I think a portage salarial company could be a good solution in my case. For in fact, if I decided to go freelance, it was to be able to choose when I work and select my assignments, to be fully in control of my professional life… and certainly not out of a love for administrative management. And in addition, being able to retain my status as an employee, with all its advantages, seems to me to be a good compromise between independence and security.
I choose my portage salarial company
According to the French Union of Portage salarial Companies (PEPS), there are more than 250 such companies in France today, with 70,000 freelancers working through them. After discussing the subject with friends and reading articles on blogs dedicated to independent contractors, here’s what I decided: the amount of commission is important, of course, but there are so many other criteria to be taken into consideration before coming to a conclusion – the service offering, responsiveness, quality of contact and the lifetime of the portage salarial company. After all, I am preparing to entrust them with managing my professional status and my salary. I can now launch my search following 5 clear stages:
A review of my needs
After a quick look at a few sites, I see that the services on offer can vary greatly from one company to another. Of course, converting the fees charged to my client into a salary is the common core, but if I dig a little deeper, I realize that certain services such as the management of expense can make a difference. And I know I will be incurring regular business expenses: I write a note to myself therefore to compare the service levels and rates charged for this service. I also see that some companies offerings are entirely online, and others have a physical presence locally, near to where I live in Rennes – and I know that for many services, such as the bank for example, proximity is important.
I request a detailed simulation
The cost of the salary hosting service is clearly one of the main criteria. Each company displays its rates, which are usually a percentage of the amount invoiced to the company; this commission is generally between 3 and 15%. Converting my customer billing into a salary also involves different taxes and deductions. Lastly, the management of business expenses and various salary optimisation mechanisms (that some companies offer) may impact the final take home pay. How do you find your way around to be able to compare? The easiest, most reliable way is to ask the portage salarial company for a detailed simulation corresponding to my situation. That way I can see exactly what the salary hosting service costs and how much my take home pay will be.
I look into the portage salarial company
To comply with the rules, a salary hosting company has to respect a few points. According to articles L.1254-21 to L.1254-31 of the French labour code, the company must work exclusively as a salary host, for only certified salary hosting companies can sign employment contracts in this domain. One a month, they must also keep me informed of items charged to my account. They must also provide documentary proof at any time of a financial guarantee ensuring the payment of the salaries, compensation, contributions and compulsory reimbursements.
I also take a look at the lifetime of the organisation, by checking the time it has been in operation, the turnover and the number of consultants managed… Lastly, I find out if the companies are members of a union, (in particular the PEPS which represents 85% of the sector in France), which would mean shared ethics charters and good practices.
I assess responsiveness and expertise
What do I expect from a portage salarial company on a day-to-day level? As I am already kept very busy with my assignment and developing my business, my days are pretty full. This is why responsiveness is essential: whether for the payment of my salary, managing of expenses, administrative follow-up of my customers, or a straightforward question, I need to be able to rely on an available, trustworthy partner. Similarly, if I choose a portage salarial company, I also have expectations regarding the skills of my contacts. How do I proceed to assess these criteria, before even starting the cooperation? I can already test the company from our first exchanges, by assessing their response times, the relevance of their answers to my questions about my situation.
My first impression
When I choose my portage salarial company, I choose a partner capable of providing me with daily support, for months and years to come. I don’t forget to take account of my first impressions, how I was received, the contact and the personalised relation.