Can one be self-employed in a green space? We uncover everything for you!

With the COVID-19 crisis, there has been an increased desire for many French people to relax in green spaces. There are many opportunities in so-called “green space” occupations, including those for gardeners, landscapers, and green space maintenance workers. Would you like to take advantage of this free position to put your green thumb to good use? We provide you all the information you need to become self-employed in the green sector.

Can one be self-employed in a green space?

Theoretically, the law does not authorize the sole practice of the profession of green space agent under the status of auto-entrepreneur. Indeed, green space jobs such as gardeners and landscapers are considered agricultural activities. So they are essentially dependent on a Mutuelle Sociale Agricole (MSA).

MSA is a mutual insurance company that manages contributions from agricultural businesses. However, it does not accept subscriptions under auto-entrepreneur status. This is the reason why it is not possible to become an auto entrepreneur in green space under MSA.

However, don’t worry, it is possible to maintain a green space as a self-employed person. The only condition is that this activity is not the only one of your micro-enterprise. So you’ll have to do other activities in addition, such as cleaning or basic DIY activities. Be careful as this position limits you to only one private and home-based clients. Therefore it is not possible for companies or local authorities to practice in green space maintenance as an auto-entrepreneur.

You can set up your micro-enterprise in a green space under two conditions:

  • Auto-entrepreneurs in multi-services: Under this condition, you can engage in activities like gardening. However, this activity should not exceed 50% of your turnover.
  • Auto-entrepreneurs in personal services: Under this situation, by doing small gardening work, you will be able to avail tax credit of up to 50% associated with the provision of personal services. You must make an announcement to the DIRECCTE (Regional Directorate of Trade, Competition, Consumption, Labor and Employment) in your area so that your customers can benefit from it. DIRECCTE is a regional directorate responsible for coordinating public policies for economic development, consumer protection, labor and employment. However, with a multi-service micro-enterprise status, this activity should not exceed most of your sales.

In addition, if you are self-employed in individual services by carrying out activities in a green space, you can use a CESU (Universal Service Employment Voucher). CESU is used to pay remuneration for a home-based job either by a declaration or by prepaid check similar to a meal voucher. They allow employers to claim a 50% tax deduction or credit. To do so, you need to register on the CRCESU website (Universal Services Employment Inquiry Reimbursement Centre). In addition, additional conditions are imposed on you. The materials and products you use must be provided by the person for whom you are serving. The organization of your work is also imposed by it.

The good news is, URSSAF is setting up immediate tax credit advances in 2022. So your customers will be able to take advantage of this benefit immediately. The scope of related activities is also wide. Be aware, you will have to confine yourself to the regular maintenance of the gardens and/or pieces of vegetables. The annual spending limit for this activity, allowing the entitlement to the tax credit, is €5,000.


Becoming an auto-entrepreneur in Green Space allows you to practice on your account in Green Space trades. However, under this situation, you need to do other activities. If you’ve ever wanted to work exclusively in green spaces, there are two options possible for you.

What are the self-employment options for working in green space?

There are two options for self-employment possible to become self-employed in a green space: sole proprietorship and company.

Sole Proprietorship allows you to create a business in Green Space exclusively in your name. Administrative management responsibilities are less important. However, if you choose to set up an EIRL (Individual Company with Limited Liability) your liability will be less. Limited liability allows you to protect your personal assets, in the event of a debt.

The company is an interesting option to consider especially for the protection, thanks to the limited liability it offers you. Here, two forms are possible for you: SASU (Société par Actions Simplifiés Unipersonnelle) or EURL (unipersonal company with limited liability).

As you might have realized, these two positions are interesting choices if you ever want to practice an activity exclusively in a green space.

What are the duties of a green space maintenance worker?

If you decide to opt for a self-employed position in multi-services or individual services, you will have a limited choice of missions. This is analogous to the routine maintenance of gardens and/or vegetable patches in private households.

These missions mainly include watering the garden, mowing the lawn, cleaning, weeding, snow removal, maintenance of trees and shrubs or harvesting fruits and vegetables.

Please note that you will not be able to sell products related to your activity. In fact, then you must register with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a company or sole proprietorship in addition to the mandatory registration with the MSA. Maintenance of parks and gardens is also part of this category. Thus, it is not possible to be a landowner under this condition.

However, you can do earthwork or masonry work. You will then need to register as a craftsman with the Chamber of Trades and Crafts. You must also provide proof of diploma or at least 3 years of experience.

Which training to become self-employed in green space?

Theoretically, you can become a green space agent without training. Still, having a diploma is a real advantage, especially for attracting your clients. Multiple courses are possible, with or without a level.

You can take the CAP Agricultural Landscape Gardener Diploma or Agricultural Vocational Certificate with the “Landscaping Works” option without obtaining a Baccalaureate Diploma or if you already have one. There is also a Certificate of Professional Aptitude (CAPA) with the options “Landscape Work”, “Landscape Gardener” or “Horticulture Production, Nursery Specialty, Flower and Vegetable Production”.


If you don’t have a bachelor’s, there are also two professional-level courses in landscaping and landscaping, and one technical course in agricultural science and living sciences and technologies.

Finally, if you want to use plant protection products such as herbicides or insecticides during your mission, you must pass a “Certificato” certificate. You will find these training courses in authorized regional training organizations. Similarly, if you use biocompatible products such as wood preservation products, you must also pass a “certibiocide” certification.

These trainings will give you the basics you need to be able to practice the profession. Still, obtaining these diplomas will not change the scope of activities you can undertake as a self-employed entrepreneur. However, you should be aware that this job requires not only mastering gardening techniques, but also good physical condition and good interpersonal skills. These are fundamental skills to satisfy and retain your customers.

What are the administrative formalities to be self-employed in Green Space?

The administrative formalities you have to complete are very simple. All you have to do is announce the activity to URSSAF. Furthermore, whatever the situation of your choice, you will have to register your activities and their nature. It will be with the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (CMA) for craft activities and with the Trades and Companies Register for commercial activities. Finally, some activities fall within the scope of URSSF, such as home tutoring.

Achieve success in your self-employment activity in 3 steps

1 – Study the competition and work on your finances

Are you ready to start your business? It’s perfect. Nevertheless, it is very important that you prepare your business plan before you begin. The purpose of a business plan is to summarize the strategy for your business project as well as its financial projections for finding financing. You have the possibility to open a self-business with 1€ of capital. However, you will need a substantial contribution to make your first investment to start your business.

A business plan is made up of accounting estimates such as the income statement, provisional balance sheet or working capital requirements (BFR). These allow you to assess your expenses, material needs, essential purchases such as premises or a company car, etc. It takes the conclusion of projects and market studies and competition to refine your proposal and to verify that your project is financially viable.

To finance your project, Le NACRE (New Support for Creation or Acquisition of Business) may be useful to you. You can then follow along during the construction and launch of your micro-enterprise. To obtain this assistance, you can contact the state and any organization that agrees with the Caisse des Dépôts.

2 – Choose the right communication channel

To get to know yourself better, it is important that you choose the right communication channels. We advise you to favor local communication such as orally, distribution of flyers or advertisements in local newspapers.

Also, it’s important to take care of your digital visibility by creating a Google My Business page or Facebook account. You can also register on the personal service platform.

3 – Find Missions

To apply to work in a green space, don’t hesitate to contact local branches such as town halls and associations that may have missions assigned to you. You can also request your professional and personal network to find your first assignment. Don’t hesitate to contact other colleagues in your profession who can give you some leads.

questions to ask

What is the legal status of working in a green space?

For working in a green space, 3 legal situations are possible: micro-enterprise (multi-services or individual services), sole proprietorship and company.

How to Find Freelance Jobs in Green Space?

To find assignments, we recommend using local communication channels, but also contacting regional offices such as the Town Hall and Association.

What is a Self Employed Landscaping Contractor Salary?

The average rate of a freelancer in Green Space varies between 15 and 50€ per hour. Turnover is limited to €72,500 per year.

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