Become Independent! The Paradoxical Constraints of France’s Auto-Entrepreneur Regime
The Law on Economic Modernization of 4 August 2008 introduced a new form of individual entrepreneur, the auto-entrepreneur, the goal being to enhance the competitiveness of the French economy by promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. This paper proposes to discuss the auto-entrepreneur model with reference to the fundamentals of the theory of the firm and the legal variants of the auto-entrepreneur. The argument will be structured around the criterion of independence, and its various interpretations, which will be used to put the auto-entrepreneur model to the test. Three forms of autonomy are given precedence: productive (Section 1), concerning the availability of sufficient financing and material to provide professional services; managerial (Section 2), which measures the ability to assume the risks inherent to business, regarding both interested and third parties; and financial (Section 3), or the chances of earning enough money to subsist upon. The result, underscored in the conclusion to this article, is that the auto-entrepreneur regime appears best adapted as a means of supplementing income from another, unrelated activity or in retirement, which is contrary to every approach to business and enterprise.
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