How to Pay Contractors in France

Of the many countries in the world where a North American company might look to find contractors, France might not immediately come to mind. But it should! France has a strong contractor pool and talent worthy of leveraging at a global scale. The only hurdle in tapping into French contractors comes in how to pay them. Despite being another first-world country, France is still an international hub for talent—which means businesses need to acclimate themselves with how to pay contractors in France.

Thankfully, it’s getting easier and easier to pay contractors abroad. And, in finding the right way to transfer funds, businesses big and small are able to tap into the many benefits of working with skilled French workers. Here’s a look at what to consider as you begin to look at France for hiring contractors, and what opportunities exist to pay these professionals on-time, quickly and easily.

Why hire contractors in France?

As a member of the European Union, France offers the assurance of a first-world, modernized country. That means you can expect to find contractors who are well-educated and have access to technology. Moreover, a great many of French citizens are, to some degree, bilingual. All of these factors make French contractors more accessible and available to meet the needs of North American companies seeking their skills.

Another reason France has become a hotspot for hiring contractors is because of accessibility. It’s actually quite difficult to hire French citizens as employees if you’re a foreign company. As a result, many skilled French workers readily accept freelancing gigs as a way to make extra income. Moreover, because of this arrangement, foreign companies don’t face any tax liability in working with French contractors—the contractors themselves are responsible for paying taxes on earned income.

Finally, you’ll find diversity in France. Not only does its status as an EU member make it easy for France to attract a diverse pool of individuals, France is also historically a hub for immigrants and refugees. Immigrants represent as much as 10% of the population in France, which opens the door to significant diversity. You could end up working with a Grecian-born French contractor in Alsace who also speaks German!

Currency and transfer considerations

Working with French contractors is simple when it comes to currency. As a bloc country, France uses the Euro (EUR). The United States Dollar (USD) and the Euro are the strongest currency pair in the world, which makes it easy to exchange funds at very little cost. Moreover, the widespread use of the Euro makes it the de-facto currency no matter what type of contractor you’re working with.

The downside for companies? The Euro is roughly 20% stronger than the dollar. While you’ll find no shortage of top talent in France, you’ll pay top dollar to access it. It can be costly for companies breaking into the global contractor pool.

Ways to pay contractors in France

Because France is a well-developed country, paying French contractors is often much easier than other countries. There are several options businesses can consider:

    • Wire transfers. The high fees associated with wire transfers makes them prohibitive in cases other than one-off, large transfers. They’re also instantaneous and secure, which makes them great in a pinch. They’re best-used as a payment option at the end of a project or for infrequent payouts, such as quarterly.
    • Check or money order. Though viable, you’ll be hard-pressed to find French contractors who want a physical payment mailed to them in the day and age of digital funds. Moreover, check and money orders take time to travel halfway around the world, which means substantial delay before contractors actually get paid.
    • Bank transfer. Bank transfers tend to be the primary mode of payment for many companies because a majority of French citizens are banked traditionally. That said, there are sometimes issues with fee transparency and sub-optimal exchange rate, which can result in companies paying more than they should to hire contractors.
    • Digital payments. Digital payments are fast becoming a favorite mode of payment for French contractors due to their transparency and quickness. Both parties can see the status of payments, which offers great transparency. Moreover, contractors have more control over what they do with their funds once landed—including depositing in a traditional bank.

This variety of options is a boon for both contractors and businesses because it allows funds transfer with fewer barriers. It’s one of the many benefits of working with French contractors.

The best way to pay independent contractors in France

For businesses just dipping their feet into the global contractor pool, France is a great place to start. When deciding how to pay contractors in France, digital payments offer an even easier foray into accessing top talent from the European Union—including offering optimal exchange rates for currency. If you’re interested in hiring French contractors, digital payments can be a great draw for attracting skilled professionals who want the surety of reliable payment.

* This blog provides general information and discussion about global business payments and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.