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For our latest SLB blog we interviewed Kate Gallagher who is currently living and working in Paris as a lectrice at a `University in Paris and an English Teacher at Language School. Her latter role required her to register as an auto-entrepreneur (freelancer) in France which has enabled her to work for herself. During this interview she talked about the auto-entrepreneur application process, how it enables her to work independently and her recommendations on places to visit in Paris !

Tell us about your journey up until now !

I studied French Studies at the University of Sheffield for both my Bachelor and Masters. These programmes included a wide range of modules including: French culture, language, literature, history and translation. For my year abroad I was in Digne-les-Bains in Provence teaching English to primary school students. After I completed my Masters I knew that I wanted to move back to France, I worked in a bookshop for a few months to save money. I found a job with the Student Language Bureau working as an English Language Assistant in Paris. Living and working in Paris wasn’t originally part of the plan, but it all fell into place !

What are you currently doing in Paris ?

I am currently working as a Lectrice d’anglais at a University in Paris part-time (12 hours a week) leading speaking sessions for students who are in the Monde Anglophone department. In addition to this, I work 10 hours a week at a language school teaching adults who are learning English for business purposes. This is the role that required me to have the auto-entrepreneur status !

The Auto-entrepreneur Status

Talk to us about the process of becoming an auto-entrepreneur

1. Submit your application online
You have to apply through the website- URSSAF (Union de recouvrement des cotisations de Sécurité sociale et d'allocations familiales) - you create an account and upload the required documents.
These documents include:
- A piece of ID (e.g. passport, drivers license, carte de séjour or visa)
- Social security number
- A brief explanation of the services that you will be providing and the name of your business (this can just be your name)
Once you submit everything they will study your profile, if they need anything else from you they will be in touch.

2. Receive your SIRET number
- Within one or two weeks you get your SIRET number (Système d'Identification du Répertoire des Établissements)
- This is a number that identifies you as an auto-entrepreneur

3. Notification d’affiliation à la Sécurité sociale
- Within 4-6 weeks you get a notification that is called notification d’affiliation (in the post)
- It confirms the type of services that you will be providing- in my case it was enseignement

Once you have got this notification c’est parti !

How does it all work with paying your taxes ?

Once you have received all the information mentioned above, you can create an online account and manage everything from here.

You can decide how often you want to be pay your taxes - you have two options:
  1. Monthly

  2. Every three months

- They will send you a notification of when your taxes are due as a reminder. I decided to pay monthly so that I can budget easier.

- Every month I log into my account and put the sum of money that I have earned- they calculate how much tax I pay based on how much I have earned.

- You can declare your earnings from the previous month and pay your tax any time between the first and last day of the following month !

Note: When you are in your first year you can qualify for a tax reduction This is known as an ACRE (L’aide aux créateurs et repreneurs d’entreprise) There is a form that you fill in for this tax reduction- in my first year I pay 11% tax on what I earn.

What does having the auto-entrepreneur status mean that you can do ?

Having this status has meant that I can do extra hours on top of my role at the University on my own terms.

I am not obligated to work certain days or hours- I tell the Language School when I can work and they allocate lessons based on my schedule.

It is a great set-up because I can do more hours during the holidays and less during the semester.
Eventually I am thinking about creating my own small language school with online classes- working as an online English teacher has given me great experience that will definitely help me reach this goal and I will be able to do this thanks to having the auto-entrepreneur status.

I also completed a TEFL course around the same time I was applying for the auto-entrepreneur status. Completing this course can help make you a more credible teacher when applying for roles and may enable you to charge more. (Are you thinking of taking a TEFL qualification ?- Get 10% off your course with TEFL UK using our discount code- 65581028 )

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