The meeting of the Individual. Entrepreneur and employee at the same time?

Entrepreneur and employee both in a cooperative: yes, it is possible. (Illustration) (FATCAMERA / E + / GETTY IMAGES)

Sandrine Chesnel, independent journalist signs in the April issue of the monthly The particular, a dossier on a somewhat unusual status.

franceinfo: Entrepreneur and employee at the same time, is it possible?

Sandrine Chesnel: That’s right. The entrepreneur-employee is an employee, paid in salary, by the activity and employment cooperative; he has a permanent contract, with a fixed salary which falls every month; but he is also an entrepreneur since he himself develops his offer, his market, his clientele. The client, once the service has been provided, receives an invoice, which is paid to the cooperative, and the cooperative transforms this invoice into a salary, by deducting employee and employer contributions from the amount paid on behalf of the salaried entrepreneur. The amount of the salary is fixed by the salaried entrepreneur when he has enough visibility on his cash flow to give himself a fixed salary, every month.

If we compare with the status of micro-entrepreneur, the relationship with the client is the same, but the entrepreneur-employee has better social coverage, and above all, he is much less alone.

We may wonder what is the advantage of better social coverage, a stupid example with the crisis we are going through: in some cooperatives, because their activity has plunged, some salaried entrepreneurs have been able to benefit from partial unemployment – which was not possible for micro-entrepreneurs. And in the event of cessation of activity, it is possible to have unemployment benefits.

Can we say that it is a kind of agency that brings together entrepreneurs and offers different services?

Yes the cooperative can function in this way, it is perhaps even in this way that it finds all its interest: the salaried entrepreneurs can answer together to calls for tenders which suppose to mobilize different trades, for example, to create a website, which means employing developers, editors, photographers, videographers, IT security specialists, marketing specialists, etc. In this sense, the system can be very virtuous, it allows you to develop your network, and therefore work opportunities.

An activity cooperative brings together entrepreneurs from the same sector? there is consistency?

Today there are over 150 different CAEs, and there are all sizes. There are generalists, like Coopaname, Omnicité, Oxalis, And then there are cooperatives of specialized activities and jobs, in a field, at the national or local level: 13% in the building sector (Coopebat, Alter -Bâtir), 6% in agriculture-food-environment (Rhizome, Coopilote), 7% in personal services (Coopchezvous, CoopDomiOuest), 4% in culture, communication, digital (Coopétic, Oz, Artenréel, Clara, Clarabis, Boréal Innovation, Optéos).

Who did you write this file for? Who can feel concerned and be seduced by this status?

Many situations can be relevant:

– The loneliness of the individual entrepreneur frightens you.
– You want to keep an employee status and the social protection that goes with it.
– You want to get involved in a collective project.
– You believe in sharing skills and contacts between freelancers
– you don’t want to have to deal with too much administrative paperwork.

Does integrating such a cooperative mean combining the advantages of salaried employment and independence?

On paper, that’s the idea, yes. Afterwards, the model is not suitable for everyone, if you are allergic to the notion of collective, you will undoubtedly find no advantage. But we know that in France it can often be very complicated to get a loan, to find accommodation, when you don’t have pay slips to show; the fact of being an entrepreneur-employee makes it possible to bring this guarantee, it is a big plus.

It is also interesting for someone who has always been an employee and wants to continue to contribute for his retirement. All this has a cost: each salaried entrepreneur must pay a contribution to the functioning of the cooperative, up to 10%, which covers the operating costs and makes it possible, for example, to offer training.

The idea of ​​the cooperative is that its members decide together the destiny of the company. Do we find this in the activity cooperative? Isn’t it every man for himself?

Exactly. I have the example at the head of an Ile-de-France cooperative, whose members were not satisfied with their managers, they voted to change it and get off on a better footing. It is the demonstration that a company can operate without a boss, provided that everyone is committed to its operation.

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