Starting a Business in France
Those interested in operating a business overseas may find themselves drawn to France. With a rich cultural heritage and home to a variety of successful businesses, it can be a good place to set up shop.
However, if you want to start a business in France, you will need to familiarize yourself with the regulations and rules that apply. We will walk you through what you need to know about starting a business in France.
What Makes France a Great Place to Start a Business?
Business owners are drawn to France for a variety of reasons. The government supports business ownership with tax structures that can help new businesses. France also has one of the strongest economies in the world, including one of the largest in the European Union (EU). French businesses have millions of customers they can reach with their products and services, both in France and the wider EU. As a popular tourist destination, France also offers an opportunity to reach tourists and travelers.
Finally, many business owners appreciate working in France because the country has a well-educated population. This can drive growth for your organization and help you find the right employees. Keep in mind that as customers interact with your organization, their primary contact with your brand will be your employees. Having the right employees can help create a positive impression on potential customers.
Many people also appreciate that health insurance in France is paid for by many people through their Social Security, making it one less concern for business owners. This includes everyone from sole traders to limited business owners. If you want to offer supplementary coverage for employees at your French company, however, that is often looked upon favorably.
Looking for more reasons France might be a good place to start your business? Request a consultation directly with French Immigration Advisors on Relocate.
Setting Up Your Businesses in France
To build an organization in France, you need to start with a business plan. Know where you want to set up your organization, from Paris to Marseilles. You will also want to research how corporate tax works in France and find an accountant who can help you navigate the income tax requirements handed down from the French government and any tax credits.
The Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE) can help prospective business owners understand the regulations associated with doing business in France and how to set up their business. It will help you find instructions for the registration process. Different companies will need to register in slightly different ways.
Those interested in starting their own business in France can choose from the main business structures, which will dictate their taxes and how the business is governed. Once you register your business, you will get your SIRET, which is a French business identification number.
- The first option is known as the Enterprise Unipersonnelle a Responsabilite Limitee (EURL) and is an incorporation option similar to a limited liability partnership (LLP).
- The second option is Societe Anonyme a Responsabilite Limitee (SARL), which is the French equivalent of a limited liability company (LLC).
- A Societe Anonyme (SA) is the structure of a public limited company that has at least seven shareholders. A Societe par Actions Simplifiee (SAS) is similar but allows more flexibility in the organization. Meanwhile, a SASU is a variation of the SAS, but has only one partner.
- A Societe en Nom Collectif (SNC) is a partnership that can leave shareholders vulnerable to business debts.
You also have an option known as a micro-enterprise or auto-entrepreneur, which is designed for micro-entrepreneurs. In other words, it is for those who want to run a small business. You do not need a corporate business bank account for these startups, but you need a separate bank account for the business. You can complete the business registration online, which also simplifies the process.
As you consider what type of business structure you want, you should also consider strategies to help build your business.
How Foreigners Can Start a Business in France
Those interested in starting a business in France have a few options available to help them get started. The selection you make will vary depending on the goals you have professionally and personally. For example, whether you want to live in France will influence the formation process.