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Starting A Business In France

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.

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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.

If you want to move to France and then begin your business, you will need to first take care of the paperwork necessary to move to the country for an extended period and secure a residence permit. This means you will need to get a long-stay visa.

Keep in mind that if you live in another country in the EU, it will be easier to navigate the immigration regulations in France. Citizens of other EU countries do not face the same regulations as others in securing the proper permissions and documentation needed to move to France for an extended time. However, if you’re not from another EU country, the following may apply:

  • You have to demonstrate to authorities the economic viability of your business ideas. You will need to show officials that you have thought your business through and that you have reasonable ideas about why it will thrive in France. This requires presenting market research and important information about the needs of your target customers.
  • Leaders in certain industries will have to demonstrate to the government that they have the financial means of supporting themselves in an unfamiliar country. The finances necessary will call for someone to have the equivalent of the minimum wage for a full-time worker. This demonstrates that you can support yourself while building your business.
  • You may also have to demonstrate expertise and qualifications to call yourself a professional in a variety of industries. For example, France regulates industries like wine dealers and accountants. They require those interested in starting a business in these fields to demonstrate their qualifications before starting a business.

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Get Help Relocating to France

As you prepare to start a business in France, it’s important to have the right information. Dig-deeper into relevant topics about starting a business in France and browse licensed, bilingual French lawyers avocats who specialize in dealing with foreign nationals.

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