Contract in France

Contracting in France - FAQ

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in France? 

€350 - €400

No not presently.

How long does it take to get a work permit in France?

Anywhere up to 6 to 9 months.

What is the estimated net retention in France for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

*update pending

What is the estimated net retention in France for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Around 65%

*doesn’t include fee for work permit or other immigration costs

More questions? See the rest of the FAQ for more information on the France work permit process

Getting Started

Taking a contract in France means tackling numerous administrative headaches. Before you even begin working as an independent contractor, there are complicated payroll, tax, and immigration issues to work out.

All this complex admin comes on top of any personal matters you need to sort, as well. Even worse, it can be a huge nuisance when you’re already in France, trying to adjust to a huge relocation – and a new contract!

Streamlining even a few of these obstacles can dramatically improve your experience.

Luckily, there are ways to simplify more than just a few…

Freelance France Requirements


One of your first hurdles will be securing the proper work permit. To get one, you usually need an employer to sponsor you. This means they take full responsibility for you while you’re working in the country.

That’s fine for full-time employees, but what about independent contractors?

Many clients won’t offer sponsorship for a temporary worker and, even if they do, you’ll need to apply for a new permit for each new contract. This creates a mountain of paperwork each time you want to work with a new client.


Additionally, you need to figure out what you owe (if anything) in taxes for your work in France.

Of course, there’s also your country of tax residency; you’re likely to owe something on that front, too.

You can take advantage of certain tax structures, but doing so requires a strong familiarity with expat tax law in France.

Benefits of working through an Umbrella Company in France

You can outsource a lot of these admin problems to specialists at an Umbrella Company (or contractor management company).

An Umbrella Company basically becomes your full-time “employer,” even though you stay in control of your workload, clients, and schedule. The Umbrella Company simply collects and processes your payments, filtering out social security and any necessary fees.

They can also sponsor your work permit, meaning you get to take on new clients without the aggravation of applying for a new permit each time.

Even better, most specialise in tax law for contractors in France and can ensure you’re keeping the largest amount of your earnings as possible. They can even assist you with reducing your tax liability back home.

In short, you get all the benefits of a working for an employer, without sacrificing your autonomy as a contractor.

How to get started with the right Umbrella Company

There’s a lot of Umbrella Companies out there; finding the right one for you can be daunting.

We’ve done the research on Umbrella Companies in France, and know how to match contractors with the perfect company. If you’ve already secured a contract, get in touch with us and let us know your situation. We can get you started with the best Umbrella Company for you, or simply offer feedback on contracting in France.

Oh, and we don’t charge anything. Drop us a line and get free, honest, simple advice.

Send your details for more information

Additional FAQ - work permits & payroll

It's possible, but has become increasingly difficult.

What is the cost of a Work Permit in France?

Depends on the consulate, nationality of the candidate and whether you use a Migration Agent but it should be less than €500.

What documentation is required for a work permit in France?

Depending on the nationality of the candidate further documentation may be required (see below).

What is the work permit process in France?

A French company needs to apply for a Carte de Sejour for any non-EU national. It should be done if possible whilst the candidate is outside of France at the French Consulate in their country of residence. The candidate will need: copy of their contract of employment, 4 passport photos, a completed application form, proof of funds, degree and diploma certificate, birth certificate (original) and your passport.

Can you transfer from a business visa to a work permit in France?


Can we organise a business visa for France?


How long does it take to process a business visa in France?

5 - 7 days.

How much does a business visa cost in France?

Less than €50.

Can nationals of certain countries enter France without a business visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?


Yes all first world nationals will have a visa waiver.



How does payroll work in France?


Your employer (the company sponsoring your visa) pays the candidate on a monthly basis. They deduct social security  - which is roughly 35% for employers and 25% for employees. French social security levels are amongst the highest in the world! They also deduct income tax - which varies from 0-41% pendant on salary level. These deductions are made at source and paid to the France tax authorities. Candidates are able to offset their taxable income with relevant business expenses. The World Bank estimates it takes employers in France 80 man days to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes each year.


Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping