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The best business destinations for Belgian entrepreneurs

the best business destinations for Belgian entrepreneurs

 

 

Belgium is lucky location-wise. Nestled between three European financial behemoths and with direct routes to the Channel Tunnel and the North Sea, it provides easy access to European markets for Belgian entrepreneurs who want to expand their business.

So for Belgian business people who want to base their operations in another country to take advantage of tax breaks and new clientele, what are the best destinations for Belgian entrepreneurs?

France

Being one of its neighbours, and sharing a common language (around 40% of Belgians speak French) it would make sense for Belgian entrepreneurs to look to France for expansion first.

France has a well-developed legal and regulatory system broadly similar to that in other EU member states. There are only a few restrictions on setting up companies, except in certain areas such as banking and insurance, and there is no restriction on imports or capital from abroad. 

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How to Start a Clothes Shop in France

how to start a clothes shop in FranceAsk anyone around the world what the home of fashion is, and they’ll give you the same answer. Having practically invented and continually redefined modern style, France is a fashionista’s mecca. Setting up a retail clothing business in France is many people’s dream: not just for the beautiful clothing, but also the lifestyle and culture that surrounds any French endeavour.

While boutiques and small shops were once a purely local affair, this no longer has to be the case. The ease of creating an online storefront, as well as several websites dedicated to sourcing from local outlets, make it easy to sell both locally and on a global scale. Opening a clothes shop in France could be the perfect compromise between an idyllic country life and a thriving business.

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Opinion: What Macron Needs To Do Next

opinion what macron needs to do nextAfter several months of a long and difficult campaign, France has finally elected its new president.

Emmanuel Macron is now the youngest president elect of the French 5th Republic and has won the polls by more than 66%.On the second round of the Presidential election he was up against Front National’s Marine Le Pen. But it was not a classic left-wing / right-wing confrontation.

The main confrontation was between a pro- EU, pro- liberalism, open France against an anti-EU, nationalist one.The former has now been chosen. But the task of the new French president is huge. The country is divided, its economy is recovering very slowly from the crisis and its place in a globalized world has never been so challenged.

Nevertheless, this election can bring a bit of hope to the French population.First of all, we have a young president who wants to renew the political landscape and renew the way policies are carried out.Secondly, we now have a president who – unusually for a politician – has not given empty promises that he cannot possibly fulfill.Thirdly, we have now a president who is looking in the future and will try to help France to push forward especially in the greentech and new tech fields.

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How to start a private security company in France

how to start a security company in FranceAs an unfortunate by-product of security concerns in France over the past couple of years (not to mention the robbery in Paris of celebrities Kim Kardashian and Kanye West), the personal security sector has received enormous attention. Along with greater vigilance and protection of public events, the economic climate has led the French government to step up privatisation of security services.

Security is understandably a significant element of the current political and proposals have been made for further expansion of state security, including making it easier to arm private security personnel. The end result is a fertile climate for responsible and considered expansion into the French private security sector.

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How will the UK General Election Impact Business?

How will the UK General Election Impact BusinessWith British Prime Minister Theresa May’s announcement of a snap election, 2017 has continued last year’s trend of political surprises. May had repeatedly said that such an election wasn’t in the UK’s “best interests”, and many expected her to ride out the remaining three years left after their decisive victory in 2015.

As with Brexit, the questions at this stage are numerous, and much will be decided in the run up to June 8th. But as all polls point towards a landslide victory, will the polls prove to be wrong again? Will May face more resistance than she expects over the fallout of Brexit? And if her party does win decisively, what are the ramifications for Brexit and UK business going forward?

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Why Holland Is A Smart Place For Your European Business

Why Holland Is A Smart Place For Your European BusinessWith so many heavy hitters in the global economy coming from Europe such as Germany, Britain and France, it’s easy to forget that one the brightest stars in the international business scene is a smaller country nestled in North Western Europe – Holland.

There are many reasons why the Netherlands is great for international business and for those global entrepreneurs who want to branch out and expand their markets into Europe and beyond, there are few countries that can offer such strong prospects for building a solid business empire.

Location & Transport

The Netherlands provides an excellent location to serve markets within Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The central geographical position of the Netherlands - next to Germany and Belgium, and just a short hop to the UK – make it perfect for transport and freight companies that need easy access by air, sea, train and road.

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Global Entrepreneurs Find a Warm Welcome in Post-Brexit Britain

Global Entrepreneurs Find a Warm Welcome in Post Brexit Britain 3

Now the UK is all set to extricate itself from the EU, the British government is doing its best to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to come to the UK by offering some tempting business incentives.

With the British economy growing faster than the US, Japan and France, and with employment at an eleven year low, Chancellor Philip Hammond  is determined to keep “Britain at the cutting edge of the global economy” and is taking the “next steps in preparing Britain for a global future.”

Corporation Tax

His incentives include the confirmation that the main rate of corporation tax will drop from 20% to 19% for the 2017 financial year and will then reduce even further to 17% in 2020. According to figures from the IMF’s World Economic Outlook Database and the Deloitte Corporation Tax Rates 2017, the UK is sitting in an excellent position to offer foreign businesses one of the best rates of corporation tax of the world’s top 10 economies, surpassed only by Canada and one other European country – Germany.

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How to start a sports agency in France

how to start a sports agency in FranceStarting a sports agency anywhere is a compelling prospect. Players at the top level of many sports make large amounts of money, and agents’ fees can reflect this. While the competition is cutthroat in many countries, France has opted to keep a closer eye on the industry. This can feel like it presents more barriers, but it provides greater structure and support than anywhere else.

In most countries, agents’ activities are only overseen by league associations, outside of the general application of the law. France is one of half a dozen EU countries to have developed specific laws pertaining to sports agents, and has comfortably the most comprehensive legislation. You will know exactly where you stand when starting a sports agency in France, and have an unparalleled network of support.

Choose a sport

With most of the money in European sport being poured into association football, that might seem like the obvious choice. But almost every major sport is a viable route for a new agency, with France ranking highly among all of them when it comes to agent registration. You may even benefit from starting out in a sport that has less obvious traction or public appeal.

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La French Tech Invigorated By New Visa Reforms

La French Tech Invigorated By New Visa ReformsFrance has already enjoyed enormous success in its tech ecosystem, with a record foreign delegation at CES and more investments in 2016 than anywhere else in Europe. But until now those startups could find it tough to hire talent from outside the EU - a crucial means of staying competitive. And established entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and outside talent didn’t stand to gain too much.

However, following on the heels of 2015’s French Tech Ticket for startup founders, the country has now launched the French Tech Visa. This new scheme introduces a range of means by which foreign talent can be fast-tracked. The visa accommodates for the immediate family of the applicant, and best of all, it’s uncapped. This means no arbitrary limit on applications driven by immigration debates, as in neighbouring countries such as the United Kingdom.

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How To Start a Holiday Cottage or Gîte Business in France

Working for yourself and living in the beautiful French countryside is an idyll to which many expats aspire. Being able to bask in the warm weather, indulge in French patisseries and enjoy classic wines on your terrace while earning money on your own doorstep certainly sounds like a cushy number. But the reality of letting your own holiday cottage or starting a gîte business in France can be rather less glamorous.

Five expats who have taken the plunge and moved to France to start their own gîte business give the low-down on what it takes to go into holiday lettings and give important tips you should know before setting up a holiday cottage business in France.

Location, location, location?

France is a country of varied landscapes and differing weather systems. In just one country you can find the swankiest cities on the planet, the most extraordinary mountain ranges, windswept coasts, sun-baked beaches and rolling green hills. So with all this choice, how on earth do you narrow down where to base your holiday home business?

how to open a holiday cottage businesss in france donna 1Donna Thain who runs Old Bakery Gîtes (pictured), a complex of three cottages in Gomene in Brittany, says: “Many people will say research it carefully - be near a tourist attraction or the coast - but I think anywhere goes as long as you market to the right clients.

"One location doesn’t fit all - not everyone wants the countryside, not everyone wants the city, not everyone one wants the coast. Find your niche and reach your audience. For us when choosing our property it was important that we loved the property and location as much as we thought it would be a viable business.”

Related article: Guide to opening a business in France

Law and Order

The French are known for their love of licences and laws, so what potential health and safety hazards do holiday cottage owners need to be aware of? Here is a breakdown of the main points:

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Will Business Beat ‘Frexit’ in French Presidential Election?

After a year of Brexit, Trump and all manner of upsets, it’s anyone’s guess who will win the upcoming French presidential election. While some candidates have been quick to highlight this year of upheaval, France is a unique country. The enshrinement of republican secularism, protections against populism and astrong left wing would seem to shield it from the same fates as its close allies.

There are some common problems, but the most pressing concerns are traditional ones. A recent poll of bellwether town Chartres - at a time some news outlets have stopped conducting polls altogether - indicated that more people are worried about personal and economic security than immigration.

Liberté, égalité, sécurité

For a long time, this looked like the defining factor in the public discourse. Republican candidate François Fillon (pictured with Russian President Vladimir Putin) was not an overwhelmingly popular pick, having presided over unpopular pension schemes in 2003 and 2008. His, however, was the most comprehensive manifesto, promising a Thatcher-esque slate of economic reforms to help businesses stay competitive.

Will Business Beat Frexit in French Presidential Election Fillon

These include several changes that would provoke riots in any other election, including the end of the 35 hour week, raising the retirement age to 65, increasing the goods tax by 2% and slashing 10% of public sector jobs. However, with unemployment stuck at over 10% through the outgoing President’s entire term, there is more of an appetite for substantial change than ever.

What he wouldn’t have contended with was a sudden personal scandal. It recently emerged that the former Prime Minister had paid 800,000euros over ten years to his British wife, for work she may not have actually done. He is also accused of having paid his two children for similar work, all at the taxpayer’s expense. This has not played well for a straight cut economic reformer, and Fillon has faced calls to drop out altogether.

Fillon would have been a palatable, right-leaning option, intended to lure voters from both ends of an increasingly polarised spectrum. Instead, France faces the possibility of a hard right vs a hard left candidate.

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How to start a cleantech business in France

how to start a cleantech business in FranceDespite the efforts of a certain President, it seems the world is finally waking up to the realities of climate change. Big polluters such as China and India have made major commitments to reduce pollution, while the Paris Agreement represents a monumental international effort.

As such, there’s never been a better time to start a business in cleantech and renewable energy. And there are few better places to do it than France. With European R&D funding, free movement of talent and burgeoning tech hubs across the country, France is at the forefront of the cleantech future. Here then are a few things to consider before you can change the world.

Pick a location

France has chased the tech industry with a steely determination, and their approach has already borne fruit. The Industry of the Future initiative has led to enormous investment, and the creation of numerous tech hubs in France.

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Will the French ‘right to disconnect’ help or hinder business?

Will the French right to disconnect help or hinder businessNo self-respecting businessperson would be caught without their trusty smartphone. Cloud computing and digital convergence have made it easier to carry work with us wherever we go, turning phones into vital business tools.

But for all the advantages this brings, it has become increasingly hard to escape our working lives. Email alerts at home bring us back into the business mindset, with the result that we find it tough to ever switch off completely.

In France, a new law is aiming to change the modern ‘always on’ mindset. Section 55 of the Labour Act requires that companies with more than 50 employees will negotiate periods with unions when workers will not be required to answer emails.

While there is no set time period, the expectation is that it will be applied as a ‘soft law’. Workers will no longer be required to respond to emails out of work hours - as has been the case at some growing companies - or chastised for not doing so.

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How To Start An Indie Video Game Company

how to start an indie video game company 1Incorporating a video game company is much the same as any other business. But the unique requirements of this competitive industry require some in-depth research. Here are some of the most important things to consider before you take a leap into the digital realm.

Utilising tax breaks to start a video game company

You may not realise it, but starting an indie game company positions you in one of the world’s most valuable industries. Since 2012 video game sales have outstripped movies and music combined, with the very biggest titles making close to a billion dollars.

The most expensive and profitable game of all time, Grand Theft Auto V, was developed predominantly in Scotland. This owes much to Dundee’s rich gaming heritage, but also to the fact that the UK offers generous tax incentives. British productions meeting loose cultural criteria can be entitled to up to 80% of core expenditure, as long as it was spent within the European Economic Area (EEA).

Finland has become a surprise candidate for the best indie video game startup hub, following a massive few years for mobile development. Hot on the heels of Angry Birds maker Rovio, Finnish company Supercell posted $2.3bn in revenue and almost $1bn in profit last year. This owes a lot to the government fund Tekes, which provides $130m to tech companies each year. The fund relies entirely on subsequent tax revenue, and more than made its money back from the initial $3m investment in Supercell as a tiny startup.

The third spot in Europe by popular opinion goes to France, which recently expanded its incentives for game developers. Home to Assassin's Creed publisher Ubisoft, France now offers tax breaks to 18 rated games, cutting up to 20% of total costs on projects of over €100,000. Another French speaking territory, Canada, is one of the world’s other leading homes for developers. Home to Ubisoft, EA and Rockstar studios including Edmonton’s BioWare, each territory offers its own incentives. Quebec provides a relief of up to 37.5% on employee salaries, while Ontario offers 40%.

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How to open a French company the cheap and easy way

How to open a French company the cheap and easy wayIf you’ve been thinking about opening a company in France but haven’t found the right time to do it, then 2017 could be the year to achieve that goal.

Starting a business in France – or in any country other than your own – is always a serious undertaking. So you need to consider a wide range of issues before you take the plunge.

Each country has its own set of rules and regulations for company registration and formation, and France is no exception. Before opening your company, you’ll need to pick a business structure - for example a SARL or an SAS. (For more information, click here for an explanation of the different structures available).

And in France, you have to open a business bank account with a reputable bank BEFORE you register your company. (Click here for information on how to open a bank account in France and if you want to find out about what NOT to do if you want to open a bank account in France, click here.)

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How French Fashion Continues To Set The Global Trend

how French fashion continues to set the global trendAt a time of some economic difficulty in France, the country’s fashion industry is still firing on all cylinders. A recent report by the French Fashion Institute (IFM) found that the sector outperforms several major high-ticket trades, including aerospace and car production.

Yet according to the head of Jean Paul-Gaultier, "The French are not very conscious of the weight the country's lifestyle industries represents.” So how did French fashion come to be so dominant on the global stage, and why does it continue to fly under the radar?

The French Revolution

The image of France as the home of high fashion originates in the era of the ‘Sun King’, Louis XIV. The king’s decadent tastes led him to effectively nationalise the textile industry, bringing design and quality control under royal auspices. This approach shaped the French fashion industry for centuries and persists into the present day.

The term haute couture, or ‘high sewing’, was actually popularised in reference to Englishman Charles Frederick Worth’s Parisian fashion house. The House of Worth’s Victorian era garments were legendary, with its designers becoming some of the first global trendsetters outside royalty.

Their quality was such that Napoleon’s wife Eugenie was a dedicated acolyte, and the term became a highly respected seal of approval. It is still protected in French law, and delegated by the government to the very best French fashion houses.

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Brexit: A Big Bonus for Big Business?

brexit big bonus for big businessWith McDonald’s announcing plans to say goodbye to Luxembourg and move its controversial tax structure to the UK, other big businesses that are feeling the heat of EU tax investigators might also find a welcoming bonus in Britain post-Brexit.

The Conservative government pledged to reduce the UK corporation tax from its current 20% to 15% in an effort to pacify home-grown and foreign businesses who were worried about the implications of the UK’s exit from the EU after the referendum.

Related article: Brexit Opportunities for Global Business

And it seems that big international businesses undergoing the scrutiny of Brussels officials who are clamping down on tax evasion could also see the UK as a safe option to set up their business structures now Britain prepares to leave the EU.

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How to Get Round Trump’s Trade Policies

How to Get Round Trumps Trade PoliciesWith Donald Trump’s promise to scrap the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on his first day at the White House it seems that the world’s export-import industries will have to brace themselves for change once again.

Just as the UK grapples with having to renegotiate trade deals with EU countries after the Brexit vote, the 11 countries that were part of the TPP deal will also have a battle on their hands now Trump has decided to drop the partnership.

Outgoing President Obama set up the deal between the US, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru which makes up a massive 40% of the world’s economy. But as the deal had yet to be ratified by congress and with Trump’s promise to safeguard American jobs and industries, it seems unlikely that the partnership will ever go ahead.

But for entrepreneurs and businesses within the TPP countries (and indeed those UK businesses affected by the Brexit vote), all is not lost. The simple way around these trade difficulties is to set up a company in the country you wish to do business with.

Related article: Business Brexit: How to Relocate Your Business to France

Most of Europe is pretty straight forward when it comes to company formation – every country has its advantages and its particular procedures - but people are often put off setting up a company in the US due to the sticky business of EIN numbers, visas and bank accounts.

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Guide to Digital Nomad Hotspots for Global Entrepreneurs

If you're an entrepreneur with itchy feet who doesn't like to stay in one place for too long, or if you have the type of startup that sends you from pillar to post all over the world, you'll need to choose your locations carefully if you want to stay in business. If you're serious about being a global entrepreneur, the best advice is to find yourself a local business hub in your country of choice that will give you access to facilities and services in the area. So to help all you digital nomads out there, we've designed this international infographic guide to the best digital nomad hotspots and business hubs, and what they have to offer.



Euro Start Entreprises Guide To Digital Nomad Hotspots

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Business Brexit: How To Relocate Your Enterprise to France

Brexit Move Business FranceIn the post-Brexit clamour to tempt businesses away from Britain, the best claimant may be France. The UK’s closest continental neighbour already has thriving hubs for many of the UK’s key industries. With the banking sector a particularly tempting prize, politicians have already rallied to provide further incentives. So what are the prospective benefits for potential defectors, and how complicated is the process of forming a business in France?

The swiftest and loudest appeal was from Paris to the City of London, primarily courting its financial institutions. With Paris already home to £3.1 trillion of assets under management, the French markets are well established. And in the run-up to elections, the French government is keen to distance itself from Hollande’s early policies.

Adverts welcoming British businesses went online immediately after the vote, and more than 4000 letters were sent to city investors. The French government has also worked feverishly to push through an extension to expat tax exemptions, offering eight years of incentives for workers based in France.

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Hollande to cut French Corporation Tax

Hollande to cut French Corporation TaxTwo months ago, in the wake of the Brexit vote, then UK chancellor George Osborne announced his plans to lower corporation tax to 15% in a bid to convince businesses to stay. The move was roundly condemned by many EU countries, but particularly vociferously by French finance minister Michel Sapin, who said it was “not a good way to start a negotiation.” While the UK’s plans have been put on hold, the recent news that France plans to lower its own corporation tax from 33% to 28% indicates a change in attitude. But what does it say about the UK’s position in Brexit talks, and what’s the rationale behind the move for France?

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France - number one destination for Chinese investment?

France number one destination for Chinese investmentIt would seem like common sense to pursue the world’s biggest market, yet until recently many businesses have considered China too difficult to penetrate. But having laid the groundwork for success both at home and abroad, France is now reaping the financial and political rewards. In the wake of Brexit, this burgeoning relationship could upset the UK’s position as the number one destination for Chinese investment, and launch a new era of Franco-Chinese prosperity.

An audience comprising 20% of the global population makes China a naturally appealing destination, and for French companies, there’s a sense that the feeling is reciprocated. France is the most visited country by Chinese tourists outside of Asia, and a significant target for Chinese investment, with businesses including e-commerce giant Alibaba and phone manufacturer Huawei choosing France as their gateway to the rest of the world. The French president François Hollande (pictured) certainly has much to smile about in that respect.

But less than a decade ago, such a partnership would have seemed infeasible. Former President Sarkozy’s threatened boycott of the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the induction of the Dalai Lama as an honourary French citizen hit both diplomatic and business ventures hard, with many fearing a long legacy of mistrust. Others have been put off by perceptions of an autocratic regime and an unforgiving legal system, where copyright laws are notoriously difficult to enforce.

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Don’t Panic! Brexit Opportunities for Global Business

opportunities business brexitWhether you already have a UK business or whether you were thinking of starting up in Britain, you may be feeling a bit wobbly after last week’s Brexit results. But don’t panic. All is not lost. While Britain starts slowly packing its bags and waving a forlorn farewell to the EU, there may be some opportunities in other countries for entrepreneurs who prefer to stay in the EU.

Republic of Ireland

Ireland may be a small country but the so-called Celtic Tiger economy is fuelled by foreign investment, low corporate tax and a liberal approach to trade. As well as being English-speaking and with its close proximity to the UK, the Republic of Ireland has the advantage of still being in the EU and using Euros as its currency.

Ireland is also perfectly positioned as a trade bridge between Europe and the United States and has a particularly beneficial tax environment on all trading income. Ireland’s government has streamlined its regulatory infrastructure into a single body - the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority. The overall regime is relatively relaxed and there are no general restrictions to foreign ownership. The good news is that capital and dividends can be freely repatriated and as Ireland has bilateral tax treaties with many countries, foreign investors find Ireland the perfect place to set up a business.

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The Implications of Brexit On Businesses

BRexitNow that the vote on whether Britain should exit the European Union has been finalised, businesses face a period of uncertainty as everyone tries to digest what this means in the long-term.

The wide-ranging implications of Brexit on businesses range from tax, employment, financial regulation, intellectual property and company law, but at this stage the full impact of Brexit will be impossible to determine without knowing the precise terms of the exit negotiated between the UK and the EU.

While a number of potential exit models exist, throughout the referendum campaign were discussions around the adoption of the Norway or Switzerland model.

However the main alternatives are:

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Success Beckons for Startup Competition Winners

Three young science students who won the Euro Start Entreprises startup competition are planning to launch a product to help solve the world’s energy storage problem.

Lukas Lutz (pictured right) from Germany, Luca Scherrer (pictured centre) from Switzerland and Daniel Corte (pictured left) from Brazil have created a new testing platform which allows high accuracy testing for batteries, leading to more information on how batteries and capacitors can provide more energy storage.

success startup competition winners 1

The team – which call themselves SPHERE – met while studying, and together pooled their knowledge in business strategies and analytics, electrochemistry and materials, and engineering and metallurgy to come up with their innovative system.

The team's international experience in leading research facilities such as ETH Zürich, MIT, UC Berkeley, Oxford University and with global industries such as Delloite, Lonza and Total, galvanised their desire to provide a solution for energy storage.

Lukas explains: “The world needs a better and more sustainable energy system. However, the large scale development of renewable energies is limited by energy storage. Batteries will play a decisive role in the future of our society but the current technology still needs to be strongly improved. We want to help scientists to develop the batteries that will power tomorrow’s world.”

After winning the Euro Start Entreprises startup competition, the team will start by launching their business in Paris – a thriving hub for European startups. We caught up with the team to ask them a few questions while they visited the capital to begin their startup journey.

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How To Become A Digital Nomad

how to become a digital nomadFor many people the monotony of a structured working environment is far from ideal. The notion of a perpetual Groundhog Day where you’re endlessly trapped in the same routine is leading many of us to become bored, dissatisfied and restless when it comes to our working life.

According to a huge report by Gallup, there are twice as many “actively disengaged” workers in the world as there are “engaged” workers. Put simply only 13% of individuals LOVE what they do.

It’s therefore not surprising that a growing community of ambitious and location independent entrepreneurs are seeking new and innovative ways of working. With many businesses simply needing an active Internet connection in order to conduct business, becoming a digital nomad is enabling an increasing number of indivuals to follow their passion from anywhere in the world.  

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Pro Business or Pro Worker: Why The French Are Striking Against French Employment Law Reforms

french lawIt’s been an interesting few weeks in France. Under pressure from the upcoming election and poor opinion polls, the French president has been trying to cement his position with sweeping reforms to the country’s rigid employment laws.

Mass strikes throughout the country by those against the proposed changes show no signs of ending. For the sixth day in a row, thousands have taken to the streets of Paris in an attempt to scrap the government’s plans. 

 

The government has argued that by making hiring and firing easier, less expensive and less risky, businesses will be free to offer more permanent contracts and get more of the 3.5 million unemployed back into work.

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An Expat’s Adventures in Auto-Entrepreneur Land

expat adventures auto entrepreneur land1If you’re out wandering the Paris streets one day and you happen to see a huge bicycle in the shape of a restaurant table, with 16 people peddling along while tucking into charcuterie, French cheeses and bottles of wine, then you’ve just witnessed the Cyclo-Café - the brain-child of expat entrepreneur Andrew Lyons.

Andrew – who is originally from Pittsburgh but has lived in Paris since 2006 – hit on the idea after seeing a similar contraption on a trip to Texas. Having worked at the French Energy & Transport company Alstom, Andrew decided to take the idea further and make the leap into being an entrepreneur by launching his French version. Now his rolling café – complete with French style canopy and table covers - can be seen around the beautiful sights of Paris, peddled by not only merry expats but also Parisians too.

However, unlike his home country where such an idea could have been launched in no time at all, Andrew had to struggle with language barriers and also the French Auto-Entrepreneur system.

First off, he was met with the “flabbergasted expressions of the French administration” after he pitched his idea at the City Hall. Despite having a “thick and painful accent” Andrew was able to convince them that the Cyclo-Café was a fantastic idea and even managed to rouse the French officials into something resembling enthusiasm. Unfortunately, being such an original idea, the French officials resorted to their bureaucratic default setting and said they had no idea how to get such a project off the ground, except to give Andrew a list of numbers and other ministry departments to contact.

Andrew spent the next few months cold calling the names on the lists: “Wow was that painful!” he recalled. “Average waiting time 15 minutes; average call length 15 seconds; ratio of transfers 100%; number of hangups 95%; useful information extracted minus 1%. If you want to start a business in Paris, better be prepared to hoof it. Information is not readily available nor updated online. The language barrier is too wide for phone calls and you have to present yourself in person to be taken seriously.”

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How do I pay VAT / TVA in France?

vat tva in france“If I’m a foreign entrepreneur who does business in France, how do I pay the correct French VAT / TVA rate for my services?”

This is a question that troubles many international business owners when they do business within global markets. Every country has a different Value Added Tax rate which needs to be adhered to by business owners who then need to pay that back to the government. But when you’re doing business in another country that has a different VAT system and rate to the country where your business is originally registered then things can get complicated.

In order to stay on the right side of the French law and tax man, you’ll need to register your foreign company for VAT payments (called TVA in France) so your business can charge the correct amount of VAT and not be penalized.

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How does the payroll system work in France?

payroll system franceIf you're thinking of owning a business in France and are planning to employ people to work for you, then you will need to hire someone who knows how the payroll system works in France.

Many business owners choose to outsource their payroll department because the system can be very complex and is subject to constant changes in legislation. (New laws are currently being passed that will completely change the way French people pay income tax - instead of filing their tax earnings individually each year, it will soon to be taken automatically out of their paypackets each month).

A French ‘expert comptable’ – a chartered accountant who is legally obliged to keep up to date with changes in tax and employee law – is your first port of call if you want to make sure your payroll system is well managed and legally organised within the French system.

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The Next Big Startup in France – Could It Be You?

the next big startup in franceHave you got a great startup story to tell? Then you might just win yourself a free startup package worth over €2,000 as part of our fantastic competition to find the next big startup in France.

Back in 2007, we were a little startup operating out of a tiny room belonging to a record company in a dingy backstreet of Paris. Nearly a decade on, we’re now one of the top company formation experts in France with our own office just off the Champs Elysees. So to celebrate our success, we’d like to pay that forward by launching a competition to give a helping hand to the brightest startup out there.

France is currently experiencing a huge boom in entrepreneurship and Paris is racing ahead of other major cities in its bid to become the startup capital of Europe. Thanks to the high level of investment and talent flooding into the City of Light, Paris is now seen as a welcoming hub for new companies and tech entrepreneurs.

But setting up a new business is always fraught with time-consuming administration – there’s piles of paperwork to get through, not to mention meetings with bank managers and accountants to arrange and visits to the tax office. That’s why we’re offering the chance of winning our French startup package worth €2,400 which includes:

  • Company registration in France
  • Setting up your business bank account.
  • Legal publicity.
  • Tax registration.
  • Registered address for one year.
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Winners of Startup Scheme Welcomed to France by President Hollande

Winners of Startup Scheme Welcomed to France by President HollandeThe French Tech Ticket – a government startup scheme to attract new business to France – announced the first set of 2016 winners with President François Hollande welcoming the successful entrepreneurs at the Élysée Palace in Paris.

The scheme was launched back in May last year and promised successful applicants funding of €12,500 for six months; fast-tracking to obtain a French residence visa; free office space in a startup incubator that provides training, mentors and business networks and help with French paperwork with an English-speaking advisor.

The 23 lucky startups, made up of four French and 45 foreign entrepreneurs, were greeted by President Hollande who made a speech outlining his plans for France to become “a land of innovation” and thanked the winners for their “trust in France”. He also announced that tax provisions will be made to attract foreign businesses to France and also to lure back any French talent that had emigrated to other countries.

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Starting Your Business in France - Everything You Need to Know

starting your business in france

Whether you’re an expat, a foreign entrepreneur or a French resident, starting your business in France can sometimes seem like a complicated procedure. But if you have all the information you need to know at hand, then you’re half the way there. That’s why we’ve compiled a useful free downloadable guide with everything you need to know about how to open a company in France.

It covers everything from choosing the best locations in France for your particular business, how to write a business plan that will appeal to the French authorities and how to choose the best structure for your company. It gives you a breakdown of the different types of companies – for example it shows you the differences between a SARL (a limited company), an SAS (a simplified stock option) and an SA (a great option for bigger businesses or for those that want to set up a French branch of an existing company).

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Starting a Business in France – Micro Entreprises or SARL?

This week’s post has been written with the help of Micala Wilkins from Alacim Accociates, Jo-Ann Howell from French Admin Solutions and Kate Sevoz from The Translation Connection.

If you’re living in France and considering starting up a small business, you’ll be presented with two main options. You can go the route of the Micro Entreprises – a self-employed option, great for people who want to turn their hobby into a small business or who want to bring in a bit of extra cash while continuing to work. Or there’s the limited liability option called a SARL, the standard business model which also allows for growth.

For anyone about to start a business in France, it can sometimes be confusing knowing which route to choose especially as the laws and regulations change so frequently. (For example, the Micro Entreprises scheme has just swallowed up what used to be the previous self-employed regime of the Auto-Entrepreneur). So to make it easier we’ve drawn up a list of comparisons so you can see exactly what’s on offer with each structure.

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Entrepreneur Coach gives Fool-Proof Tips for Success

entrepreneur coach

 

You have to be a dreamer to be an entrepreneur but it’s no good staring up at the clouds and waiting for the first million pounds to just drop into your lap. Once the dreaming is over, the hard work starts and the first step for any would-be entrepreneur is a business plan. Entrepreneur coach Dawn Z Bournand, founder of Fabulously Successful and the Paris Women of Success group believes a solid business plan is the key to a winning business. Here she shares her fool-proof tips for success to help your startup get the head start it needs.

Map It Out

"A business plan is like a map. If you plan a trip but you don’t sit down and figure out where you want to go and how you want to get there, it can take much longer to reach your desired destination, if you ever get there at all. Many would-be entrepreneurs have a dream of owning their own company but never define what they want that business to become in one, three or five years’ time. Formulating a business plan is an extremely important step because it helps you get clear on what you want for you and your company’s future. You need to create a plan around the vision you have today and then sprinkle it with a healthy dose of flexibility and room for opportunity."

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New Visa to Boost UK Economy

new visa to boost uk economyThere’s a good start to 2016 for both the UK tourism business and for Chinese visitors to Britain – from January the government is introducing a new two year visa for Chinese visitors to the UK.

Four times the usual six-month standard visa limit, the British government is hoping the new visa will boost UK businesses even further than the current £500 million that Chinese visitors spend per year in the UK.

The numbers of Chinese visitor visas have trebled in the last five years, and the two-year visa is designed to help Chinese customers who wish to make multiple visits but don’t want to be inconvenienced by having to apply for a new visa every six months. A new 10-year multiple visit visa will also be piloted in the near future.

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The Survival Spirit of an Entrepreneur

In our field as company formation experts, we come across many inspiring international entrepreneurs. One of them is Nada Rothbart who fled her war-torn homeland of Yugoslavia and then went onto become a successful businesswoman in the US. Here is her brave story of survival...

the survival spirit of an entrepreneurNada Rothbart is an entrepreneur who has had many lives.

From the ages of 14 to 26 she took advantage of her towering 6ft 3inch form by becoming a world-class basketball player in her home country of Yugoslavia. Setting her sights beyond a sporting career, she then qualified as a lawyer and opened her own law firm in Sarajevo in 1992. A month later war broke out in the city. As a Bosnian Jew, she was forced to flee her home with her husband and two children and made her way to Israel where she lived in an immigration camp.

When the opportunity to be rehoused in America came their way, the family moved to California but tragically her youngest son Ivan died from a deadly bacterial infection and then her marriage disintegrated. In true survivor mode, Nada pulled her life together again and trained herself up as a real estate agent.  She eventually accompanied her eldest son Robert to Paris where he was playing professional basketball and whilst there she began Bikram Yoga training. Ten years later, she is now a fully qualified yoga teacher, owns her own Bikram Yoga Studio in Sonoma, California and continues to sell real estate.

We spoke to her about her amazing entrepreneurial journey and what drives her success:

You came through some really tough situations, Nada. Can you tell us what happened to you during the war in Yugoslavia?

My boys were six and five years old and after several months of us all living in the basement of our building without any chance to get out due to the fighting, I heard on the battery operated radio that there was going to be a cease-fire for five days. Without waiting for a second, I grabbed my kids and ran through the door. That's how I saved our lives. The journey from that moment to my parents’ house, normally a five hour drive in peaceful times, was the scariest thing I ever went through in my life.

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How To Open a Restaurant in France

Trying to open a restaurant in France, the home of classic cooking and culinary expertise, might be likened to selling ice to Inuits. Luckily for foreign restaurant entrepreneurs, the French are known for spending vast quantities on eating out, and are very open to fresh taste concepts and new places to eat. So how do you open a restaurant in a country which has such a rich culture in cuisine? We’ve devised a step-by-step guide with the help of restaurant owner Jennifer Kim Kelly who, together with her Italian husband Gino, owns two thriving Italian restaurants in Paris.

Step 1 – Location

If you’re looking to open a restaurant in a city such as Paris, you need to check out your rivals in each district (called an arrondissement). Most districts have a central point round a metro station which is often well-populated with cafés and bistros. If you want to compete with more established premises you’ll have to make sure you stand out from the crowd – either with your style of food or the décor for your restaurant. Or if you choose a quieter street, make sure there is enough footfall to entice in passing trade.

how to open a restaurant in france

Jennifer chose the locations of her restaurants carefully. Her café-style pizzeria Pomodoro is based in the bustling cobbled streets of Montmartre which profits from large numbers of tourists as well as local residents. While her more traditional Italian restaurant Bombolo is housed right around the corner from Bastille, a less touristy location but in a respectable neighbourhood where eating out is the norm.

Jennifer explains: “Paris gave us an extra impetus of energy because of the challenges we had to face. Looking back it made us feel as though we were at a new frontier forging ahead. I learned for example, that cooking with your Mamma at home or for friends and relatives, and cooking for a restaurant and making it a business that works, are two completely different kettles of fish! But anyone who feeds others with passion is always well-liked.”

If you are looking to get out of the city and prefer a more French country village location make sure there are enough nearby residents to cater for during the off-peak tourist seasons, otherwise you could be struggling to fill the tables and your cash register.

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France’s Startup Scheme Offers Ticket to Success

Frances Startup Visa ProgramThe French government’s incentive to attract foreign entrepreneurs seems to be working. The program - called the French Tech Ticket - has attracted thousands of business people from around the world who want to set up a company in Paris.

The scheme was launched back in May and promised successful applicants funding of €12,500 for six months; fast-tracking to obtain a French residence visa; free office space in a startup incubator that provides training, mentors and business networks; help with French paperwork with an English-speaking advisor; and the nice little bonus of reduced Air France fares and a chance to advertise with the company.

The program was particularly aimed at students who wanted to get the ball rolling on launching their startups while completing their education. Over 5,000 hopefuls from over 90 countries expressed an interest, with just over 722 startups making the grade for selection. Each startup had to be made up of one to three founding members with a maximum of one French citizen per team. Another stipulation is that the founders would need to also speak English and live for at least six months in France. The winners would also receive a ‘landing pack’ – a guide to living and working in Paris with help relocating to the French capital.

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Budapest – the ‘go-to’ city for entrepreneurs

A few years ago Hungary and its capital Budapest wouldn’t exactly have tripped off the tongue of any global entrepreneurs looking to make their mark on the international startup scene. But the business world is a rapid and fickle thing, and where previously it had revered such cities as Berlin and London, it’s Budapest that is now gunning for the title of the top European startup destination.Budapest the go to city for entrepreneurs

Over the last year, there’s been a massive leap in the number of startups launched in the city, so much so that nearly a third of all the business in Hungary is now carried out in Budapest. So why is that? Could it be the cheap standard of living? Or the sheer architectural beauty of the city?

Both good reasons enough, but it’s more likely to be the fact that Budapest now has a growing number of startup accelerators and a wide range of funding sources. There are now over 170 startups located in Budapest, supported by over 4,000 Budapest angel investors, creating a hub for entrepreneurs with new and exciting ideas, especially in the tech scene.

Manufacturing startups are also attracted to Budapest due to its geographical location and great transport links with Europe with potential customers totalling 500 million with the surrounding EU market.

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Business Banking in France - What NOT to Do

business banking in france what not to doFrench banks are in a league of their own. Unlike the banks in Britain where the big banking companies compete for your money with interest rate incentives or insurance discounts, the French banks have a slightly different attitude. It’s up to you to impress them.

So to help you understand the sometimes pernickety ways of the French business banking system, we’ve compiled a list of what NOT to do. After all, the French like to start off a sentence with “Le problèm est….” so by tackling the negative up front, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

 

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How tax breaks in Portugal are saving expats €30,000 a year

expat save money portugal tax breaksPortugal has long been a favoured tourist destination for Europeans, but thanks to some tax incentives introduced by the Portuguese government many tourists are now deciding to extend their stay.

Besides the obvious benefits of around 300 days of sunshine in the south coupled with the low cost of food and property, there are now three tax breaks that particularly appeal to retired people, foreign workers and business owners.

Tax Breaks for Pensioners

Foreign pensioners who stay in Portugal for at least 183 days per year can enjoy an exemption from paying income tax. This can mean a saving for some retirees of up to €30,000 euros a year. According to the Chamber of Commerce and Franco-Portuguese Industry, over 4000 people emigrated to Portugal from France last year, most of them of pensionable age.

Portugal is particularly attractive to the older generation due to the mild climate (kind to bones and joints!) and the fresh produce and healthy cuisine. In addition, the cost of living is generally 25% lower compared to the big European countries. And the safe environment, coupled with the friendly nature of the Portuguese – many of whom have excellent English, French and Spanish language skills – means Portugal is now among one of the top destinations for older expats.

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France - World Champions of Tax?

France Champions Tax

 

 

The French are well known for their love of taxes. A list of 266 taxes levied by the French taxman has recently been doing the rounds on social media, causing quite a few raised eyebrows at the pernickety nature of some of the taxes. (Our personal favourite is number 62 – a tax on cross-country skiing!)

If you delve deeply into most countries tax systems you can find hidden charges and fees on many industries and trades. However this latest list has made international entrepreneurs who have their businesses based in the UK breathe a sigh of relief that the British tax system is much more streamlined.

As well as the tax system being much simpler to understand, the steady corporation tax rate of 20% makes the UK extremely tax-friendly and inviting for business owners and foreign entrepreneurs.

Some other advantages in the UK include the high limit for Capital Gains Tax which is only collected on amounts over £10,000; and a reduced tax for IT and tech startups or companies in the business of innovation or ideas. This tax is called the patent box and instead of paying 20% corporation tax, they only pay 10%.

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Relocation to the UK - Part 4

Relocating to the UK – Part 4 - Working or Starting Your Business in the UK

Relocating to the UKIn Part 4 of our UK Relocation series, we focus on the British work and tax system and how to start a business in the UK including UK company formation, registration and visas.

The UK is well known for being welcoming towards entrepreneurs – whether you’re an English business person or an international company owner, the British government is happy to have you as long as you’re trying to make money and paying your taxes.

Being one of the world’s largest economies means that many foreign companies have been attracted to the UK and have become successful by either opening branches of their existing companies or starting a UK company. The tech scene is particularly thriving in England with both big and small companies clustering around the East London area which has been dubbed Silicon Roundabout – the UK’s version of Silicon Valley.

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Relocating to the UK - Part 3

Relocating to the UK - Part 3 – Schools, Doctors & Pets

In Part 3 of our UK Relocation series we tackle the subject of finding schools for your kids, registering with a UK doctor and dealing with any animals and pets.

If you have a family, then relocating to the UK will mean a huge adjustment. All children aged three to four years old are allowed 15 hours of free nursery school education for 38 weeks of the year, so if you need extra childcare that will mean you’ll need to budget in extra finances to pay for it.

In the UK, children start primary school at the age of four or five, depending on the month they were born. (In Britain, you calculate the school age using the school year – not the calendar year - so children who are born in September are the eldest in the class and those born in August are the youngest in the class).

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Relocating to the UK - Part 2

Relocating to the UK – Part 2 - How To Open a UK Bank Account & International Shipping

In Part 2 of our UK Relocation series, we turn our attention to the world of banking and shipping....

There are many banks to choose from when deciding to open a bank account in the UK. Since the economic crash of 2008, the British banks are now a little more discerning in choosing clientele but if you have all the correct documentation, then you’ll have no problems setting up a bank account.

There are many high street banks that offer pretty much the same type of service: Lloyds, TSB, Barclays, HSBC. There are also internet banks such as First Direct and Smile and many of the big high street stores such as Sainsburys, Tescos and John Lewis also own internet banking facilities so it’s often worth checking those out too.

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Relocating to the UK - Home, Business & Family

relocatingtotheukMoving to the UK - Everything You Need to Know

Relocating your home, family and business to another country might seem like an insurmountable task but if you have a list of exactly what you need to tackle, then an international move doesn’t need to be a stressful affair.

Of course you can always opt for hiring a relocation agent, but ordinarily those people come with a very expensive invoice so for those of you moving to the UK and want to save yourself a huge amount of money, we’ve compiled a helpful series of posts to get you settled in quickly.

The wonderful thing about Britain is that – unlike some of its European neighbours - bureaucracy is at a minimum, and most things are extremely easy to sort out over the phone or by email. The other pleasing feature is that the people are extremely helpful and friendly (as long as you’re pleasant too!) and there is a good culture of communication so most of your queries can be sorted out immediately.

In order to help you find your way through the British system, we’ve written this series of posts which include such topics as finding accommodation, finding schools and setting up your business in Britain.

Related article: The British government’s plan to help small businesses

We’ve also found the relevant websites to help you choose a doctor, find information on service providers such as internet and phone lines, and how to register to pay your local charges. And we’ve covered everything from removals and shipping, opening a UK bank account, transporting pets, visas, taxes and how to pay your UK television fee.

There are so many things to consider when moving abroad – many of which you don’t even know about until you get there! – but with this comprehensive list you won’t be caught out with any extra fees or nasty surprises.

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Start A Business In France in 8 Steps

Opening a company is a big leap forward for many would-be entrepreneurs but the jump doesn’t need to be so daunting if you’re armed with the right information. For those that want to start a business in France, we’ve compiled a helpful list of the 8 steps you’ll need to take to put you on the French business map.

start-a-business-in-france-in-8-steps

 

Step 1: Business plan

A business plan is essential, not only to get it clear in your head about your mission and vision for your business, but also so you can show investors – and more importantly the French business bank account manager exactly how your business will run. You will need to consider who your market and customers will be, how much money you or your partners will be investing, what business experience you have and how much money you are likely to make and spend during the next few years.

Step 2: By-laws & Structure

Next you’ll need to choose the type of company structure for your business. The most common structures in France are:

SARL – which is like a Limited or LLC company.

SAS – which is a Simplified Stock Company for a joint venture between a French company and a foreign partner.

Branch – if you want to extend your existing business with a branch in France.

Then you have to register your by-laws, either with a registered company formation agent or with a lawyer. This includes being specific about your business – what products you’ll sell or what services you want to provide and what your business hopes to become in the future.

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The Worst & Funniest Moments From The Apprentice UK

The infamous words “There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Idea” are routinely proclaimed at the start of brainstorming sessions to encourage innovation and trigger creative collaboration. But while risky and down-right ridiculous ideas are blurted out under the protection of these immortal words, is it really true? Is there such a thing as a bad idea? If The Apprentice is anything to go by, then yes, there are plenty of them. Love it or hate it, the popular BBC show has provided some spectacularly dreadful ideas, pitches and moments over its 10 year series. So if you’re in the midst of a creating a startup and looking for inspiration, we’ve put together a selection of some of the worst ideas and funniest moments from The Apprentice that you may want to avoid.

Don’t Try To Sell Your Business When It Belongs To Someone Else

 

When Jordan Poulton from series 9 reached the interview stage the scary interviewer noticed something a bit fishy about Jordan's business proposition. Part of the show’s appeal is that the winner will receive £250k investment in return for 50% of the business but Jordan not only tried to change the deal by offering Alan Sugar only 15.39% of the business, it turned out it wasn’t actually his in the first place and actually belonged to his friend! Understanding this minor oversight the interviewer ends with the following words of encouragement: “You’re a parasite.”

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Inspirational Quotes from Successful Female Entrepreneurs

All business owners need some motivation to push through the difficult times so what better way to focus on your goals than with some inspirational quotes from successful female entrepreneurs. These little gems of wisdom come from the dynamic Paris Women of Success group - a lively bunch of expat entrepreneurs & French business owners who meet regularly in France's capital city to encourage each other and help open their companies and grow their startups.

Here we give you a selection of their best advice for entrepreneurs, their success stories and their most inspiring quotes....

inspiringquotesyulin

 

"Through my years of experience of being an entrepreneur, I've learned that the key to success is Focus and Consistency. The analogy I like to use when thinking about "how to succeed in business" is sprint vs. marathon. In order to achieve a certain goal, we tend to get into a sprint mode, meaning we get focused on doing XYZ. When we achieve that goal, we say we've succeeded. However, in order to sustain the same level of success consistently over the long run, we need to be committed to a marathon.  It requires discipline to deliver consistency, and that drive comes from knowing the "why". We need to be very clear and honest with ourselves on why we do what we do. If there is enough passion within for what we do, then you'll not only strive during good times, but also survive the down cycles as well." Yulin Lee - Personal Finance Coach - http://www.projectm-mindmoney.com/

 

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What will the new UK government do for small business?

UK-government-small-business

 

 

After the post-election fuss settles down, many entrepreneurs will now be wondering what exactly the new all-Conservative UK government has in store for small business owners.


During the launch of his small business manifesto last month, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech praising the small business owner, saying: “At the heart of the economy is small business and enterprise and the people who take those risks to get a business up and running.”


But if David Cameron and his freshly-formed cabinet are to stay true to their word and their manifesto, what policies can business owners expect to be rolled out over the next four years? Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the promises the Conservatives will need to keep, illustrated with David Cameron’s own words, just in case he needs to be reminded of them at a later date.

Taxes

The Conservatives have promised to give entrepreneurs the most competitive taxes of any major economy, aiming to keep the lowest business tax rate anywhere in the G20. They have also vowed to continue to help smaller businesses take on new workers through the Employment Allowance, which frees businesses from the first £2,000 of employers’ National Insurance Contributions so that a third of employers pay no jobs tax.

David Cameron said: “We know when we save you tax, you put that money into investment, into jobs, into progress, into the growth we need in our country.”

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Tax Advantages in the Emirates

Tax Advantages in the EmiratesDubai is well-known amongst the business community for being a hot-hub for entrepreneurs, but of the other seven emirates that make up the UAE there’s another destination that’s coming up in the ranks – Ras Al Khaimah.

Ras Al Khaimah (or RAK as it’s most commonly referred to) is now recognized as one of the most attractive industrial and business destinations in the Middle East with over 7,000 companies from around the globe putting down their roots in RAK. Only a 45 minute drive from Dubai, it offers the same Free Zone benefits of its neighbours but also comes with low living costs – perfect for foreign investors who want to seek out new territories.

 

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How To Open a Company In France

How To Open A Company in FranceClumsy, incomprehensible, chaotic and confused – that’s Inspector Clouseau. But it could just as well describe a foreign investor trying to open their business abroad.

Setting up a company in your own country can be fraught with difficulties, let alone tackling another country’s administrative system. Language problems, mounds of paperwork, legal obstacles and banking issues can all cause would-be international entrepreneurs to fall down with a ‘beump’.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to expand your business globally, especially in France. You just need to know all the facts and the full requirements to prevent any mishaps.

Allez Allez!

As any French person will tell you, France has a reputation for dragging its heels when it comes to business. French residents who try to become small business entrepreneurs are usually forced to peck around for crumbs in the land of the baguette. But if you’re a foreign investor you stand a much better chance. The French government has made an effort in recent years to aggressively attract foreign investment, so it’s good news for all you international business people out there.

There are lots of business options you can choose from. You can open a small representative office – a bureau de liaison – or set up a new business from scratch. Many clothing and accessory lines want to project a French image as part of their marketing strategy – let’s face it, being able to legally put the word ‘Paris’ on your fashion label does lend a certain exclusivity – and setting up in France is an easy way to achieve that Paris brand. But before you start dreaming up a whole new marketing concept you have to get to grips with the French incorporation system first.

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Join the UK Startup Scene

Britain has always has always loved revolutionizing the old guard. The fashion, music and comedy scenes have all benefited from the particular brand of humour and the love of the contrary that is deeply ingrained in the British psyche. Now that radical sensibility has transferred itself to the startup scene which is a lively hub of bright young things, welcoming and nurturing big and small startups alike. Mega brands such as Google and Spotify have already staked their claim on British soil, but the small guys can also get a look in thanks to some juicy government incentives – startup loans for graduates, Entrepreneurs Relief, corporate tax reductions, plus the chance for angel investors to claim back losses if a startup goes belly up.

In 2014, the British Prime Minister David Cameron announced changes in the tax system which saw the corporation tax decrease from 24% to 21%. And with the extra sweetener of a low rate of 20% for small businesses with small profits, that puts Britain on track to have one of the lowest corporation tax rates in the west. Something that would make any British businessman raise his pint glass for.

Swings & Roundabouts

Thanks to this low tax rate and the ultra-streamlined system which makes it easy to register your company, the number of foreign companies that expanded into the UK doubled in the year 2014. The UK attracts more inward investment from Asia and the US than any other European country and with a time-zone that is more compatible to financial big-hitters like China and India, the UK is a prime location for new businesses. Many tech businesses are clustering around the Shoreditch area of East London, so much so they’ve nicknamed it Silicon Roundabout. (That’s another thing the Brits love – a nice planted roundabout sponsored by a local business.)

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Expand Your Business Abroad

 

If you’re lucky enough to have a successful small business, there may come a time when you’ll want to expand your business abroad. Branching out internationally can bring huge benefits – a whole new client base, a bigger business profile, fresh tax options, potential new business partners and, most importantly, more profits.

But expanding into unfamiliar foreign territories can also bring risks. So how can you expand your business without jeopardizing all the hard work you’ve put into building up your company on your own turf?

 

Client Base

When starting a business abroad, many entrepreneurs make the mistake of choosing a country that might look good for their profile but doesn’t hold the sales potential. It’s all very well dreaming of having the glamorous words ‘Paris – New York – London’ under your business name but if those cities don’t hold a solid client base for your product then you’re likely to be eating into the profits of the company in your home-country. 

Find out all about the cultures of the countries you’re interested in and the people who live there. If you have some idea of the trending products of the country or popular pastimes of the residents, then you’ll be on track to be able to cater to their tastes.

Branding

The name of your company may mean something in your home country but does it say the same thing abroad? Watch out for words or slogans that could spell disaster in translation. For example, an Iranian company produced a soap powder called ‘Barf’; Ford brought out a car called the ‘Pinto’ which means ‘small male genitals’ in Brazilian; and the KFC slogan ‘Finger Lickin’ Good’ didn’t go down so well in China where is was translated as ‘Eat Your Fingers Off’.

Double check with a native speaker that your brand name and advertising slogans won’t offend or turn off potential clients.  

 

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Euro Start Entreprises SARL – Limited Liability Company (“SARL”) with capital of 8,000 Euros incorporated in Paris, France under the registration number 500 820 410.
17 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France
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