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Starting my business in France : What does it cost?

You've got the visa, the idea, the skillset... In short you're ready to start your business in France but a doubt remains that is stopping you from moving forward : How much will this cost? Here is my detailed answer to your questioning.

Starting my business in France : What does it cost?

Warning : this article only applies to those with an "entreprise individuelle" status with the micro-entreprise regime.

It is well known that those with a micro-entreprise status who do not have a turnover do not pay income tax or social cotisations. This is the main attraction of this status as it allows the entrepreneurs to test their business idea without running the risk of becoming heavily indebted.

But what are the other expenses associated with starting a micro-entreprise?

Formalities of business creation

The formalities of creating a micro-entreprise are totally free. However you can choose to get support from a qualified professional for increased safety.

Cotisation foncière des entreprises (CFE)

The CFE is a cotisation payable once a year by every business in the municipality where it has premises available. There are however exceptions to this rule:

  • new businesses do not pay the CFE the year of their creation

  • businesses with annual revenue of 5000 euros or less

  • those who exercise a business activity in handicrafts, etc...

Third-party liability insurance

Having a third-party liability insurance is highly recommended but not mandatory unless your activity is regulated (lawyer, public accountant, insurance representative, real estate agent, etc...).

Bank account

Businesses with annual revenue of 10.000 euros or less have no obligation to have a bank account dedicated to their professional activity. Moreover, if you choose to have one, it doesn't need to be a professional bank account. It can totally be a current account. Some online banks offer pretty good deals to SMEs and freelancers.

Industrial property

You can choose to register your patents, trademarks, logo or design models to protect them, but it is not a compulsory expenditure.

Le Médiateur de la consommation (Consumer Ombudsman)

If your business is B to C, you are required to register with an accredited consumer ombudsman. It is non-negotiable. It may be the only compulsory expenditure for the business creators. The average cost is about 50 to 150 euros for 3 years.

The expenditures related to your activity

The remaining expenditures are those related to your activity: production tools, raw materials, general and administrative costs, communication expenses, website, etc...

Now that you're informed, would you like to proceed with the registration of your business in France? Drop me an email at


Hi I'm Mathilde, a lawyer passionate about entrepreneurship and expatriation. I support expatriates in setting up and managing their businesses in France. Do you have any questions or concerns regarding your business? I'm here to guide you!

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