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Buying a business can be sound idea

Rather than creating a new business with all the problems of finding customers and suppliers – plus beating the local competition – some artisans are opting to buy an existing business and the clients and goodwill that goes with it.

As long as the former owner is giving up in good faith and not because of bad debts or a bad reputation, it can offer a way to hit the ground running and especially if good equipment comes in the deal.

Each year more than a third of the business purchases agreed are in the artisan sector and the Chambres de Métiers et de l’Artisanat (CMA) lists local ones that may be available, whether it is to find a workshop, a shop or a restaurant.

A national site for the Bourse Nationale d’Opportunités Artisanales ( lists others available across
the country by type and area – and has about 6,000 available.
However, the other side of taking over a business is the documentation that goes with it and some CMA and chambers of commerce and industry (CCI) offer courses spread out over five days or several weeks on running a business.

While this includes the legal, financial and tax paperwork, the CMA and CCI both offer access to professional experts to help get it right – and especially the buying price for taking over a business – but also aid such as social charge exemption or cheap finance.

The site details help in the capital while the national site gives links for the rest of France.

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