To Portage or Not to Portage

Having been through the most horrific 2 hour audit by the CAF (as I occasionally get help) I am thinking about moving across to the Portage system

The CAF controller more or less accused me of fraud as my family and friends don't send presents but give me money instead (easier and cheaper than sending parcels)

So M L'Inspecteur noted down all 'present' money and told me I could be done for fraud as this was not noted as an income

So I will have to see what his report says but I am basically fed up of being a freelance

Endless paperwork, ridiculously high charges, ever changing laws as well as other pains in the butt

Do any of you use the Portage system and if so what are the pros and cons?

I know it is expensive but in my case may not cost me more than an accountant not forgetting the time I spend doing the paperwork when I could be out getting and working for clients

And the plus is that I become a salaried employee with all the rights that come with it (for example chomage if I close my activity)

Any advice welcome as I am really fed up with French admin and want to simplify my life

Merci d'avance

That sounds like a good business Sarah, all the best of luck


Hi Damian

I have been helping English people move to and settle in France, including translating for them. I am currently setting myself up as a business although as you will see from the above I am not keen on being a freelancer and will be using an umbrella company. I will therefore be a consultant specialising in relocation work, translation and bi lingual secretarial and admin support.

The idea is to provide a one stop support service to people who either live or have holiday homes in France

The people I have helped can provide references and two of these households want me to work for them so am feeling positive about the whole idea! :-D

Hi Sarah,

What is it that you do?

courage ! ;-)

I only like the look of portage because it saves me doing paperwork which uses up time when I could be looking for and working for clients

When I had my shop I needed an accountant - is AE admin easy enough for me to do myself?

Also the portage scheme is a CDD which, if I can't work would give me rights to chomage etc (I think?)

Will have to think this one through but for the time being I am terrified of the CAF who pretty much accused me of fraud and are now compiling a report - just because my family send me my presents in money form rather than parcels .....apparently it should have been declared as income which I find ridiculous!

Feeling a bit bof....sorry!

Hi Sarah, I looked at it 4 or 5 years ago but was far better off as an auto entrepreneur and signed up when they started that scheme. I was an indépendant for 4 years under the AE scheme and paid less then 25% for cotisations/charges sociales/impôts etc. I would have paid around 50% under the portage system. And I'm now paying under the standard scheme as a commerçant which means around 50 to 60% by the third year :-O

If you can, I'd go the auto entrepreneur route. It's sooooo simple and cheap ;-)