France has long laid out a welcome mat to international firms looking to grow their business. However, getting used to French working habits can be difficult and cross cultural awareness is essential.
France has long laid out a welcome mat to international firms looking to grow their business, more so since the business-friendly President Emmanuel Macron came to power in 2017. However, getting used to French working habits can be difficult and cross cultural awareness is essential. Having local help on hand can be a real asset when expanding to France.
But entering the French market is not without its challenges. Here are some key hurdles you can expect to face.
Brexit and trading across borders
In the race among European cities to benefit from potential relocations due to Brexit, France has clearly stepped up. President Macron has been focussed on corporation tax cuts, easing labour laws and an impactful 'Choose France' drive for inward investment. He has been leveraging the uncertainty, and this has led to a 16% increase in investment projects, including research facilities, factory openings and expansions, since 2016.
Paris' business district is in a building boom of new office buildings, which provide comparatively cheap office space, and a massive extension of the public transport system is underway. If Brexit means the loss of London's 'passporting rights', which allow international financial firms access to EU markets, it won't just be British-based businesses looking to relocate but also Asian companies planning to set up in Europe who historically have looked to London. Brexit could open up France to these new European entrants. TMF Group's broad footprint of local offices across EMEA are advantageous to those comparing the pros and cons of different locations.
Starting a business
France ranks 25th in the world for starting a business, according to the World Bank's ease of doing business report. It takes five procedures and three and a half days to set up, including registering with the Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE) and having company books stamped and initialled by the clerk of the commercial court.
France's dismissal process has been eased, with a new standardised dismissal letter template drafted and published on the government website. The reason for dismissal can be quickly summarised in the template. There are still steps to take before the employee can be dismissed, but this is an improvement...