Self-employed and salaried: is it possible?

Do you want to start your own activity without losing the benefits of your salaried job? Whether it’s to supplement your income or test your new project, the good news is, auto-entrepreneur and employee position accumulation is done for you! However, on condition that you respect certain rules. Find out how to become a self-employed individual and employee, cumulative activity criteria, and above all, a detailed user guide to get started!

Few Reminders on Auto-Entrepreneur Status

The status of auto-entrepreneur allows a project leader to start his/her activity at low cost. In fact, building a self-business is cheaper and faster. This is why the position is appreciated by many independents, among other benefits of the position.

Among the features of this legal status, the maximum limit for self-employed persons determines your activity. Thus, your business is limited to:

  • €72,600 for crafts and eclectic activities;
  • 176,200 € for commercial activities.

These ceilings leave you a certain margin to test your project while keeping your job. Also note that you are exempt from VAT on almost half of your turnover.

It is possible to be self-employed and employed

The law authorizes all employees in the private sector to set up a business being an employee. Thus you have the opportunity to practice (almost) all professions as a self-employed person. In fact, only regulated liberal businesses are excluded from this status.

To be able to combine the position of auto-entrepreneur and employee, you must of course respect the obligations of employees and especially the duty of loyalty which includes:

  • Do not use your employer’s resources for your self-employment;
  • Do not use your working hours to build, grow or manage your own business;
  • Notify employer of building your own business if it covers similar activities, customers or partners;
  • Don’t defame your employer.

Failure to comply with any of these elements may result in dismissal, payment of fines, and damages. You may even be forbidden from exercising.

It is possible to be a self-employed person and a civil servant

It is even possible to create a micro enterprise when you are a civil servant! However, it is more delicate than that of a private employee. Indeed, the February 2, 2007 law came to relax the status of civil servant so that you can do parallel activity. Many public service employees seized the opportunity in 2009 with the emergence of the auto-entrepreneur position.

To take advantage of this, 2 scenarios are presented to you:

  • You work full time: Other than your job, only certain activities can be performed on an auxiliary basis. The list of professions is specified in Article 11 of the Decree dated January 30, 2020. You must send a request to your hierarchy and only work outside your working hours. Accumulation of self-employed and civil servant status is possible only for 2 years, renewable once. After this 3 year period, you have to choose between two positions.
  • You are already working part time (70% or less): All you have to do is inform your superiors.

It is possible to be a self-employed entrepreneur and a leader

To become a self-employed individual, the manager must not already be working as a self-employed individual. Simply, this means that:

  • Minority Managers of SARL or EURL can associate their activity with Auto-Entrepreneur;
  • The president of SAS and SASU may also combine his mandate with auto-entrepreneur status;
  • Most managers of SARLs and managing partners of EURLs cannot combine their work and auto-entrepreneur status.

To learn more, read our dedicated article on the accumulation of several self-employment activities.

Save self-employment and employee status: instructions for use

Ready to start your own business? Here’s a user guide for combining self-employed and employee status.

Check Your Employment Contract

First, you must draw out your employment contract and reread it carefully. In fact, you need to check if it includes restrictive clauses like:

  • non-competition clause : This concerns you especially if you want to exercise your activity in the same field that the company employs you. It is valid for both full-time and part-time contracts;
  • privacy clause : Here too, it can be present regardless of the length of your working time. It prohibits you from disclosing or using manufacturing techniques, patents, innovative solutions, etc. specific to your business;
  • specification clause : It deals with full-time contracts only, and as its name suggests, it obliges the employee to work exclusively for his employer. If there is such a clause in your contract, you can try to negotiate with your management to remove it. It should be noted that Article L1222-5 of the Labor Code does not automatically apply to the accumulation of activities, but pertains to employees who take leave to establish their business.

Define your main activity and declare your social security system

Is everything good with your contract? Then you should define your main activity, i.e. the one that represents your main source of income, and declare yourself to various social organizations. This is the main activity that defines the plan that will be responsible for all your social benefits.


You are a notary’s clerk and run a self-employed. If your salaried activity remains your main activity, your social security system will remain CRPCEN (Caisse de Retraite et de Prevoyance des Employees du Notariat). Conversely, if your main activity is your self-employed activity, your Social Security system will be the normal system.

In France the principle of solidarity enforces the payment of social contributions on every activity undertaken (employee or self-employed). Hence you are liable to pay for your expenses as a self-employed individual in addition to the expenses deducted from your employee pay slip.

Finally, be aware that the combination of employee and self-employed does not allow you to retire earlier. In fact, you can contribute only 4 quarters per year with all the activities combined. To learn more, read our article on self-employed retirement contributions.

Take the time to set up your own business

Is your business growing well and you need to devote more time to it? You can suspend your employment contract to create your own business. There are 3 options available to you for this:

  • Leave for business creation/acquisition : This allows you to benefit from a reduction in working time for one year, being renewable once. Please note, your employer is not obligated to give it to you. Here’s how to apply;
  • rest : for a period of 6 to 11 months, not renewable or extendable;
  • unpaid leave : This is an agreement between your employer and you. You indicate duration, start and end dates, return status and whether clauses such as non-compete or exclusivity are retained.

general question

Can you work for your employer as a self-employed person?

No. The Labor Code is very clear: there should be no relationship of subordination between the service provider and its customer. However, this link actually exists because of being an employee. In addition, URSSAF may reclassify the contract as a disguised employee if this was your only contract as a self-employed individual.

Employees and Self-Employed Persons: In case of resignation, are we entitled to unemployment?

No. Resignation does not give rise to any entitlement to unemployment benefits. On the other hand, under certain conditions, you can benefit from the provisions of the law Avenir Professional which allows you to resign to form a company while receiving the AER. But to take advantage of this, after your resignation * * self-employment business will have to be created.

Is Social Security unpaid or sabbatical during my leave to build a business?

You benefit from the portability of your Social Security plan for 12 months. On the other hand, you do not accumulate entitlements to old age insurance (retirement).

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