If you were hoping to open a business in France before the pandemic struck and are now worried that logistically it all looks unlikely, or if you’ve already opened a French business and you’re worried about how the Coronavirus is going to affect it, there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon.
Since President Macron’s election, there’s been a host of reforms in the French business community which means there now exists various solutions on hand to help you continue your plans.
Not long ago, you could only open your doors for business in France after you had met with a French bank manager in person who interviewed you to see if your company or startup was suitable enough to open a business bank account. (In France you have to have a business bank account BEFORE you open a company.) This was problematic for some foreign entrepreneurs who had to travel long distances for a meeting in France. Now – with so many countries in lockdown due to COVID-19 – it’s very difficult to book flights or even move country so visiting France for a meeting with a French banker is a tall order.
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Luckily there are now options to open online bank accounts in France remotely so you don’t have to make the trip to France. You’ll still need a business plan to prove you have business in France (either clients or a registered address) but you can email those details over. It’s best to have a company formation expert to help you as they speak French and are able to deal with all the paperwork for you.
From March 12, the French government issued a law called “Exceptional delay or discount measures to support companies in difficulty” due to the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
This means certain business tax and payroll tax or monthly payments to the tax office can be stopped for a while and paid at a later date. But you can’t just decide not to pay. You have to request this by filling in a form and sending it to the tax office.
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If you have already paid your business taxes in March, you also have the possibility of requesting reimbursement from your tax department. All the information you need can be found on the official page HERE or for contact details of your tax office go to the French government’s tax website: www.impots.gouv.fr. If you can’t speak French you can ask your French accountant or a company formation agent to help you.
Gone are the days that you need a formal meeting with a French chartered accountant. Most tax planning and accountancy issues can be dealt with remotely over video conferencing, phone and email. Scans of documents instead of originals are now accepted in most places in France.
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There are also plenty of English-speaking chartered accountants in France who will not only help you out with the new tax laws but will help you sort out your finances while being mindful of the current difficulties experienced by entrepreneurs worldwide due to the pandemic.
For a few years, there has been the option to open virtual offices and serviced offices. This means you can run your whole operation for your home country without ever having to leave it. Registered office addresses with postal facilities that can scan and forward your mail to you are readily available, as are telecommunication packages that include phone answering services that can email you your messages.
This is where Euro Start Entreprises can help. Our network of contacts will help you to start your business in France with the minimum of hassle and paperwork. We can help with everything from company formation, to opening a business bank account in France, finding English-speaking French accountants that can help with specialist tax advice, finding a registered address in France for your business and we can also help you with VAT services and online payment processing. We're a one-stop shop for everything you need to start a business in France. So feel free to reach out to us by calling us on 0033 (0) 1 53 57 49 10 or email us via our contact page. Or download our free guide below.