Income from self-employment


Dernière mise à jour le :07/06/2023


The activity income of the self-employed is the income or profit from the self-employed activity, after deduction of the social security contributions paid during the year and the associated professional charges. Social contributions (CSG, CRDS) are not deducted. The activity income of the self-employed is calculated on the basis of taxable professional income, to which certain tax breaks and optional social security contributions are added, correcting it if necessary for any increase of 25% in the base in the event of non-membership of a management centre, an approved association or failure to use a chartered accountant. In practice, it corresponds to the base used to calculate personal family allowance contributions.

For traditional individual entrepreneurs (excluding micro-entrepreneurs), it is obtained from the profit they make from their activity (BIC or BNC depending on the nature of this activity) net of compulsory social security contributions paid during the year, salaries paid to any employees, interest on professional loans and depreciation allowances. It is considered to be zero in the event of a loss-making year.

For the majority managers of companies, it corresponds to their remuneration, as well as a part of the dividends received since 2013. Since that date, dividends received are considered as remuneration for work and the part that exceeds 10% of the share capital, share premiums and sums credited to the partners' current accounts are included in the activity income of the majority managers of limited companies. Below this threshold, they are considered as income from movable capital. Before 2013, all dividends received were considered as remuneration of capital and were therefore not subject to social security contributions (except for SELs since 2009 and for EIRLs since 2011). Since 2014, the activity income of micro-entrepreneurs is measured from the turnover they declare in the following three types of activity: sales activities, provision of services and liberal activities. Income is estimated by applying to these turnover figures the rates of deduction for professional expenses implemented by the tax authorities (71% for sales activities, 50% for the provision of services and 34% for a liberal activity).

Unlike employees, information on the volume of work done by non-salaried workers is not available. It is therefore not possible to calculate an activity income per unit of work volume that could be compared to the wage in FTE. However, in order to take into account any incomplete years, the activity income of the self-employed is annualised (brought down to what a self-employed person would have received if he or she had been affiliated for the full year) with a weighting in proportion to the length of affiliation in the year. The calculation is made only on non-salaried persons who were active on 31 December of the year, excluding those who did not declare their income.

When compared to wage income, the activity income of non-salaried workers is not annualised and the measures relate to all non-salaried workers (including those who ceased their activity during the year) excluding the agricultural sector.