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Why is France a haven for expats starting a business – busting the myths!

Welcome back to another exciting episode of the Just Jump podcast with your host, Benjamin Small. In today’s episode, we had the pleasure of having Valerie Aston from Start Business in France, a seasoned expert in helping expats kickstart their entrepreneurial journey in France. If you find yourself with burning questions after this discussion, be sure to check out Valerie’s Instagram at Start Business in France.

The frustration of financing in a new country

Valerie Aston shared her early experiences as a freelancer in 2004, shedding light on the common frustration many expats face when setting up a small business in France. The challenges often involve local bodies and accountants dismissing small businesses until they reach a certain financial threshold. This daunting process can be disheartening for newcomers, causing stress and uncertainty about their ability to sustain their desired lifestyle.

Navigating the complexities of moving abroad

Moving to a new country involves more than just a change in location; it’s a significant leap, especially for those changing careers and diving into the world of freelancing. The stress of financial uncertainty, coupled with the looming deadlines for renewing permits, adds another layer of complexity. Valerie emphasises the importance of thorough research and strategic planning, urging aspiring entrepreneurs to be well-prepared for the financial implications of their move.

Adapting to changing regulations

The landscape for expats in France has evolved, particularly with recent changes and regulations. Valerie highlighted the increased scrutiny on certain activities, especially in regulated sectors like the building industry. Qualifications and experience have become crucial prerequisites, emphasising the need for thorough preparation and compliance with French regulations.

Entrepreneurial trends in France

Valerie delved into the current entrepreneurial trends in France, noting the increasing popularity of consultancy services across various fields, including coaching, programming, and marketing. The rise of one-on-one coaching and business coaching is particularly noteworthy. Additionally, activities combining tourism and large property ownership, such as Airbnb hosting with themed stays, are gaining traction.

The evolution of entrepreneurial mindset in France

Contrary to the belief that France may not be a conducive environment for thriving entrepreneurs, Valerie highlighted the shifting mindset. Over the past decade, there has been a significant rise in the number of French people aspiring to start their own businesses, fuelled by government initiatives like French Tech. The introduction of simpler tax regimes, such as the micro entrepreneur system, has also made entrepreneurship more accessible.

Valuable advice for aspiring entrepreneurs

One key piece of advice from Valerie is to keep it simple and start small. She recommends beginning with the micro entrepreneur system, allowing individuals to understand the French business landscape without overwhelming complexity. As businesses grow, a proactive approach with a knowledgeable accountant becomes essential to optimize tax strategies and navigate regulatory changes.

In conclusion, the path to entrepreneurship in France is filled with both challenges and opportunities. The key is thorough research, strategic planning, and adapting to the evolving landscape. If you’re considering making the leap, Valerie Aston and startbusinessinfrance.com could be your invaluable guides on this exciting journey.

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