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Top Tips for starting a business in France


Did you know that self-employed expats in France may be able to claim costs for “ongoing education” such as learning French?  Or that some town halls in France offer a sign post to help guests find your gite or rental property easily?

Jo-ann Howell has built up almost two decades of experience of working with out operators, property owners and businesses in France and has created FrenchAdmin Solutions, a company that helps expats in France – an online support program for English speakers, a place to find answers to questions on life in France, from property rental or ownership to employment or running their own business.

Jo-Ann says “I have opened, and closed, most types of company that exist in the French system for my clients”. She adds that while each area of business is generally subject to its own rules, these are her top money saving tips which apply to all:

8 Essential Tips for Starting a business in France

1. Start on 2nd January at the earliest to avoid the CFE- Cotisation Foncière des Entreprises, payable by companies in operation on January 1st of each year. Note that France pretty much shuts down for holidays in August, so it is inadvisable to start your new independent activity then if you want to get moving fast.

2. Included in the social charges bill, which is due monthly or quarterly, is a fee towards ongoing education. In the second year of activity, on condition that positive turnover has been declared in the first year, all are entitled to continue their education – from lessons to improving language skills to specific courses which improve or expand their trade. Up to €1,000 to €2,400 is available to cover the costs, depending on your activity.

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