Starting a French Business

Gîtes have proved so popular because many of them are exempt from the French business law that requires new businesses to register with the Chamber of Commerce and pay taxes and social security contributions from the moment they are created. But how about other businesses? France tends to be very bureaucratic and although President Sarkozy is trying to relax some of the employment laws, it can be a nightmare of forms!

Where can I go for advice?

The following agencies offer assistance to individuals looking to set up a company in France. The Invest in France Agency, is an official French government agency responsible for attracting inward investment (in English). The UK office can be contacted on 020 7823 0900 This is the official French government website providing information in English about how to set up a business in France. The Chamber of Commerce in Paris has some useful information in English. This is a useful resource devoted almost entirely to business opportunities in France and setting up in France as well as further useful contacts.

French businesses must register with their local Chamber of Commerce, and CCIs in main towns may give advice on setting up a company in France for specific businesses. There are 175 chambers of commerce and industry within France, which provide a range of practical services to assist companies within France. The details of each regional CCI can be located through the following website:

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