What is a freelancer?

Freelancers are independent or self-employed workers in professional, service-oriented fields like graphic design, photography, consulting, coaching, editorial, computer science, and so on.

Freelancers cannot be manual workers (such as craftsmen, farmers, etc.) nor can they work in heavily regulated professions like medicine or law.

In total, there are more than 9 million freelancers working across Europe today, including 700,000+ in France alone.

Generally speaking, the term "freelancer" is not a legal status in and of itself. In France, for example, a freelancer must create a legal business entity—either an auto-entreprise or a SARL, EURL, or EIRL company—in order to provide their professional services to companies and also get paid for their services.

There are also some special freelance statuses related to MDA or AGESSA. (We will not go into that here, but please keep this in mind if it applies to you.)