A broad and varied framework of support has been set up in France in response to investors’ needs. State Aid is granted by the national government or regional and local authorities (regions, départements and municipalities), in the form of subsidies, tax exemptions and tax credits.
The following measures have been introduced to encourage enterprise:
- Simplification of the law regarding the creation of small companies (SAS, or companies with a simplified shareholding structure).
- The introduction of the ‘auto-entrepreneur’ tax status for self-employed entrepreneurs, which simplifies accounting procedures and comes with tax benefits for the first three years of a company’s existence.
- Costs for starting a business can now be deducted from the taxable revenue of the director of a new company.
- A €100 million state investment fund, "France Brevets" (patents), has been created, targeting mainly SMEs to help them establish wide portfolios of intellectual property rights and market the resulting inventions.
- The launch of a public investment bank to support entrepreneurial spirit in France. Its objective is to offer diverse finance programs to small businesses at different stages of development.
Funding programs for businesses channeling innovation include OSEO Innovation, the main provider of state aid to innovative SMEs and mid-size companies (entreprises de taille intermédiaire – ETI) in France, awarded €650 million of funding for innovation in 2010.(For further information, please visit: http://www.oseo.fr)