Everything You Need To Know About Liberal Professions in France

When entering the professional world, everyone should be able to choose the status that suits them best. Some people think that working as freelancers allows them to have many more advantages than just being a regular employee. If you decide to become a freelancer, we will explain the professions that you can practice and the criteria that go with them.

Definition and Characteristics

According to the definition of Article 29 of Law No. 2012-387 of March 22, 2012 “the liberal professions group persons habitually exercising, independently and under their responsibility, an activity of a generally civil nature whose purpose is to provide, in the interest of the client or the public, services mainly intellectual, technical or care implemented by means of appropriate professional qualifications and in compliance with ethical principles or professional ethics, without prejudice to the legislative provisions applicable to other forms of self-employment.”

In addition, you bill your services in the form of fees based on the tasks you have performed during a defined period. Most of these professions are affiliated to the Caisse nationale d’assurance-vieillesse des professions libérales (CNAVPL) and to the Sécurité sociale des indépendants. There are two types of liberal professions.

Regulated Liberal Professions

Firstly, public or ministerial officers’ activities are considered regulated liberal professions. These activities require authorization to be exercised. This mainly concerns lawyers at the Council of State and the Court of Cassation, clerks of the commercial courts, notaries, and judicial commissioners (judicial auctioneers and bailiffs).

Apart from these, other professions are regulated. In the finance and management sector, we can distinguish the accountant and the chartered accountant, the broker, the property manager, and the auditor. There are also professions in the health sector such as doctors, surgeons, dieticians, nurses, etc. The real estate-urbanism and sports sectors are also concerned, namely, the architect, the surveyor, the sports coach, and the gymnastics teacher.

Some conditions are required to be able to exercise these activities. First, it is necessary to have a state diploma in the chosen field. Furthermore, this profession requires registration with an independent professional authority recognized by the State, such as an order, a professional union, a chamber, and a bar association for lawyers.

These professional authorities define the conditions of the practice of the activities and defend their interests before the public authorities. In addition, the regulated liberal professions are subject to a code of ethics, namely independence, responsibility, and professional secrecy.

Regulated professionals can work together in a professional partnership or a liberal practice company. They can also work with another form of company as long as the latter does not attribute the title of trader to its partners.

Autorisation d'établissement | EGCA Trust

Unregulated Liberal Professions

The list of activities that can be carried out with this status is not exhaustive, as long as these activities are not commercial, craft, industrial or agricultural. We can mention, for example, the computer graphics designer, the website designer, the translator-interpreter, the writer, etc.

Most of these professions are free, but others require authorization, such as driving instructors. The exercise of this type of profession has several characteristics: unsalaried activity, activity performed independently and in the client’s interest, and all activities based on the provision of an intellectual work or the exercise of art.

Once you have chosen your legal status, you need to start positioning yourself in the market to make yourself known. You choose between creating your business alone (sole proprietorship) or associating with others (company).

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