How to Do Business in France?
By: Antonia Ava
Imagine you own a multinational company and have a satisfactory position in your native country’s business charts. With revenues flowing locally, you have your eyes set on the international markets in order to expand your business. For that, you begin your search for the largest and most lucrative markets of the world—and you might consider France as a viable option.
France is the world’s 5th largest economy and the 3rd largest in the European region. Its geographic placement, coupled with the feasible regulatory environment makes it an ideal breeding ground for new businesses. If you have the right resources and the back-up of a reliable French translation service, consider your work done.
So Why Invest In France?
Apart from being one of the largest markets of the European region, France holds many strategic and geographical advantages. Lying on the western edge of Europe, France shares its borders with six countries. This geographical position means France is at the heart of European Union and within an easy access to industrial centers of United Kingdom. Here is a brief look at the French business environment:
France is one the most populated regions in the European Union and contains a vast population of foreign residents and immigrants—hence greater business opportunity. Other than that, the vast transport network, coupled with its strong focus on innovation and R&D makes France an ideal location for businesses to try their luck.
The labor laws in France are feasible for the entry of new businesses. Furthermore, the education system in France is conducive for the growth and boom of businesses, as three out of the six most prestigious institutions for Master studies are located in France.
Marketing and Communications
France is one of those countries whose internet penetration rate is 90%, and French customers are used to shop and order products online. This means the E-commerce sector in France is strong and wide enough for companies across the border to kick-start their sales. What’s more is the expected revenue in the E-commerce sector, which is projected at 8% annual growth in the upcoming years.
Choosing a Business Type in France
After going through the business environment in France, a company might consider choosing a business type to invest in the country. With the right research in place and a reliable translation agency delivering quality French translation services, a company can be almost sure of making it big in the French market. To make an entry however, it is important to choose from the categories present in the French market:
- Commercial/Industrial: includes shop, factory or café
- Independent or freelance professional: working independently, delivering services such as interpretation, writing, music
- Trades/Artisan: includes manual jobs such as building trades
- Commercial agent: selling or buying on behalf of another party
- Agriculture farming and trade
Each of the categories above has its own registration center (known as CFE) that is local to each department in France. Setting up a business requires registration with the appropriate CFE.
After choosing from the business categories, the legal structure of the business has to be decided. It could be:
- A sole trader (enterprise individuelle or EI)
- A company (societe)
Each type of legal structure requires a different approach of setting up, and different taxation and regulatory policies are applicable on both types separately. If you own a company in some other country, you might need to consider the approach you will be undertaking to make an entry into the French market, opting to choose from the business categories first and then deciding which legal structure to follow.
Tips for Doing Business—the French Way
Although France is considered one of the most lucrative spots for businesses to expand into, it is also one the toughest countries, from both a cultural and customs perspective. To make a name in the French market, it is important to first overcome the cultural roadblocks and learn the art of doing business—the French way:
Speak the local language: The French people take huge pride in their language, so if you are fluent in English and are unaware of the basics of French language, chances are your business dealings will get affected a bit. It is important, therefore, to have a basic grasp of the French language and a reliable French translation services company can aid you in that.
Communication is the Key: the French people prefer a more direct and logical approach to business, which is why when communicating with the French businessmen, it is preferable to adopt a direct, yet logical approach to deal making
Don’t get familiar too soon: the French people keep their private and public lives separate, which is why it is important to not to be too intrusive when you first meet them—they might find it offensive
Be Punctual: As in all other spheres of life, punctuality in deal making in France is deemed an important part of business dealing. Be on time when preparing to meet French business counterparts as they value punctuality and orderliness immensely.
The Last Word
The French market, like its people hold a vast array of opportunities for businesses and companies of all types. Be it a medical set-up or a manufacturing company, chances are you will make it big in the French market, thanks to the lucrative opportunities offered by the French population, combined with a favorable business and commercial environment and laws that are all conducive to new business set-ups.
Perhaps the most important part of making an entry into the French market is the tool that you will be using to gain access—a reliable translation partner. The translation partner you choose will have a huge impact on how your business or company performs in the highly dynamic French market.
To choose a reliable translation partner, look for the quality of projects and the French translation team and linguists, along with checking the quality standards, so you can be assured of a seamless and professional French translation service.