€500 help to set up website for small businesses in France

Small businesses that had to close during the second confinement are eligible for a €500 grant to help them set up a website

Published Last updated

Businesses with 10 or fewer workers that had to close to the public during the second confinement are eligible for a grant of €500 to help them set up a website to sell goods online.

The scheme is due to be open for applications from the end of January with the first payouts scheduled for March.

Applications are made via the Agence de service et de paiement on presentation of bills to set up a site, paid between October 31, 2020 and March 31, 2021.

Up to €60 million has been allocated to help 120,000 businesses. Other financial or practical help is available and there is a website to find out what suits your situation.

There are regulations for businesses setting up a website with penalties for non-compliance of up to one year in prison and fines of up to €375,000.

The site must, for example, include the company name, its legal form (micro-entrepreneur, SARL etc), capital value, address and an email and telephone contact number.

Other required information depends on business type.

Commercial activities must include the RCS registration number and VAT number if relevant; sales websites must include the general terms and conditions of sale; artisans, their RM registration number; information websites, the name of the publication’s director, the editor if relevant and the contact details of the website host; regulated sectors such as building, food and teaching must include the professional title, the country and the name of the awarding body. See more online here for these obligations.

Websites are also governed by laws protecting when and how the personal data of users is kept.

If a website uses cookies users must be informed and consent to their use.

There are extra regulations if the site is to be used as a sales platform. Advice can be found online here on how to do this and what details to include.

Factors to take into consideration include choosing a domain name and registering it, including obligatory information, what payment system to use, how the income is to be declared for tax purposes and rules for data protection.

The government fraud department, DGCCRF, advises taking on a trustworthy professional to set up a sales website. In 2019 (latest official figures available) there were 192,000 sales websites in France with a turnover of €103.4billion.

Related stories

French Health Minister thanks Covid statistic site creator