Invest in France
For more information on setting up in France or read testimonials of American compagnies already conducting business in France, visit The Invest in France Agency’s website. The IFA is the national agency responsible for promoting and facilitating international investment in France :
Why Choose France?
1- Competitive and Globalized
International companies choose France because of its strategic position at the heart of Europe, the largest market in the world with 500 million consumers, and because of its membership of the euro zone, which offers the advantages of a single currency in 18 different countries. With 65 million inhabitants, France is the second-largest consumer market in Europe after Germany and the fifth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of US $2.613 trillion in 2012.
Nearly 23,500 foreign companies currently have a base in France, employing over 2.3 million people, double the figure only 10 years ago. Foreign companies in France produce 40 percent of French exports and perform more than 20 percent of research and development conducted in France.
France in one of the most attractive countries in Europe for job-creating foreign investment projects. In 2012, 693 new job-creating foreign investment projects were recorded, of which 156 came from U.S. companies.
2- Innovation Comes First
France has 71 innovation clusters in which companies, public-sector educational institutions, and research laboratories work on collaborative projects focusing on market-oriented projects and prototypes. In 2011, the clusters benefitted from a $4.55 billion increase in public funding. More than 5,700 collaborative R&D projects have been undertaken since 2005.
France’s research tax credit covers 30 percent of all R&D costs up to $137 million, (€100 million) and 5 percent above this threshold. In 2013, the eligibility was extended to include innovation spending by SMEs—a 20 percent rate up to $547,000 (€400,000).
In October 2012, France launched "Say Oui to France, Say Oui to Innovation," a campaign to promote French attractiveness for foreign investment and partnerships in France.
3- France is on the Move
Many key factors in the French economy (labor law, tax system, corporate law, innovation and economic immigration) have been subject to major reforms which are helping to improve the business environment.
These reforms have been accompanied by strong support for an enterprise culture, particularly through the introduction of a simplified legal status for the self-employed (auto-entrepreneur status).
Labor law has been made more flexible, allowing employees to work longer hours, giving businesses greater freedom to organize employee working hours and ensuring greater democracy in the workplace.
Tax cuts have been introduced both for individuals – and expatriates in particular whose tax position has been further improved – and for companies, whose new investments are now exempt from local business tax. The removal of this tax on productive investments has applied to new investment flows as well as existing investments as of the beginning of 2010.
France’s National Pact for Growth, unveiled in November 2012, provides businesses operating in France with the means to position themselves as competitive on international markets, while also boosting the competitiveness of the French economy. The Pact includes four primary goals:
1) Lower taxes and business costs
2) Access to effective, tailored funding
3) Greater incentives and support for innovation
4) A simpler and more stable regulatory, administrative, and tax environment
A new Public Investment Bank (BPI) was created in 2013, endowed with a $56 billion budget that will be used to improve access to financing for established businesses and to respond to the liquidity needs of small and medium enterprises. (Source: Bpifrance.fr)