France has an advanced and industrialized economy which is the third largest in Europe and sixth globally. It is one of the EU’s founding members and a long-standing member of G7, G20, OECD, and the World Trade Organization. France is also one of the most attractive countries in the world for tourists and it is therefore no wonder that it often comes under the microscope of foreign investors looking to set up business in Europe.
In this insight, we examine the pros and cons of doing business in France.
France has an overall pro-business environment, ranking 32 (out of 191 countries) in ease of business according to the world-bank report. It has a sophisticated and mature financial market and a highly educated workforce pool giving businesses the opportunity to easily recruit the staff they require.
For start-up businesses that may find all the procedures and regulations confusing and tiring, there is the status of “micro-entrepreneur”. This status gives access to much simpler business regulations and simpler tax regime
The French government encourages technology start-ups with the French Tech Visa scheme and French Tech label cities which offer shared spaces at lower costs for tech start-ups. The French government invests heavily in technology R&D and the Sophia Antipolis technology park in Paris has one of the highest pools of technology engineers.
France is one of the most popular touristic countries worldwide attracting over 85 million tourists annually and this makes it a magnet for businesses in tourism, travel, and hospitality businesses.
Despite its high ranking in ease of doing business, starting up a business in France, especially for non-EU residents can be lengthy and bureaucratic. France is a champion of employee rights which means that businessmen have to deal with complex labor laws and as France has a strong social security system, employers may find the social security and payroll taxes to be on the high side.
For English-speaking entrepreneurs, language may be another hurdle as at least some knowledge of the French language is required in order to run a business in France.
Last but not least France corporate tax rate is 25% which is one of the highest tax rates in the EU.