Who can start a company in France? Know here all you need to know if you want to start a company in France.
Nationals from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland, graduates of the French higher education system, can freely start a company in France.
Nationals of other countries must have an Autorisation Provisoire de Séjour (APS – temporary residency permit), to be able to create a company in France. It allows them to stay in France for one year after graduation while they develop their project.
When the APS expires, if the company is a going concern, you must apply for a carte de séjour temporaire mention entrepreneur-profession libérale (temporary freelance-entrepreneur residency permit) which will authorise you to conduct a non-salaried professional activity.
Taking Advantage of the Student-Entrepreneur Status
The student-entrepreneur status is designed for students or graduates from the French system of higher education that wish to work on a company project within a PEPITE (Pôle Etudiant Pour l’Innovation, le Transfert et l’Entrepreneuriat – Student Cluster for Innovation, Transfer and Entrepreneurship). Located on university campuses, the 30 PEPITEs bring together institutes of higher education, companies and networks of associations in order to encourage entrepreneurship amongst students and graduates.
The student-entrepreneur status lets you benefit from a support structure, supervision and training. It also lets graduates under 28 years of age continue to benefit from student Social Security coverage.
Creating Your Company with the Micro-Entreprise Status
Formerly called the auto-entreprise, the micro-entreprise is a simplified fiscal, accounting and social structure for individual entrepreneurs. The main constraint with this structure is the turnover threshold that you must not exceed; it varies depending on the type of business you are trying to establish.
Furthermore, the micro-entrepreneur status can be used with a paid activity or if unemployment benefits are being received. It is a practical structure that is relatively free of restrictions when you want to start a company in France with a minimum amount of personal risk. Find out more from Agence France entrepreneur.
How to Learn About the Rules & Regulations of Starting a Company in France
Contact the Chamber of Commerce and Industry or the chamber of Arts and Craftsmanship in your region. They provide free advice, organise training, and even offer logistics solutions for people starting companies.
There are specialised structures specifically for graduates seeking to start a company:
- the youth information network of the CIDJ (Centre d’information et de documentation jeunesse Youth Information and Documentation Centre);
- local missions of the Ministry of Labour, that work to help young people aged 16 to 25 find work;
- the network of groups of creators that provides support for young entrepreneurs aged 16 to 25;
- the movement for young people and student entrepreneurs (MoovJee) that supports young people starting companies through a mentoring programme and a competition.
You can also turn to associations of former company heads, such as Ecti, Egée and AGIRabcd, to benefit from their experience and networks. They can provide personalised assistance on a voluntary basis.
NOTE: French government launched a website dedicated to Foreign entrepreneurs willing to start a company in France : mycompanyinfrance.fr. All information is available in English that will help you understand everything in detail.
If you need a professional’s help in starting your company in France you can get in touch with us.