Jobbing and freelancing marketplaces: what legal framework?

1 February 2022

Business Insight

For several years now, the world of work has been changing its topography, and even more so since the beginning of the pandemic. Whether it’s a change in employees’ aspirations or an economic necessity, jobbing and freelancing are on the rise. These new forms of work are shaking up established norms and raise several questions, particularly legal ones. Indeed, how can labour law, consumer law, or tax regulations be enforced when the relationships are horizontal, dematerialised, and can involve non-professional actors?

Legislation is constantly evolving to avoid the pitfalls of the uberisation of society. It must invent a new way of looking at consumer, worker, and privacy protection, while ensuring tax revenues, security of transactions, and fair business practices.

To help you find your way around, we offer you an overview of the obligation’s incumbent on the managers of jobbing and freelancing platforms.


Obligations of platforms linked to the online matching offer

As a freelancing or jobbing platform, you mainly offer matchmaking services. In other words, you provide a communication space where providers (individuals or freelancers) can offer their skills in exchange for payment, and applicants (individuals or companies) can find the skills they need. You are therefore subject to obligations towards each other.


Specific rules apply, particularly in terms of the transparency of the information provided to users and mentioned in Articles L 111-7 and D 111-8 of the Consumer Code:

  • The information must be fair, clear, and transparent as regards the tax obligations of the suppliers.
  • The Macron law for growth, activity, and equal opportunities requires that each matchmaking platform communicates transparently on its remuneration method, on the pricing rules of its services as well as on its revenues.
  • The referencing and dereferencing procedures must be explicit.
  • The criterion for ranking offers on the platform must be detailed.
  • The platform must indicate the quality of the offeror (professional or not), the costs of putting the offeror in contact with the seller and the related services, the terms of withdrawal, etc.
  • Dispute resolution procedures.


Obligations towards jobbers and freelancers

In addition to the obligations set out above, you have specific obligations towards the jobbers and freelancers who offer their services via your platform. You must provide them with the means to carry out an activity that complies with the consumer code and the general tax code, as well as social protection in certain cases.

  • The communication space made available to jobbers and freelancers on the platform:

Your platform must include a space allowing them to communicate all the legal information before the service sale, starting with the type of service, prices, execution times, etc.

  • Tax return information:

You must provide suppliers with an annual summary of the amounts invoiced by your intermediary. This document is intended to help them fill in their tax return. In addition, links to the tax authorities’ websites must also be included on your platform to facilitate access to information. This information obligation must be certified each year by an independent third party.

  • The social responsibility of matchmaking platforms:

The obligations relating to the social responsibility of platforms only apply to those who exercise a subordinate relationship with their suppliers. This is the case when you set the conditions of execution, deadlines, and rates of services are performed from your platform. Thus, for service providers who earn €5100 or more per year, whether, on your platform alone or on several platforms, you are obliged to contribute to social security contributions, accident prevention, and professional training.


Jobbing and Freelancing, what do the regulations say about payments?

One of the main advantages of going through a platform for a freelancer is that it provides a billing system and manages the payments. You act as a trusted third party between the supplier and the applicant.

By offering a secure payment interface and sequestering the amount of the service until it is completed, you are offering a service that is the provision of payment services. This activity is subject to the European directive on payment security, the PSD2. You have 3 options for managing financial flows to comply: 

  1. Apply for a payment institution license from the ACPR, a long and complex procedure that requires several compliance procedures to be put in place.
  2. Benefit from an exemption from approval because the activity of your platform is part of a very restricted framework with specific payment terms (very rare case).
  3. Use a PSP (payment service provider) approved by the ACPR. This is an intermediary between your platform and the banks that organise, verify, and authorise all online payments.


Read also Marketplace: 5 reasons to use a payment service provider


Lemonway: the payment service provider for matchmaking platforms

Lemonway has been approved as a Payment Institution by the ACPR and has been granted a European passport since 2012. It assists more than 1,400 marketplaces, including jobbing and freelancing platforms, in the management of their payments and the implementation of procedures to ensure their regulatory compliance. Want to know more? Contact us now!