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Online start-ups for more firms

A wider variety of businesses will benefit from the official bid to remove paperwork

A new website that allows the registration of a range of different business regimes is spearheading a drive to shift paperwork online.

Following the success of the autoentrepreneur scheme, the site www.guichet-entreprises.fr allows people to start their small business registration procedures online.

Small businesses minister Frédéric Lefebvre hopes that, by the end of the year, one in five new businesses will be started online.

Mr Lefebvre said that the weight of administration on businesses was not a minor subject and that both the World Economic Forum and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) had criticised France on this issue.

Another initiative is that staff from Direccte, an agency under the Ministry of Work, will be spending time in different businesses around the country and seeing what impact bureaucracy has on their activities.

Using the Guichet Entreprises, you can track the progress of your dossier; the government hopes that more business bureaucracy can be carried out via this portal.

Following the success of the autoentrepreneur system, the site allows people to start EIRLs, Sarls and independent businesses in the commerce, artisan or liberal sectors.

The site will give you the local centre de formalités des entreprises appropriate to your location and business, and can also give you more information appropriate to the type of firm you want to start.

Foreigners starting up a business for the first time could face other tasks, such as sorting out health and social security issues, which may make the process more difficult.

The latest Global Competitiveness Report by the World Economic Forum ranked France 122 out of 139 countries for the burden of government regulation.

Respondents to its survey on the most problematic factors for doing business listed restrictive labour regulations, tax rates, access to financing, tax regulations and inefficient government bureaucracy as the top five areas.

The Finance Ministry estimates that cutting layers of bureaucracy could save an estimated €460m to the French economy.

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