Setting up your business in France

Are you looking to develop your business internationally? Do you already have international clients, and are now looking to establish a physical presence overseas?

France’s unique ecosystem provides an excellent environment for the development of your business. As a member of the European Union, France gives you access to 27 other European markets. France currently also has many overseas territories including French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion, so setting up in France opens up business opportunities in the Caribbean, Africa, South America and Oceania as well as Europe.

France is the world’s 5th largest economy, and has attracted over 800 billion foreign investors in recent years, with more than 25,000 international companies setting up subsidiaries in France. Foreign investments in France are currently increasing annually at a faster rate than in any other European country.

France’s favourable legal framework, the diversity of its industry, its modern infrastructure and advantageous geographical position in Europe all make it a great place to establish your business internationally.

Setting up your business in France – financial security

France’s legal framework guarantees financial security for business owners who set up here. Different local and regional governments throughout France offer various fiscal incentives which make setting up your business in France very attractive.

Many French local authorities also grant administrative and financial support to facilitate the arrival of new international companies. The French state spends over 2 billion euros a year on these initiatives which make setting up your business in France much easier.

Setting up your business in France – industry diversity

France is very well known for several well-established world leading industry sectors. For example, France is the most visited country not only in Europe but in the whole world, which gives it a clear advantage for the tourism industry.

Food production remains France’s leading industry, and represents over 400,000 direct jobs and more than 180 billion euros in revenue. France is the world’s fourth largest exporter of food, and its world-famous culinary culture is renowned internationally.

Other leading industries in France include luxury goods, aeronautics and transport. The success of these different industrial sectors is possible due to France’s regional diversity. Different regions of France have their own industrial specialities, which includes university programmes that focus on certain industries and business sectors, specialised research institutions and varying local business ecosystems.

The French state actively invests in research and knowledge and many world leading universities can be found in France, such as Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, Ecole Polytechnique and the Sorbonne University in Paris. The permanent search for knowledge and innovation is a defining character of France.

Setting up your business in France – infrastructure and location

France has an extremely well-developed infrastructure. The whole country is connected by an advanced transportation network, including the world’s 5th leading railway system with the second-fastest trains. There are also many national and international airports, making it easy to do business in France as well as internationally, and to link your French operation to wherever you are based in the world.

France’s leading cities have developed leading smart city concepts, including advanced broadband and communication tools and high 4G and fibre optic coverage. Renewable energy sources are also becoming more and more popular, and therefore accessible, throughout France.

France’s strategic geographical location also makes it the ideal European country to do business in. France shares borders with 8 countries, giving you access to northern, central and southern European markets. France’s membership of the European Union also gives companies that set up here access to the free EU market and travel.

If you would like to know more about the opportunities to set up your business in France’s various regions, please get in touch.

Your contact

Poppy Newall, international project manager, +33 434 221 242


Setting up your business in France


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