The best place for Europe's entrepreneurs? France

Summary:According to government data, France enjoyed a boom in new businesses far outstripping the rest of the G-7.

You might think the bright lights of London or the United States would be ideal places to launch your business, but according to government data, France is the way to go.

A data report (.pdf) released by consultancy firm RSM says that out of the wealthiest global economies -- U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Italy, France and Japan -- also known as the G-7, France gained more businesses from 2007 to 2011 than all the others combined.

RSM says that France registered 562,000 new businesses during the time period, in comparison to 95,000 new businesses in the U.S., and 75,000 in Germany.

Although direct comparisons are difficult as each government uses different metrics, a change in French legislation is the likely reason for the business boom. In 2009, a program called Auto Entrepreneur launched, simplifying the rules and cutting away red tape which often suffocates new ventures before they begin. In addition, perhaps most importantly, businesses within the scheme enjoy tax breaks.

However, while the economy may enjoy the influx of business, the government has felt the pinch. The scheme proved so popular that the current government has proposed limiting who can enjoy the tax breaks, as well as lowering the qualifying revenue amount.

According to the Financial Times, the proposals have prompted online backlash, and while the French are turning to self-employment in order to work, "the regime is soaking up significant numbers who would otherwise join the growing unemployment lines." In other words, imposing new limitations may prove disastrous not only for entrepreneurs, but the economy as a whole.

Via: Business Week

Image credit: Flickr

This post was originally published on

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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