Since October 2015, I've been running a FLOSS consulting company, specialized on Debian, called DEBAMAX.
Everything started two years ago. Back then I blogged about one of the biggest changes in my life: trying to find the right balance between volunteer work as a Debian Developer, and entrepreneurship as a Freelance Debian consultant. Big change because it meant giving up the comfort of the salaried world, and figuring out whether working this way would be sufficient to earn a living…
I experimented for a while under a simplified status. It comes with a number of limitations but that’s a huge win compared to France’s heavy company-related administrativia. Here’s what it looked like, everything being done online:
1 registration form to begin with: wait a few days, get an identifier from INSEE, mention it in your invoices, there you go!
4 tax forms a year: taxes can be declared monthly or quarterly, I went for the latter.
A number of things became quite clear after a few months:
I love this new job! Sharing my Debian knowledge with customers, and using it to help them build/improve/stabilise their products and their internal services feels great!
Even if I wasn't aware of that initially, it seems like I've got a decent network already: Debian Developers, former coworkers, and friends thought about me for their Debian-related tasks. It was nice to hear about their needs, say yes, sign paperwork, and start working right away!
While I'm trying really hard not to get too optimistic (achieving a given turnover on the first year doesn't mean you're guaranteed to do so again the following year), it seemed to go well enough for me to consider switching from this simplified status to a full-blown company.
Thankfully I was eligible to being accompanied by the local Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI Rennes), which provides teaching sessions for new entrepreneurs, coaching, and meeting opportunities (accountants, lawyers, insurance companies, …). Summer in France is traditionally rather quiet (read: almost everybody is on vacation), so DEBAMAX officially started operating in October 2015. Besides different administrative and accounting duties, running this company doesn't change the way I've been working since July 2014, so everything is fine!
As before, I won't be writing much about it through my personal blog, except for an occasional update every other year; if you want to follow what's happening with DEBAMAX:
- Website: debamax.com — in addition to the
references sections, it features
a blog (with
RSS) where some missions are
going to be detailed (when it makes sense to share and when
customers are fine with it). Spoiler alert:
Tails is likely to be the first success
- Twitter: @debamax — which is going to be retweeted for a while from my personal account, @CyrilBrulebois.