so all have employee status). Social charges from any work are also due to France as well as tax on income and it is not sufficient to simply declare tax alone.
Social charges usually amount to more than income tax and non-payment of social charges is dealt with very seriously and may result in the agency or client having to pay back-dated social charges as if they had employed the worker directly. Fines may also be charged to the agency or end client.
Some UK Umbrella companies offer global services. To ensure compliance for French residents, it is necessary to check that the umbrella company has declared the employment to the French Authorities and is paying employer’s social charges in France as well as deducting employee’s social charges and that a French contract of employment is provided.
Typical assignments include IT and Engineering contracts, however we cover most types of intellectual services.
By law contracts of employment must be in French, but we also provide a copy in English as part of the service we provide to English speakers and most documentation is available in English as well as French.
We usually invoice monthly, however contractors and agencies can specify how frequently they’d like us to invoice clients or agencies and whether invoices should be sent by email or post.
We can invoice in GBP, Euros or USD, however by law, we are required to pay wages in Euros and wage payment must be made to a French bank account.
Workers must be legally entitled to be employed by a French company and to work in France prior to registering with us and have proof of an assignment with an invoice value greater than 2,500 Euros per month for the duration of the assignment.
There is no minimum duration of assignment.
In order to declare employment, we require the workers to complete a simple registration form, which can be returned by email together with a copy of their passport or, if they do not hold EU citizenship, their work visa for France. Unfortunately we cannot assist with applications for work visas.
We also require the recruitment agency or client to complete a simple service agreement stating the agreed rate, the role title and the duration of the assignment or alternatively a purchase order before we can declare a worker.
Once the registration form and signed service agreement (or purchase order) are received we can generally declare employment within three working days.
Once your contractor has an offer of an assignment, signing up is simple. All you have to do is complete a service agreement which you can download HERE and return it by email. Your contractor can then either contact us directly or sign up online through the ‘Information for Workers’ page. If the role involves additional contracts, we’ll be happy to discuss these with you, please don’t hesitate to contact us or arrange a call-back.
Challenge & Co provide the ideal vehicle for allowing one to work in France without tangling with France’s bureaucracy. They are flexible in their approach, slick in operation, AND they’re nice people. R. J Akins (consultant)
I have found Challenge & Co to provide a service above and beyond the call of duty. Incredibly quick to respond the questions and I look forward to continuing to work with them. Kate Baker
When I moved my software development business to France Challenge & Co offered the quickest and simplest solution to getting back up and running with the minimal disruption to my existing clients. They keep my paperwork overheads to a bare minimum and allow me to concentrate on my business. I would recommend Challenge & Co to any freelancer looking for a trouble free approach to self-employment in France. R
I can’t recommend Challenge & Co highly enough. Not only did they provide the perfect solution for me, they also provided the perfect solution for my agency who were concerned about offering me contracts once I’d moved to France. That I had employee status with Challenge & Co reassured my agency completely and was a factor in my being offered the role. James
When I moved to France I was quite worried about inadvertently making mistakes with declaring my work and paying my social charges. The bureaucracy involved in forming a company (or shutting one down) seemed horrendous and although I had offers of freelance work I considered declining them to avoid the stress of self-employment, I am convinced that had I not found Challenge & Co I would have done so. I’m very grateful for the excellent service they’ve provided me with. Louise