2 key steps to going freelance

Do you have a talent, a passion or the desire to benefit others with your specialist expertise? Freelancing is a great way to boost your income. If you want a release from the traditional employment contract, it could even become your main occupation and sole source of income. Becoming freelance can happen fairly quickly and requires you to set up a company. Registering under the micro-business scheme gives you the most freedom in terms of tax and red tape. Want to become a freelancer? Wondering how to get started? This article tells you everything you need to know.

What is a freelancer?

Before becoming a freelancer, it is important to understand the concept. There is also no legal definition of freelancing. Freelance is a way of working. Freelancers are free from the subordinate relationships that a fixed-term or permanent employee may have with their employer. When you are freelance, there is no employment contract to govern the professional relationship. Freelancers works for themselves. They offer a service to a company or an individual. We are talking about jobs billed to the customer.

Good to know: Freelancing as such has no legal significance.

Note: Freelancer should not be confused with micro-entrepreneur. While the first term has no legal significance, it is different from the second term, which provides a legal framework for work. To become a freelancer, you can work under the micro-business scheme.

Freelance or self-employed, what’s the difference?

Le terme anglais freelance signifie travailleur indépendant en français. Le freelance est un anglicisme communément utilisé dans le langage courant. Whether you are freelance or self-employed, it’s the same way of working.

#1 Define your freelancing business

To give yourself the best start at freelancing, you should first outline the profile of your business.

What’s your business?

To answer this, you need to ask what you intend to offer as a self-employed person. To do this, you need to answer the following question: What service(s) or goods do you want to produce, provide or sell?

If you are a freelancer with a particular talent or passion, or the desire to benefit others with your highly skilled expertise, you can make this the heart of your business. Highlight your experience and skills to gain credibility with potential customers.

Our advice: To go freelance, write a small description of what you plan to sell. Also list your experience and skills.

Target your customer base

Who is the target group of your freelance business? For your work to be sustainable, it must attract a targeted clientèle.  This can be:

  • Working or retired individuals;
  • Small, medium or large businesses;
  • Large groups;
  • Private practices;
  • Public offices, etc.

Once you identify your target group you can start prospecting in more detail. And that includes finding assignments that suit you.

What need does your freelancing business fulfill?

The successful freelancer tailors their services to the expectations of their customers. This step is the key to success. And to do this, you need to carry out an in-depth evaluation of the market. This generally involves putting together a business plan and studying potential competitors. You can then position yourself in the current market and set your rates, say, by the hour or as a flat-rate. We call this the average daily rate (ADR).

#2 Work on your visibility

To go freelance and earn an income, it is important to make yourself known.

Your professional or personal network is a great way to get your first assignments. But there are other ways to work on your visibility. How about a platform specially dedicated to freelancers? You can use a platform to tell potential customers about your availability, what you offer, as well as your rates and potential turnaround times.

Our LittleBig Connection platform connects large companies with a community of 350,000 freelance specialists. If you want to find a freelancer, our dedicated article gives you all the best advice.

What trades does freelancing suit?

There is no list of specific jobs that are compatible with freelancing. You can work freelance in many sectors of work. The IT, digital and data sectors are particularly suited to freelancing. You can also be self-employed if you are skilled in a craft or want a private practice. Freelance journalist, freelance writer, freelance developer, freelance agile coach, freelance data analyst, freelance photographer, freelance hairdresser, the list is endless.


How does freelancing work?

Working freelance offers real flexibility. As a self-employed worker, you set your own working hours, as well as your rates and place of work. You can work from home, in a dedicated office space, or in a co-working space.


Who can work freelance?

There is only one condition to start working as a freelancer in France – you must have a SIRET number (a business registration number). In theory, anyone can become a freelancer.