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Auto-entrepreneurs hit new record

893,000 recorded as business start-ups – but figure hides falling numbers signing up for new regime

FRANCE has a record 893,000 auto-entrepreneurs – but business closures out number start-ups for the first time since the scheme was launched.

Figures from the end of May showed that of the 893,000 auto-entrepreneurs 410,000 declared positive results, although 44% had business of less than €1,500 and just 5%, or about 41,000, had business of more than €7,500.

However, figures for the last quarter of 2012 showed there were only 72,000 new businesses started, while more than 80,000 closed down. In all, 234,200 auto-entrepreneurs gave up their business last year.

Businesses are automatically closed if they have not submitted any income figures for 24 months. This accounts for two-thirds of the closures according to Acoss, the social security body that published the information. They will also be closed if auto-entrepreneurs earn above the maximum income limits and move on to new business regimes.

Auto-entrepreneurs accounted for business totalling €1.3billion, a figure similar to 2011, but with only 20,000 start-ups notching income of more than €10,000 each.

Doubts still hang over the future of the business start-up status after Trades Minister Sylvia Pinel announced plans to change the regime, and suggested that those in traditional trades will have a two-year limit and a €19,000 maximum income.

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