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Freelancing without the self-employed statute? It’s possible!

Entrepreneurs | 16 October 2020 | Written by Eva Micholt

The freedom to choose projects and jobs as a freelancer is tempting. You can use your expertise for projects you pick yourself and you can set your own rates. But not everyone feels called to become self-employed. There are also uncertainties and risks involved. But did you know that you can also freelance without being self-employed?

Freelancing without the self-employed statute? It’s possible!
1. The future of labour is flexibleEmployees with specific expertise in IT, marketing, HR, or Finance are coveted profiles on the labour market. Why not use your expertise for multiple customers? This gives you more variety and you can gain even more experience.

The number of freelancers has been on the rise in recent years. In addition, we are also seeing an increase in the number of subsidiary activities. It shows a trend towards more flexible working, the so-called freedom workers. Freedom workers are experts who decide for themselves which projects to take on, how much they work, and at what price

2. A new way of working: flexible without the self-employed statusIt is by no means necessary to opt for the self-employed status if you want to work as a freedom worker. For many people, the self-employed status entails too much risk and administrative burden. After all, you aren’t entitled to an allowance if you don’t have any work. Or, in case of prolonged illness, you’ll only receive a minimum allowance. In addition, you are responsible for invoicing your customers, following up with them, and keeping track of legal obligations such as VAT returns and accounting. That’s not just everyone’s cup of tea.

A new and safer form of freelancing is ‘midlancing’. In doing so, you fall under the status of ‘employee’, but you have the freedom as a self-employed person. So you focus on your expertise and the project with customers of your choosing. Moreover, you determine your own pay. 

In addition, you enjoy the same protections as an employee: you receive an illness or unemployment allowance, you build up a retirement nest egg, and your administrative tasks and liability are limited to a minimum.

This ‘safer’ way of working is ideal for starters, freelancers who want security, or employees who are close to retirement and no longer want to switch to self-employed status. Or for anyone who wants to create projects autonomously and carefree and who is part of a great and strong community. 

3. OpenWork: a community of autonomous consultantsYou join a midlance company - such as OpenWork - as a midlancer. 
The midlance company will then arrange your contract with the customer, so that everything is regulated by law and will take care of invoicing your hours worked and paying you.

In short, the midlance company acts as your ‘employer’.  You choose your customers and determine your own revenue. Plus, you’re not alone. The midlance company also acts as a community of consultants, allowing you to attend workshops, training courses, and networking events. 
Midlancing in Belgium via OpenWorkMidlancing is already somewhat established in Belgium’s neighbouring countries. But you can also work in Belgium as a midlancer or autonomous consultant.

OpenWork’ is such a midlance company and is responsible for the commercial and administrative protection of consultants. Moreover, the midlance company takes on the obligations as an employer, such as paying social security contributions, invoicing work, legally concluding contracts, etc. This allows the autonomous consultant to focus on what they are really good at, i.e. their expertise and maintaining contact with their customers.

Conclusion?Midlancing is the ideal way of working for employees who want to work autonomously but are not ready for the step to self-employment. Or for employees with high seniority who do not want to lose their retirement rights and still want to put their experience to good use at other companies.

As a midlancer, you’re combining the best of both statutes: you are autonomous, you choose your customers, and you determine your daily rate and therefore your monthly revenue. And you are protected during periods with no projects, illness, and the termination of contracts while building up a retirement fund like an employee.