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Understanding the Concept of Portage Salarial in France

Portage Salarial in France: A French employment arrangement that provides the best of both worlds for freelancers and contractors, granting them access to social protection and employee benefits without sacrificing their autonomy.

Key Takeaways

  • Portage salarial is a French employment arrangement offering freelancers the benefits of an employee while maintaining their independence.
  • It involves a tripartite relationship between freelancer, client company and umbrella company to manage taxes and payments.
  • Freelancers benefit from social protections, security & freedom from admin tasks. Companies gain access to specialized skills on temporary basis with cost savings & support.

Freelancing has never been more popular, offering contractors independence and the freedom to choose their own projects. However, striking the perfect balance between enjoying the benefits of being an employee and maintaining independence can be challenging.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of portage salarial (called in english Wage Portage), exploring its process, benefits for both freelancers and client companies, eligible professions, costs, and much more. By the end, you’ll have a comprehensive understanding of this innovative employment arrangement and how it could revolutionize your freelancing career.

Understanding Portage Salarial

Portage salarial is advantageous for various professionals, such as:

  • Expert consultants
  • Retirees
  • Executives transitioning to new roles
  • Young graduates

Portage salarial establishes a legal employment relationship that allows freelancers to access the same social protection and benefits available to salaried workers. .

At the heart of portage salarial is a tripartite contractual arrangement that involves the freelancer, client company, and a wage portage company, also known as an umbrella company. The umbrella company employs the freelancer, who then provides services to client companies, allowing them to work independently without having to set up their own business. 

The Portage Salarial Process

In the portage salarial process, responsibilities of the freelancer, client company, and umbrella company are as follows:

  • The freelancer provides their services to the client company.
  • The client company pays the umbrella company for the freelancer’s services.
  • The umbrella company manages administrative tasks and payments, including those related to fixed term contracts.

This arrangement allows the freelancer to focus on providing their services to the client company, while the umbrella company takes care of the administrative side of the business.

Let’s now delve into the three critical steps in the portage salarial process: forming the commercial contract, finalizing the employment agreement, and overseeing invoicing and payments.

Establishing the Commercial Contract

The first step in the portage salarial process is the establishment of a commercial contract between the freelancer and the client company. This contract outlines the terms of their working relationship, specifying the services the freelancer will provide to the client company and the agreed-upon payment. The commercial contract ensures a smooth and transparent working relationship between the two parties.

In a portage salarial arrangement, the freelancer enjoys a significant degree of autonomy, with the liberty to organize their own work hours and leave. This gives them the freedom and flexibility they need to work efficiently and manage their time effectively.

Signing the Employment Agreement

After the commercial contract is established between the freelancer and the client company, the freelancer signs an employment agreement with the umbrella company. This employment agreement is pivotal, delineating the umbrella company’s responsibilities in handling the freelancer’s social contributions and income tax payments.

The notice period for terminating a portage salarial arrangement depends on the type of contract. For ongoing contracts, a mutual agreement between the employee and employer is essential. This agreement requires 45 days of notice for termination. For fixed-term contracts, one day of notice is needed per week of work.

The employment contract has a duration of three years. At the end of this period, the relationship between the worker and client company comes to an end.

Managing Invoicing and Payments

The umbrella company assumes an essential role in the portage salarial process by overseeing invoicing and payments. They are responsible for issuing invoices to the client company and overseeing payments to the freelancer.

In addition to managing invoicing and payments, the umbrella company also ensures that all mandatory social security contributions and income tax payments are made on behalf of the freelancer. 

These services relieve the freelancer of handling time-consuming administrative tasks and allows them to focus on providing their services.

Advantages for Freelancers and Companies

Portage salarial offers numerous advantages for both freelancers and client companies. By providing From social security coverage and unemployment benefits for the freelancer, and temporary access to specialized skills for client companies, portage salarial is often a win-win solution for all parties involved.

Benefits for Freelancers

For freelancers, portage salarial presents several significant benefits:

  • Full social protection, including health protection, unemployment, and pension rights
  • Same level of security and peace of mind as salaried employees
  • Independence

Another advantage for freelancers is the freedom from administrative tasks, as the umbrella company takes care of:

  • Invoicing
  • Payroll
  • Tax filing
  • Other time-consuming responsibilities

This enables freelancers to focus on their work and dedicate more time to providing quality services to their clients.

Benefits for Client Companies

Client companies also stand to gain from portage salarial arrangements. By utilizing portage salarial, client companies can:

  • Access specialized skills on a temporary basis without the long-term commitment of hiring a full-time employee
  • Benefit from flexibility and cost savings

Additionally, the umbrella company handles all invoicing and can act as an intermediary in the event of any issues with the freelancer. This added layer of support ensures a smooth and seamless working relationship between the client company and the freelancer.

Eligible Professions and Exclusions

Portage salarial is suitable for a wide range of professions, including IT, marketing, and graphic design. These roles typically involve intellectual services, making them a perfect fit for the portage salarial arrangement.

However, not all professions are eligible for portage salarial. Manual labor, medical, or personal service positions are not appropriate for this employment arrangement. Additionally, regulated liberal professions (such as lawyers, doctors, and chartered accountants) and commercial activities are excluded from portage salarial.

Costs and Fees Associated with Portage Salarial

While portage salarial offers numerous benefits, there are associated costs and fees to consider. Portage salarial companies typically charge a management fee ranging from 7-10% of invoices processed each month. This fee covers the administrative tasks and insurance coverage provided by the umbrella company.

It’s important to note that the cost of portage salarial is significantly lower than that of a service company, which can charge between 20-60%. This makes portage salarial an attractive and cost-effective option for freelancers and client companies alike.

Choosing the Right Portage Salarial Company

Choosing an appropriate portage salarial company is fundamental to guarantee a secure and advantageous arrangement.

When choosing a French umbrella company, consider factors such as reputation, services offered, and guarantees provided. It’s estimated that there are between 100 to 600 umbrella companies in France, offering a wide range of services and specialization, such as professional training, real estate, and recruitment.

By carefully evaluating your options and selecting a reputable portage salarial company that aligns with your needs, you can enjoy a smooth and successful freelancing experience.

Working Internationally with Portage Salarial

Beyond its advantages in France, portage salarial further empowers freelancers to take on international projects. While the overall process remains similar, there may be variations in payment methods and deadlines depending on the country.

This global reach of portage salarial opens up new opportunities for freelancers, allowing them to expand their client base and work on diverse projects across the globe. It’s yet another reason why portage salarial is an attractive option for professionals seeking a flexible and secure employment arrangement.

Health Insurance and Unemployment Benefits

Health insurance, unemployment insurance, and unemployment benefits form essential elements of the portage salarial arrangement, equipping freelancers with a safety net akin to that of salaried employees. Basic coverage is provided, with optional top-up insurance available for additional costs.

Top-up health insurance, or “mutuelle” in French, offers reimbursement for expenses not covered by social insurance. This additional coverage can help freelancers manage their healthcare costs more effectively, ensuring they are protected in case of illness or injury.


In conclusion, portage salarial is an innovative employment arrangement that offers numerous benefits to freelancers and client companies alike. By providing a balance between independence and employee benefits, portage salarial allows freelancers to enjoy social protection, access to expert skills, and freedom from administrative tasks, while client companies can tap into specialized skills without the long-term commitment of hiring a full-time employee.

As the world of work continues to evolve, portage salarial is poised to become an increasingly popular option for professionals seeking a flexible and secure employment arrangement. So, why not explore the possibilities of portage salarial and revolutionize your freelancing career today?


Portage salarial is a French concept that enables contractors and freelancers to carry out their work assignments through an intermediary third-party supplier, acting as an employer without having to set up a business.

A portage contract is a type of employment contract in France that combines the freedom of entrepreneurship with the safety of being an employee, providing workers with full statutory employment rights and associated benefits such as paid time off, unemployment benefits, healthcare, and worker protection.

You can work as a contractor in France by registering legally and selecting a legal business structure, such as an Individual Entrepreneur. Professional assistance may be needed to navigate the process.

Portage is a global investment platform which offers flexible capital and connects ambitious companies to investors, commercial partners, advisors and value creation experts. It is also an entrepreneurial hosting status for self-employed workers which delegates administrative tasks to a portage company.

Portage salarial is a three-way relationship between the freelancer, client company, and umbrella company that manages payments and administrative tasks.

cropped Travis Kliever 1
Article By
Travis is a global business development advisor. He has spent the last 14 years supporting business establishment and development in North America, Southeast Asia, and throughout the world. With multiple degrees from the University of Oregon, Travis currently splits his time between the US, and Bali, Indonesia. At RemotePad, Travis writes about remote work, hiring internationally and PEO/EOR business models.