The French government has woken up to the fact that it needs to provide greater incentives to employment and encourage a more vibrant economy. Many of the bureaucratic hurdles to setting up a business have been drastically reduced. There may even sometimes be cost advantages in setting up a business in France. Indeed, in a recent international survey France was rated the third most attractive country in the developed world to start a business! Despite having a reputation for tough employment laws, there are many employment contracts available that offer a lower of job protection than in the UK. The level of company taxation for a small business is smaller than in the UK, and there are breaks you can get on social security contributions.
It is not necessary to establish a separate legal company structure to start and run a business in France. Generally, you have the choice either to operate a business as a sole trader, or to establish a limited company. A sole trader or EI, whilst the most common limited company structures have the acronyms EURL and SARL. It is also possible to opt for the legal status of EIRL, a status that grants a strong degree of limited liability, but without the need to establish a company.
Once you have decided to start a business you need to register the new business with the authorities. If you are not proposing to set up a separate company then the registration process is very easy and cheap, as you merely need to go along to your local business registration center to do so.
There are ranges of schemes available that offer financial assistance to a business start-up. Assistance is also available for existing businesses who wish to expand or recruit new employees. The schemes are administered by a variety of different bodies at a national and a regional level. They are also poorly advertised and many new business owners fail to take advantage of the assistance that is available.
We can help you to launch your business in France!