4 reasons to invest in France

France has been putting a variety of incentives in place since 2008 to attract local and foreign investment.

Danielle Bergeron | Desjardins Group

If you’re trying to expand internationally or looking to invest overseas, have you taken a good look at France? In 2015, the country attracted more foreign investment in the industrial sector than anywhere else in Europe, and ranked fourth on the continent for foreign investment in information and communications technologies (ICT).

France has been taking steps to lay the groundwork to attract foreign entrepreneurs and investors since 2008.

1- Concrete advantages

  • Innovation is a priority; and all businesses are eligible for a research tax credit
  • A competition and jobs tax credit and a solidarity and responsibility pact keep production costs low
  • Low start-up costs. France is ranked sixth worldwide when it comes to favourable business start-up conditions[1]

2- French Tech

The French government launched the French Tech initiative to encourage the growth of start-ups and digital businesses. A €15 million investment supports Fab Labs and attracts foreign talent, entrepreneurs and investors.

3- Incentives

France has been putting a variety of incentives in place since 2008 to attract local and foreign investment:

  • Competition and jobs tax credit program
  • Elimination of the equalization tax
  • Research tax credit and incentives for young innovative companies
  • New legislation

Foreign companies qualify for the same support as local ones. There is also less administrative red tape for foreign companies to set up in the country.

4- Support for investment

  • The Business Development Bank of Canada Xpansion Loan is designed to help companies realize key projects for growth and success without putting their cash flow at risk.
    • Loans of up to $250,000 can expand existing markets in Canada, explore new markets abroad or launch new growth projects.
  • The programme industriel France-Québec supports the negotiation and signing of partnership agreements between small and medium enterprises in France and Quebec.
    • The program provides travel expenses to France to conclude negotiations with a French partner in an industrial project.
  • Business France is a national agency that promotes the economic benefits and image of France, French territories and French businesses.
    • The agency has 1,500 contributors in France and across 70 countries and is supported by a network of public and private partners.
  • An industrial research support program (Programme d’aide à la recherche industrielle) works with Bpifrance to encourage cooperation among Canadian and French SMEs and to support joint IT innovation projects.
  • Agence France entrepreneur supports individuals who want to start businesses in France.

Download our French-language guide on Investing in France

Tips on conducting international business.

[1] KPMG, Competitive Alternatives 2016

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