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Things to Consider When Doing Business in France

Things to Consider When Doing Business in France

If you’re thinking of setting up a new business, you may want to consider basing it in France. While it isn’t necessarily the first place in Europe you’d consider doing business, the French economy is growing fast, so there are a lot of benefits that come from doing business there. However, there are also a lot of things you’ll need to consider too. Here, you’ll discover some of the main things to consider before doing business in this particular European country.

Understand What Type of Business You’re Running

Before you can set up your business in France, you’re going to need to understand what type of business you’ll be running. There are five different categories to choose from and each business category has its very own registration center, so you’ll need to know which type your business falls under.

Understand the Local Culture

Like in every other country, learning finer details about local customs and business etiquette is crucial to creating sustainable professional relationships with your local partners and suppliers. The French population is highly diverse due to its colonial past, yet all people in France place much faith in following rules and regulations, so there is little tolerance for ambiguity. This is perhaps why communication is always preferred to be in French rather than English, as this leaves even less room for uncertainty. Also, much like in Germany and the Netherlands, a highly professional and formal tone is the standard for business and the first name basis is offered, not assumed.

Learn about Exporting Goods

If you’re simply planning on exporting goods to France, rather than setting up a physical business, there are some rules you need to be aware of. Did you know for example, that some goods are restricted in the country? A lot of couriers won’t allow you to send toiletries over to France. Learning about shipping restrictions is crucial before deciding whether or not to branch out in the country.

Seek Professional Advice

By far one of the biggest things to consider when you’re setting up a business in France, is the legalities. Like the UK (or the US, for that matter), there are local laws relating to businesses and taxes. It can be difficult enough understanding the UK’s taxation system, so trying to get to grips with how the French do it can prove tricky.

To ensure you fully understand and comply with the legalities, it’s worth seeking advice from RSM. Their legal experts have a strong understanding of how to set up a foreign business, and they will be able to help you navigate and comply with the latest regulations. Remember, not only will you have to follow France’s national laws, but you’ll also need to adhere to EU regulations.

These are just some of the things you should consider when setting up a business in France. Research is incredibly important. The more you research beforehand, the more prepared you’re going to be.


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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.