Who is a light entrepreneur and who is a freelancer? Are there any temporary workers in the job market? There was a time when people used to talk about freelancers, and now suddenly everyone is a light entrepreneur. Are they the same thing? The terms can be confusing, but don’t worry! Jukka Järvelä, founder of Suomen Palkkiopalvelu and an expert in invoicing services, sheds light to these questions.
– “It is difficult to draw a line between different terms, light entrepreneur, freelancer or temporary worker, and there is no established legal definition for any of them. It is more a question of stylistic differences,” says Jukka Järvelä from Suomen Palkkiopalvelu.
– “In business terms, freelancer and light entrepreneur are the same thing. But the term ‘light entrepreneur’ describes their position as an invoicer and salary earner, while the term ‘freelancer’ describes their position as a service provider, i.e. that as a freelancer they have many clients,” Järvelä says, adding that the definition is not unambiguous.
What does the prefix “light” refer to?
In recent years, the term “light entrepreneur” has come to refer to an operator who works like an entrepreneur, but invoices through an invoicing service.
A light entrepreneur is in the position of an entrepreneur, for example for the purposes of occupational pension insurance, but is comparable to an employee in the sense that, for example, they are not obliged to draw up financial statements as an entrepreneur with a business ID.
However, the legislation does not yet recognise light entrepreneurial activity as a separate legal concept, so from the authorities’ point of view a light entrepreneur is more like a real entrepreneur than an employee.
So what does the prefix “light” refer to, Jukka Järvelä?
“Light entrepreneurship brings at least two noteworthy reductions: it removes the hassle of running your own company administration and at the same time most of the responsibilities towards the authorities. At the same time, the risk of bankruptcy is minimised. No company, no cry, you sometimes hear people say,” says Järvelä.
Even a temporary worker can be a light entrepreneur
Before or alongside the term freelancer, the term temporary worker was once used. So who are they today, or do they still exist?
“Yes, there are temporary workers. They can be freelancers, but they can also be light entrepreneurs. But a temporary worker can, for example, also work for a temporary staffing service in an employment relationship or a person who works on a zero-hour contract and expects the employer to call them to work when needed,” Järvelä clarifies.
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