Outsourcing the needs of a company is a practice that has become firmly established in the recruitment process of companies. Indeed, it is more and more common to call on an external service provider to carry out internal tasks which require specific skills and know-how.
Whether they are independent providers such as freelancers or subcontracting companies specializing in a specific sector of activity, companies are often spoiled for choice when it comes to entrusting their missions. The current trend nevertheless suggests that companies find their preference with freelancers like Stardew Valley Fighter or Scout.
When the company enters into a partnership relationship with a freelance or a subcontractor, it takes on the role of principal.
In other words, as principal, the company will set out its directives concerning one or more missions to be carried out while leaving the choice to its service provider to organize the execution of the mission.
The notion of principal does not mean that the company is hierarchically superior to its service provider because there is no relationship of subordination between the two parties.
To better understand, let's come back to the definition of the principal and see what the legal framework is applicable to him.
What is a principal?
The client is also called a “client” in the building sector (BTP).
It is a natural or legal person for whom a project is implemented and must be carried out.
The client or “client” sponsors the project, which means that he defines the means to carry out the determined missions. He is therefore the pilot of the projects he wishes to carry out.
The principal can be found within the framework of the public market (between a public buyer and a private or public economic operator) or on the private market within the framework of subcontracting contracts. We will use the private market hypotheses in this article.
The case of cascading contracts: the responsibility of the principal
In certain cases, several subcontracts are concluded for the realization of a project.
In other words, the first subcontractor can call on another subcontractor who himself recruits employees to carry out the project.
In this case, the principal must be particularly vigilant to ensure that the applicable social legislation is respected.
In this sense article specifies that the contracting authority or the principal who is informed of the infringement of a direct or indirect subcontractor, must order, in writing, to this subcontractor to put an end to the illegal situation without delay.
Principal and freelance: what are the advantages and disadvantages?
The advantages of outsourcing as a principal are numerous. Indeed, subcontracting allows the ordering company to avoid devoting a large budget to the performance of certain missions.
Likewise, recourse to a freelancer allows the principal to benefit from quality expertise at a controlled cost since the duration of the missions is determined by the parties.
The professional relationship between a principal and a freelance also presents certain risks if the parties are not vigilant.
On the client side, the final result of the requested assignment will depend on the skills and professionalism of the freelance he called upon.
In addition, the principal may become dependent on a service provider for a particular need. It may therefore be subject to the availability of its external service provider even when it is in an emergency.
The other drawback concerns the economic dependence of the freelance on the principal when the freelance has no other clients. Thus, if the parties perform their commercial contract under conditions similar to those of an employment contract, the commercial contract risks requalification by the judge.
Indeed, the parties are not bound by a legal relationship like Larry FitzGerald Girlfriend of subordination which means that the principal has no power of direction over the freelance who is independent.
However, certain situations can lead to confusion when the work of the freelance is excessively controlled by the principal, the latter imposes a work organization on his service provider and the freelancer’s remuneration comes exclusively from this principal. .
In these cases, the parties take the risk of reclassifying the commercial contract into an employment contract.
What legal obligations weigh on the principal?
As part of the fight against illegal work, the law imposes on the principal obligations consisting in verifying the identity of his co-contracting party
Duty of vigilance
The Labor Code imposes on the principal a duty of vigilance consisting in verifying that his subcontractor is registered in a register and that he is in a regular situation with Urssaf (social declarations and payment of contributions social updates).
The obligation of vigilance is mandatory for any contract for a minimum amount of 5,000 euros excluding tax
This duty of vigilance is reflected in the request from the principal to his subcontractor for the delivery of the following documents:
· a certificate of vigilance issued by URSSAF of less than 6 months
· a KBIS extract or identification card from the business directory or document with certain information or receipt of the declaration filing with a CFE)
· the list of foreign employees subject to a work permit
The principal must also request specific documents if the subcontractor is foreign, such as the intra-community VAT number for the EU (individual identification number assigned to companies subject to VAT and domiciled within the European Union) ; the A1 certificate for EU employees subject to its national legislation; a certificate issued by Urssaf concerning employees outside the EU
Duty of care
The duty of diligence consists for the principal in verifying the authenticity of the documents submitted by the co-contracting party, the aim being to verify the accuracy of the information appearing on the certificate transmitted as well as the period of validity of the certificate (less 6 months).
Indeed, the ordering company is required to ensure that the certificate of vigilance issued by the subcontractor is official. To do this, she must go to the Urssaf site in order to enter the security code appearing on the certificate.
The frequency of the client's checks
The principal must check that the subcontractor respects its obligations at the time of conclusion of the contract and every 6 months until the end of the execution of the contract.
The legal consequences of the breach of the obligations of the principal.
If the client fails to fulfill its obligations of vigilance and diligence or decides to continue a commercial relationship that it knows is illegal, it engages its civil and criminal liability.
Also, the principal may be jointly and severally liable for the payment of taxes, taxes and compulsory contributions as well as penalties and increases due by the subcontractor.
Likewise, the principal may be jointly and severally liable for the payment of the remunerations, indemnities and charges due by the subcontractor who committed the offense of concealed work on Stardew Valley Rancher or Tiller.
The offense of concealed work is punishable by imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of 45,000 euros.