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France Market

Quick and Affordable Company Set-Up

Are foreign businesses welcomed in France?
Unlike other countries, in France the rules, regulations, rights, obligations and public financial support are the same for all companies whether they are French or not. Foreign companies can freely set up their business activities in France. The legal position of investors is the same as for French held companies: they are therefore able to acquire or rent property; acquire French companies; or create their own legal entity.
The 3rd least expensive industrialized country just after Canada and Singapore, and way ahead of Japan and Germany.
Are setting up costs competitive?
Yes, they are among the lowest in the world! In terms of the cost of setting up a new business, France is the third least expensive industrialized country, just after Canada and Singapore, and way ahead of Japan and Germany. In Europe, France is the leading country in terms of setting up costs, offering costs that are much lower than its neighbors (KPMG study 2006).
Moreover, setting up costs have been reduced in France, particularly due to ongoing public efforts over the past few years (simplification of administrative procedures, …).
What about the administrative formalities?
These have been considerably reduced! Companies that wish to set up their business in France now deal with a single administrative office: the Center for business formalities (Centre de formalités des entreprises CFE). It is this department and not the company that is responsible for forwarding the relevant documents to the various administrative departments; The possibility of completing all the required formalities online has been available for several years, making it possible to register a company in a matter of hours.
The administrative cost of setting up a company in France is 76.19 euros (at 1st January 2006) plus the cost of publishing the registration details in the legal journals (approximately 220 euros), which is a total cost of approximately 300 euros.
Does the French government take into account the constraints of business?
Today, the French government is committed to helping companies of all nationalities to set up and develop their business in France, particularly by means of sustained incentive policies. In France, timeframes for setting up a company are among the shortest in the world, administrative formalities having been considerably simplified. A million companies have been set up in France over the past five years!
130 measures to improve business environment in France.
The French government is also committed to further facilitating the setting up and development of foreign businesses in France. Every year for the past three years, the Strategic council for economic attractiveness has organized meetings between the Government and around twenty foreign investors. Since 2003, these meetings have enabled the introduction of approximately 130 measures to improve the business environment in France: less administrative formalities (single administrative department, online administration services…), a reduced tax burden and less complicated tax system, increased public financial support, particularly for Research & Development activities.
These policies are working. Foreign investors are attracted to France, which is ranked each year among the leading countries, such as the United States, China and Great Britain, in terms of countries where global business leaders choose to invest. Every year, approximately 600 business creation or development projects are set up in France, creating tens of thousands of jobs.