You have decided to leave the rat race and become an entrepreneur. You’ve also decided that you want to move to France to start a business. Now the next question is what business do I do? How much should I invest in this business?
There’s a lot to think about before you embark on your journey to becoming an entrepreneur. The best thing to do is to sit down and really think about it. There’s no better way than to come up with a business plan. Coming with a business plan can also be quite intimidating in itself. Here are some points to consider about a business plan in France.
What type of business
To begin with you need to decide on what type of business you want to start. There are thousands of options that you can choose from such as food & beverage, fashion, sales, arts & craft, IT business, and many more. There are basically five industries that you can choose from. They are –
- Industrial or commercial – where you can open a shop selling groceries, a café, or a factory.
- Trade/Craftsperson – where there is some manual labor, some building trades, or some works as a craftsperson.
- Agriculture – basically to grow fruits and vegetables
- Freelancer – some examples of freelancing jobs are writers, interpreters, etc.
- Commercial agent – where you act as a salesperson on behalf of someone to sell things such as properties
Once you’ve decided on which industry you want to be involved in, the next step is to set up a company.
What type of company
There are many types of companies that you can incorporate in France. However, it must be best suited to the type of business that you wish to open there. Here are some of the different types of companies –
- Society Anonymity (SA) – also known as a joint-stock company.
- Society par Actions Simplifies (SAS) – or known as a simplified joint-stock company.
- Societe a Responsabilite Limitee (SARL) – also known as a limited liability company.
- Societe en Nom Collectif (SNC) – known as a general partnership
- Societe en Commandite Simple (SCS) – also known as limited partners.
- Societe en Commandite par Actions (SCA) – known as partnership limited by shares.
- Enterprise Unipersonnelle a Responsabilité Limitée (EURL) – this is a combination of a limited liability company and a partnership.
You can also become a micro-entrepreneur. This is not a business entity per se but it’s quite well known as it has a different tax status that is more favorable than other business structures such as the private limited company.
Where to start your business
Location: This saying is not only true if you would like to invest in a real estate property but it’s also true if you want to start a business. For example, if you’d like to start a restaurant business, some of the factors you must consider are such as –
- i) Will your restaurant be close to other more established restaurants?
- ii) Will your restaurant be in a good location so that there’s enough of the population to support your business?
How much capital to put into the company
Another point to consider for your business plan in France is the amount of capital to start your company and where you can get financing for it.
The amount of capital would greatly depend on the type of business that you wish to start. If you’re looking at a restaurant then definitely the investment can be quite heavy. You would need to consider –
- i) Buying or renting the business place.
- ii) Renovation and furnishing costs
- iii) Buying the necessary equipment
- v) Hiring qualified staff especially for the kitchen
If what you’ve put aside so far is not sufficient, then you would need to either borrow the balance or have a partner who is financially capable of supporting the business. If you don’t have a business partner, it would be quite easy to secure financing in France as the French government is quite supportive of new start-ups. It’s called Prêt à la Création d’Entreprise (PCE). You can get up to EUR7,000 under this type of bank facility. It comes with a relatively low-interest rate and a comfortable repayment period.
When to start your business
Basically after you have done all your planning the next step is to incorporate your company. The process is as follows –
- The process starts with the company name. You would definitely need to come up with the name of the company which will represent your identity and image of your company.
- The next step will be to check with the relevant registration bodies that there are no other companies with the same name. This can be done online at Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle (INPI) (National Institute of Industrial Property) website. It is free of charge and doesn’t take long to check. If your company name is distinctive and there are no other companies currently using it, a certificate of reservation will be issued. You can then proceed with the registration process.
- It is preferable that you have a registered address in France. This is so that your company has an initial mailing address.
- You would then need to open a bank account. This is for you to deposit the share capital. A certificate or proof of deposit must be issued for the next step in the registration process.
- You would then need to register at the Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE) (Business Formalities Centre). To do this the company’s representative must file a request for registration together with the necessary documents such as the certificate of reservation, the proof of deposit for the paid-up capital, the type of company, and its purpose.
After this process the CFE will send this information to other relevant government authorities and bodies and the registered company will receive different types of identification or registration numbers.
6. The final step is that the company is obligated to purchase special accounting books from Commercial Court or authorized shops.
There you have it. Your business plan in France. You’re now ready to start your journey as a business owner.