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Advice on earning for sales representative in France.


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I have been asked to do some part time work for

a French company selling specialist machinery into food manufacturing

factories here in France. They have asked me to let them know what I

would charge for my work. I expect to do about two weeks work a month

from them. I wonder if perhaps anybody could advise me what earnings a

company sales representative would get per year here in France and what

other benefits (company car, pension etc.). Any advice you can give me

would be much appreciated.

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Sales people in France are frequently self-employed, paid mostly by commission. Obviously what commission you would charge depends on the value of the products and the likely sales targets.

Even salaried sales people (like Mrs Will) have to provide their own transport, phone etc, and although this is not reimbursed by the employer, many of the costs can be offset against tax. Salaries are often at, or near, the SMIC (national minimum wage).

UK-style private pensions do not exist as such in France. Everybody who works has to pay in to a general fund administered by the caisse that deals with your type of business. It's not a personal pension fund, but you build up your own entitlement on a points system. You can purchase extra 'points' if you wish. If you are salaried, about 20% is deducted to pay for health cover, pensions etc (your employer pays another 40%, one reason why self-employment is more usual for this type of work). The cotisations for self-employed people are generally around 45% of taxable income (i.e. after allowable costs), or if you opt for one of the 'micro' regimes you pay based on a percentage of your turnover (note - turnover, not profit); the percentage varies with the nature of your business, e.g. whether or not you buy in stock to re-sell. Income tax is paid separately, in arrears, by all, whether salaried or self-employed.

I realise this is probably not what you want to hear, but it's the hard truth from experience gained over the last seven years or so.

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