France's news in English

Editions:  Europe · Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

Seven essential tips for starting a business in France

Share this article

Seven essential tips for starting a business in France
Photo: StevanZZ/Depositphotos
17:02 CET+01:00
Setting up a business in France can be a daunting prospect. Here are some handy tips from two people who have experience of launching their own company.
Lise Benamozig and Lisa Elias recently launched ApartCheck.com a business which allows absent homeowners to keep tabs on their property while they're away.
 
Here are their tips on launching a company in France.
 
Admin, admin, admin
 
Like everything in France you should prepare yourself for lots of admin and paperwork when opening a business.
 
Keep on top of it as best as you can, always send any hard copies by lettre recommandee so that you can track its journey, and always have copies of documents filed away for the next 5-10 years to come, should you ever need them.
 
A good accountant
 
Taxes in France are fairly high, and there are so many of them.
 
To avoid any unexpected (and unwanted) surprises from the tax office, make sure you get yourself a good accountant (a French one otherwise known as an expert comptable) who knows and understands the system front to back so that they can either explain it to you, or just take care of all taxes and payments on your behalf.
 
Have you launched a business in France and want to tell our readers about it? Email news.france@thelocal.com
 
READ ALSO:

Everything you need to know about starting a business in France

Expat community
 
Join all the expat groups and network.
 
The expat community in Paris is small enough that people tend to know each other, and therefore a good community to be a part of as there is always someone who can help you. As a foreigner in any country, your expat community become your friends and family.
 
Not only can you socialise with them, but you can learn from them and seek help when it comes to things you're unsure on.
 
Do your research
 
Ask yourself, as an expat in Paris what you are missing? What sort of service would you pay to have? What do you have in your home country that hasn't yet reached France and you believe there is a market for it? The background research, including trials on expats and locals alike, is key to building a business in France.
 
Not everything you have in your home country will work in France, so tests need to be done beforehand.
 
 
French economy expands but business investment drops
 
Business structure
 
Be sure to do you research beforehand on the type of company you want to set up.
 
If you set up a company it will be legally separate from you, and your personal assets will be protected. Opening the company comes with it's own admin (in comparison to setting yourself up as self-employed), and involves recording your status with the tax office and publishing legal notices in journals. The two types of company you can choose between are :
 
SARL - Limited liability company with 2 - 100 partners. Liability is limited to the initial investment (capital investment)
EURL - A limited liability single shareholder company, owned by one person and run by a gerant (who may or may not be the owner)
 
Future employment
 
If you plan to hire employees as you grow your business, familiarise yourself with different working contracts, minimum wages, insurance payments, work permits, and so on. Employing someone directly on a CDI (permanent contract) comes with high charges for the company, so you want to be sure you know
what you're getting yourself into before jumping ahead. 
 
Speak to French people in the know 
 
Prior to opening the business it's good to have a detailed plan for the next two years including projections of income, outgoings, and a targeted market.
 
French banks will like to see what numbers you expect to make from the business, and this can help with loans if needed. It's also good to run your ideas by friends, both French and foreigners alike. 
 
Have you launched a business in France and want to tell our readers about it? Email news.france@thelocal.com
 
Lise Benamozig and Lisa Elias recently launched ApartCheck.com a business which allows absent homeowners to keep tabs on their property while they're away.
 

Share this article

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.
Become a Member or sign-in to leave a comment.