EXPLANATION OF MY LEGAL STATUS
MY LEGAL STATUS
I'M AFFILIATED TO THE MDA. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
The MDA (Maison des artistes - Artists' house) is a French freelancer status for social charges, mandatory for artists and creative graphic designers. That status implies a 1.1% charge on the client's side, which needs to be paid at the end of the trimester in which a payment has been made. This is a tax on the client's side, and as such doesn't need to figure on the invoice, even though I prefer putting it in there to make my clients' lives easier.
WHAT IS THE ADVANTAGE OF THAT STATUS?
Less taxes on my side which enable me to have interesting prices for a France based freelancer. There is another French freelancer status with light taxes, but that one doesn't work long term as earning a certain amount of money during a fiscal year forces them to switch to another status with normal taxes. Additionally it isn't possible to keep the other status for more than two years, which means people using it cannot be as experimented as I am, at least not as a freelancer. None of this applies to my status.
There are two MDA statuses, subject or affiliated. I have the latter, which certifies my clients that
- I have had that status since a long time (since 2005)
- I am a real creative person, any invoice made with that status has to be an original graphical creation. That's a requirement. As a motion designer for instance I am not allowed to use another graphics designer's work as a base (still images prepared with Photoshop / Illustrator to which I would only need to apply movement to, all the graphic design work having already been done). I am not a technician but a creative person an need to work on the appearance first. I am not allowed either to make invoices for linear editing, even though I am of course allowed to do some if that's part of the process to achieve an original graphical creation. It is not just the job description figured on my invoices which is verified. Every year a commission gathers to check whether the works which have been paid for are original creations indeed. They check that through pictures or, in my case, screen captures of them. It is therefore the visual aspect which is checked. That commission decides of changing subjects to affiliates, and whether to keep or not the latter status for those who already have it, in order to prevent any abuse.
THE CLIENT'S DUTY
My prices being attractive thanks to my MDA affiliate status, and the lighter taxes that implies for me, the client is required to follow some conditions :
- to request an MDA affiliate's services for original creations only, or modification of previously made ones by that person. The status of that freelancer is at sake. Of course the freelancer should reject offers which are obviously not part of what is allowed by his / her status. But if the client and the freelancer have an agreement on the kind of work requested, and the client changes his / her mind in the meanwhile about who should work on the creative side of things, that goes against the original moral contract, that would be a different kind of service, incompatible with that status, and therefore with the price which has originally been agreed upon, which was based on the tax level of that status. In France, freelance technicians are generally more expensive than creative people who have that status as they need to pay more taxes.
- to request for an MDA affiliate's services for employment in disguise. The request has to be for a specific mission. The payment is not monthly but per work. My invoices are based on a daily amount, but the amount of days taken is calculated once the original creation has been made, or modified, it is the amount of time taken to achieve that work, so that's OK. No hierarchical relationships either, that only exists between employees and employers. But in that case it is a client - service provider relationship which is different.
In case you wonder, these rules were not made by me. They are related to my legal status.
If you have some doubts about the kind of service you would like to request from me, please ask me, I will tell you right away. I might tell you that I can only do part of the job, and that what's left has to be made by somebody else, with a different status.