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Create a business in France in 2019

Create a business in France

The creation of an economic activity is often a complicated operation. It must be carefully prepared because it engages the businessman for many years.

We wish to summarize below the main stages of creation by referring you to the various articles that we have already published on the subject.

During all these stages, the business creator necessarily needs a consultant who will be able to support him in the delicate moments a chartered-accountant is a professionally trained professional to bring this help.

You can contact us for any useful questions and even meet us on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at Montpellier for the conference “Invest in a real estate & Create a business in France” organized by the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

I – Preliminary to the creation of a business

  1. Market study and business plan

The market study can guide and validate the legal, economic or logistical choices of the project leader, by following different steps: completion of a questionnaire, interviews with professionals in the sector, estimated projected turnover that will serve as a basis for seeking funding …

For the project leader, the choice of the location of the future company is decisive for its viability: it is important to have a clear view of potential customers.

  1. Choice between the various investment methods

There are many opportunities to invest in a business in France, the main ones are:

  • Create a new business,

But there are also other possibilities that can be considered in the development of an existing business by the addition of a new activity. Under these conditions, the investment can be realized as follows:

  • Buying a commercial property,
  • Purchase of shares of companies,
  • Subscription to a capital increase,
  • Advances to a company’s current account.

These investment methods are developed in an article previously published on our site entitled:  “Invest in business in France”.

  1. Choice of the legal and fiscal status of the company

There are many possibilities that we will not discuss here in detail, they are discussed in our articles entitled: “Setting up a small business in France” and “The main legal forms that can be adopted to do a business in France”.

  1. Finance research

Before developing a project it is very important to ensure that it can be financed both in terms of investments and the need for working capital.

It is in principle the business plan that must integrate the calculation of these needs.

Financing can be of:

  • Internal origin (contributions to the share capital, contributions to the current account),
  • External origin (loans bank aids and various subsidies).

With regard to the aids, you can consult our article on the site: “Main relief to the creation of businesses”.

  1. Looking for a consulting partner

As we pointed out in our introduction, to give a great chance of success to your project, it is necessary to be able to be advised during all the decisions or the steps. A chartered-accountant can obviously represent this partner who will bring you this permanent assistance.

II – Business creation operations

  1. Constitution of the company

Before starting the incorporation operations it is necessary to check whether the chosen legal form will be compatible with the activity that will be carried out.

In addition, it will be necessary to check if the activity requires a diploma or a special authorization to be exercised.

The most commonly adopted legal forms are:

  • Individual business,
  • S.N.C. Société en Nom Collectif,
  • S.A.R.L.  Société à Responsabilité Limitée,
  • E.U.R .L. Entreprise Unipersonnelle à Responsabilité Limitée,
  • S.A.S. Société par Actions Simplifiée or S.A.S.U.,
  • S.A. Société Anonyme,
  • French Establishment of a foreign law company.

There are also specific social statuses for certain liberal activities, these are:

  • S.C.P. Société Civile Professionnelle,
  • S.C.M. Société Civile de Moyens,
  • S.E.L.A.R.L. Société d’Exercice Libéral à Responsabilité Limitée,
  • S.E.L.A.F.A. Société d’exercice Libéral à Forme Anonyme,


There is also a form of society still poorly known, the European Company, the status of European Company exists since 2004 in France. This legal form allows the company to operate throughout the European Union.

The formalities and the estimated cost of constituting a part of them are exposed in our article “The main formalities to be completed for the installation of an enterprise in France”.

At the time of incorporation, it is essential to choose the tax system (income tax or corporation tax). Sole proprietorships and companies so-called “de personnes” such as S.N.C., S.A.R.L. “de famille”, E.U.R.L. (in some cases) and S.C.P. are most often subject to income tax. In return, companies so-called “de capitaux” such as S.A.R.L., S.A.S., S.A., S.E.L.A.R.L., S.E.L.A.F.A., are subject to corporation tax.

But it should be noted that many options for corporation tax are possible. In addition, a large number of companies subject to mandatory corporation tax may opt for income tax for the first five years of their existence.

The advice of a chartered-accountant is really essential when making all these choices.

  1. Choice of the social status of the leader

Business leaders may be dependent on one of the following two social statuses:

  • Employee,
  • Self-employed.

In sole proprietorships, S.N.C., E.U.R.L. or S.C.P. the status of self-employed worker is, except in exceptional cases, compulsory.

In the S.A., S.A.S., S.E.L.A.F.A is in principle the salaried system that is required.

When a S.A.R.L.L. or a S.E.L.A.R.L is constituted, the managers are employees when their participation in the share capital is minority or egalitarian. Otherwise they adopt the status of self-employed worker.

To better understand the consequences of choosing one of these two statutes, we invite you to read our article: “Some information to help business leaders to choose their social status”.

  1. Hiring employees

As soon as the activity of the company grows, hiring generally becomes essential. There are many hiring aids, the most common of which are:

  • C.I.C.E. which now becomes a reduction of social charges,
  • Assistance for the training of young people (apprenticeship contract or professionalization contract),
  • Help for hiring a disabled worker,
  • Help for hiring a job seeker,
  • Help with hiring in troubled areas.

An accountant will obviously be able to provide you with the advice and assistance necessary to choose and obtain these aids.

We have written two articles about hiring employees that you can refer to:

If, on reading this text, you need clarification on the subject, contact us directly!

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