Tuesday, September 1, 2009

France Gets Entrepreneurial

I resisted putting a question mark in the title, but I was surprised to read this (Time):

Could the French fondness for a single job for life be giving away to a new spirit of entrepreneurialism? The number of new private businesses launched in France is soaring. June saw an all-time record, and figures in July were only slightly off that pace. French officials estimate that by the end of 2009 France will be about half a million new firms better off. In 2008 just 328,000 small companies were created, and in 2007 the figure was 321,000.

The motor driving all that bustling start-up action is an innovation known as auto-entrepreneur, a government scheme introduced in January to help would-be bosses bypass the formidable process of founding a small business. The scheme cuts through the jungle of administrative red tape usually required to launch a company, and dramatically lightens the heavy taxes and social charges companies pay.
It's not all good news however:
If business starts booming, neophyte owners who take on employees have to register under the normal labor regime, which means assuming the taxes and salary-linked social charges that prove so dissuasive to many would-be entrepreneurs in the first place.
Still, it's a start.

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