Three out of four “freelance entrepreneurs” would never have started a business without this new legal form
In the first half of 2010, 190,000 French people applied to register as freelance entrepreneurs (auto-entreprises). An estimated 60% of the total will actually use the procedure to start a business. Three out of four freelance entrepreneurs would not have gone into business without this new legal form. Their stated goal is to supplement their existing income or protect their job. Two out of five freelance entrepreneurs were paid employees in the private sector. One-half started their business in a different sector from that of their core occupation. Freelance entrepreneurs are concentrated in four sectors: support and consulting services for businesses, services for households, retailing, and construction. Freelance entrepreneurs report an average monthly income of €1,000. They work mainly from home or on their clients' premises. They tend to be younger than the labour force as a whole, and female freelance entrepreneurs are better educated than their male counterparts. For survey respondents, the main advantage of the new status is that it cuts red tape; the main drawback is that expenses are not deductible from gross earnings. Those who have gone out of business attribute their failure to a non-viable business plan or the unsuitability of the legal status to their personal situation.