By Sangeeta Chaurasia

As France has made it easier for foreign expats to set up a business, you might be thinking about starting your business in France. However, if you don’t have any idea where to start, know some basic things. Moving to a foreign country is one thing, but to start living there, you will need access to a range of services and products. There are also a lot of small issues you will need to take care of, for example, opening a bank account, getting basic utilities connected, finding a place to rent and so on. To start a business in France, you will have to deal with French authorities, understand their legal system and keep full information about taxes, social charges, contribution, etc.

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Here are seven things you should know before you kick off a business in France.

Business category

In France, businesses are categorized into five types.

  • Agriculture
  • Commercial or industrial
  • Trades
  • Independent or freelance professional
  • Commercial agent

Each type has its separate registration center (CFE – Centre de Formalites des). For setting up your business, you will have to contact appropriate CFE. Each type has its own rules, regulations and legal necessities.

Legal structures

There are two types of legal business structures in France:

  • A sole trader and
  • A company, like SARL, SA, EURL and SAS
  • The type of legal structure you choose relies on what kind of business you want to start

Check with the relevant professional body or Chambers of Commerce for this. Other aspects that will affect your choice of legal structures are:

  • Whether you want to be sole proprietor of the business
  • Turnover
  • Choice of paying tax through either income tax or corporation tax

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Regulated business

Several occupations are regulated in France, for example, accountants, builders, wine dealers and even hairdressers. If your business falls into the category of regulated professions, you will need to register it with the appropriate organization and also require showing that you hold a right qualification, experience, and insurance liability to start your work.

Check Company’s name

You are free to choose the name of your company but you will have to make sure that the name has not been already in use by any other company. You can check it by going through INPI – National Institute for intellectual property website.

After all these steps, you will need to register your brand name or trademark with INPI. If you don’t do the same, someone else may start using the name as well as the logo in future, and you will have no legal right to claim it.

Financial assistance

French banks offer financial assistance to new businesses through a start-up loan. If you are unemployed, you can check out schemes that offer financial support to unemployed people who want to start up their business through payment of reduced social charges.

First, open a professional bank account. Meet your bank manager to present your business project. Give him/her all required documents including a copy of business plan, last income tax, and copy of letters of incorporations for EURL/SARL/SAS.

Legal docs

Based on the structure of the company you have chosen, you may need to work on the letters of status, rental contract, domiciliation, etc.

Registration

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After completion of all these steps, you have to register your business with CFE – Centre de Formalites des Enterprises.

Now you are all ready to launch your business. Get, set, go! Take professional help whenever you need like an accountant for taxation, a lawyer to get to know about the law and so on.

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Sangeeta Chaurasia

Author: Sangeeta Chaurasia of https://pleasehelp.fr/

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