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flag France France: Operating a Business

In this page: Setting Up a Company | The Active Population in Figures | Working Conditions | Cost of Labor | Social Partners

 

Setting Up a Company

Individual businessman alone
Number of partners: 1 person only.
Capital (max/min): No notion of capital.
Shareholders and liability: Liability for debts on the person personal property.
Limited liability company (SARL)
Number of partners: Between 1 and 100 partners / shareholders maximum.
Capital (max/min): Minimum: EUR 1
Shareholders and liability: Limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Private limited company under sole ownership (EURL)
Number of partners: Between 1 and 100 partners / shareholders maximum.
Capital (max/min): 7,500 EUR minimum.
Shareholders and liability: Limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Public limited company (SA)
Number of partners: Minimum 7 shareholders with no maximum.
Capital (max/min): EUR 225,000 minimum if the company is listed, EUR 37,000 otherwise.
Shareholders and liability: Limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Simplified joint-stock company (SAS).
Number of partners: minimum 1 natural person or legal entity with no maximum.
Capital (max/min): Minimum: EUR 1
Shareholders and liability: Limited to the amount of capital contributed.
General partnership (SNC).
Number of partners: Minimum 2 partners with no maximum.
Capital (max/min): no minimum capital required.
Shareholders and liability: Liability is joint and indefinite.
Limited joint-stock partnership (SCS)
Number of partners: 2 partners: the active partners and the silent partners
Capital (max/min): no minimum required.
Shareholders and liability: The active partner: joint and indefinite;
The silent partner: limited to the amount of capital contributed.
Non-trading company (SC)
Number of partners: minimum 2 partners.
Capital (max/min): no minimum required.
Shareholders and liability: Liability for registered debts.
The Competent Organization
The Portal for the Company Formalities Centers
The register of commerce
Search a Company or a Financial Report
Société
Infogreffe
Verif.com, Financial and legal information.
Manageo.fr, Financial and legal information.
 
Setting Up a Company France OECD
Procedures (number) 5.0 5.0
Time (days) 7.0 12.0

Source: Doing Business.

 
Business Setup Procedures
Consult Doing Business Website, to know about procedures to start a Business in France.
Trade Register, in French.
Registry of the Tribunal de Commerce de Paris, in French.

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The Active Population in Figures

201120122013
Labor force 29,500,00029,620,00029,940,000

Source: CIA - The world factbook

 
200920102011
Total activity rate -56.10%56.30%
Men activity rate 62.20%62.10%61.90%
Women activity rate 50.50%51.20%51.10%

Source: UN - United Nations

 
Employed Persons, by Occupation (% of Total Labor Force) 2008
Manufacturing 14.1%
Health and Social Work 12.4%
Real Estate, Renting and Business Activities 10.7%
Construction 7.2%
Education 6.9%
Transport and Storage 6.3%
Professional, scientific and technical activities 4.8%
Administrative and support service activities 3.5%
Hotels and Restaurants 3.4%
Financial and insurance activities 3.1%
Agriculture, Hunting and Forestry 3.0%
Information and communication 2.6%
Households with Employed Persons 2.3%
Arts, entertainment and recreation 1.3%
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply 0.8%

Source: International Labor Organization (ILO)

 
For Further Statistics
INSEE statistics on work
For Further Information About the Labor Market
ILO, International Labor Organization
Studies and research of the Ministry of Employment

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Working Conditions

Legal Weekly Duration
35 hours
Retirement Age
67 years of age, but as soon as the employee has paid enough into the compulsory retirement scheme, he can leave his work any time after age 62.
Working Contracts
The permanent contract (CDI) is the type of contract which is most often used.
The fixed-term contract (CDD) makes it possible to resort to temporary workers.
The Contrat Nouvelle Embauche (New Hiring Contract) is a new form of CDI where the rules for breach of contract are more flexible during the first two years in exchange for the payment of an indemnity of 10%.
Labor Laws
Consult Doing Business Website, to obtain a summary of the labor regulations that apply to local entreprises.

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Cost of Labor

Minimum Wage
Gross monthly salary in 2014: EUR 1,445.38.
Average Wage
Gross average monthly wage of men: EUR 2,988 (source: ILO, 2009);
Gross average monthly wage of women: EUR 2,461 (source: ILO, 2009).
Social contributions
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employers: 42% to 45% (the employer pays the contributions to be free of his commitments regarding sickness, retirement and unemployment).
Social Security Contributions Paid By Employees: 22%

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Social Partners

Social Dialogue and Involvement of Social Partners
In France negotiations take place at the national level, at the level of sectors of activity and at the company level. French labour law provides an extensive institutional role for employee representatives and for organized labour. Strikes are common in France, and are part of the social fabric.
Unions
The CGT, general labor confederation
The CFDT, French democratic labor confederation (in French)
FO, workers' union
The CFTC, French Christian workers' confederation
The CFE-CGC, management confederation-general confederation of managers
The UNSA, national union of autonomous unions
The Solidaires trade union
Unionization Rate
Today 8% of French employees belong to a union (5% in the private sector and 14% in the public sector). That is twice fewer than 25 years ago, and yet the unions remain strong and active.
Labor Regulation Bodies
The Ministry of Employment

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Last Updates: February 2015