I want to launch a startup in France

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You are a tech entrepreneur? France is a great home for founders looking to start ambitious companies.

 

Find the answers to your questions!

Obtaining a visa, living and working in France

Healthcare and social security

I am looking for general information on the French Tech ecosystem and opportunities

Which websites should I visit?

 

“La French Tech” is the startup scene here in France. It is also a unique movement bringing together startups, investors, policymakers and community builders. Its mission? To make France one of the greatest places in the world to launch and grow global companies that make sense for the future.

La French tech has put together a huge network of 13 French Tech capitals, 38 French Tech communities in France and 48 French Tech communities based in 100 cities all over the world. Everyday they stimulate their local ecosystem, they are committed to developing it and supporting French Tech goals.

Have a look at La French Tech website

Where to apply in an incubator/accelerator program?

 

Have a look at La French Tech and BPI-création websites.

Obtaining a visa, living and working in France

 

I am abroad and would like to come to France to found a startup. What are the different stages of the process?

Which talent passport meets my requirements?

 

You are heading an innovative economic project 

The “Innovative Economic Project Talent Passport” is for you. To obtain an “Innovative Economic Project Talent Passport” you must:

  • Provide evidence that you are involved in an innovative economic project recognised by a government body.
  • Provide evidence that you have sufficient resources to meet your needs and those of your family, equivalent to the statutory minimum wage, i.e., €18,473.04 as at January 1, 2020.

 

You would like to found a company 

The “Business Creation Talent Passport” is for you. To obtain a “Business Creation Talent Passport” you must:

  • Head a real and serious business creation project in France.
  • Hold a qualification equivalent to a MASTERS or have at least 5 years’ professional experience of a comparable level.
  • Invest at least €30,000.
  • Have sufficient resources to meet your needs and those of your family, equivalent to the statutory minimum wage, i.e., €18,473.04 as at January 1, 2020.

 

How can I take advantage of the French Tech Visa for Founders procedure?

The French Tech Visa procedure is intended for foreign talents who wish to join the French business ecosystem. It provides them with a “Talent Passport” residence permit that enables them to settle and work in France.

Procedure valid until April 1st, 2021

  • Step 1: Application to a French Tech partner incubator or accelerator, or an incubator that is not listed but is supported by a French Tech Capital (including a signed and dated supporting letter).
  • Step 2: Recognition by the incubator of the project’s innovative nature. Once a support and hosting agreement has been signed with the incubator, the innovative nature of the project will be confirmed by the Businesses Directorate (Direction Générale des Entreprises – DGE) (frenchtech.dge@finances.gouv.fr) subject to the incubator submitting a project information sheet demonstrating the innovative nature of the business creation project it is supporting. The DGE will issue an official letter of recognition.
  • Step 3: Once the partner incubator or accelerator has received this letter of recognition, they will forward it to the applicant.
  • Step 4: The applicant must enclose this letter with their application for a long-stay “Innovative Economic Project Talent Passport” visa or residence permit. The procedure differs depending on whether you are abroad or already living in France.

I will be staying in France for 12 months or less. What is the procedure?

 

  • Step 1: If you wish to be eligible for the French Tech Visa for Founders, you must request to be officially registered with one of the incubators, accelerators or other organisations with which French Tech is partnered.
  • Step 2: Apply for a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour – VLS-TS) at a consulate. To complete your visa application and view the list of documents you must provide, visit the France-visas website: france-visas.gouv.fr
  • Step 3: Collect your VLS-TS from the consulate.
  • Step 4: Within 3 months of arriving in France, validate your VLS-TS at the following website: administration-etrangers-en-france.interieur.gouv.fr.

I will be staying in France for more than 12 months. What is the procedure?

 

  • Step 1: If you wish to be eligible for the French Tech Visa for Founders, you must request to be officially registered with one of the incubators, accelerators or other organisations with which French Tech is partnered.
  • Step 2: Submit your long-stay visa (visa de long séjour – VLS) application to the consulate. To complete your visa application and view the list of documents you must provide, visit the France-visas website: france-visas.gouv.fr
  • Step 3: Collect your 3-month VLS from the consulate. This will allow you to travel to France.
  • Step 4: Submit your application for a talent passport residence permit to your local Préfecture within 2 months of arriving in France. To view the list of documents you must provide, visit the following website: accueil-etrangers.gouv.fr. You will be issued with a temporary residence permit (autorisation provisoire de séjour – APS) when you submit your application. It will allow you to travel abroad while you wait for your talent passport residence permit to be issued.
  • Step 5: Collect your talent passport residence permit from the Préfecture.

I am already in France

You are the founder of a startup and wish to renew your talent passport. What is the procedure?

 

If you are already in France and wish to renew your talent passport so that it remains unchanged (the reason for your stay must also remain the same), you can do so without difficulty as long as you fulfil all the conditions.

You must carry out the necessary formalities through the Préfecture of your place of residence two months before your VLS-TS or your current residence permit expires.

After 5 years in France, you can apply for a 10-year residence card.

I want to launch a startup. What is the procedure?

 

If you are already in France and wish to apply for a talent passport to enable you to carry out your plans, you can do so without difficulty as long as you fulfil all the conditions.

  • Step 1: If you wish to be eligible for the French Tech Visa for Founders, you must request to be officially registered with one of the incubators, accelerators or other organisations with which French Tech is partnered.
  • Step 2: Submit your application for a talent passport residence permit to your local Préfecture. To view the list of documents you must provide, visit the accueil-etrangers.gouv.fr website.
  • Step 3: Collect your talent passport residence permit from the Préfecture.

My current residence permit is not compatible with my future professional role. What should I do?

 

If you are already in France and wish to apply for a talent passport to enable you to carry out your plans (you are a researcher and are setting up an innovative company, you are an employee and wish to set up a company, etc.) you can do so without difficulty as long as you fulfil all the conditions.

You must carry out the necessary formalities through the Préfecture of your place of residence as soon as your circumstances change and before your current permit expires.

After 5 years in France, you can apply for a 10-year residence card.

Frequently asked questions

Can I work as an employee if I have an Innovative Economic Project or Business Creation talent passport?

 

No, you cannot work as an employee. Innovative Economic Project or Business Creation talent passports allow individuals to conduct business activities related to the project for which they were issued.Non, vous ne pourrez pas être salarié.

Once in France, can I travel freely?

 

If you are staying in France for 12 months or less: You have a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit, which allows you to cross borders easily.

 

If you are staying in France for more than 12 months: Within two months of arriving in France (before your long-stay visa expires), when you submit your residence permit application, the Préfecture will provide you with a temporary residence permit (APS) which will allow you to travel and cross borders easily, whether for professional or personal reasons, while you await your residence permit.

I have a Holiday-Work Visa (Programme Vacances-Travail – PVT). Can I launch a startup?

 

If you have a valid Holiday-Work Visa and would like to create a startup in France, you cannot do so directly. Indeed, when you applied for a Holiday-Work Visa, you undertook not to settle in France for an extended period of time. You must therefore return to your country of origin and apply for a long-stay visa that is compatible with your plan to settle.

Can my family accompany me?

What is the procedure?

 

Your family can apply for a family talent passport, which will simplify the conditions under which they may accompany you: your spouse can work and any children you have with them (in the case of reconstituted families) can accompany you.

What types of profession are permitted?

 

Your spouse can exercise any profession thanks to the Family Talent Passport.

Healthcare and social security

How do I register for social security?

 

You must declare the existence of your company to the Business Formalities Centre (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises – CFE) of the company’s place of business and make a registration request to the URSSAF via cfe.urssaf.fr or by submitting the relevant paper form (Cerfa 11768*07) 8 days at the latest after commencing operations.

The CFE will forward all the information required for you to be registered with French social security, including to your local primary health insurance fund (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie – CPAM). Once your company has been registered, your healthcare costs will immediately be covered by France’s mandatory health insurance system.

Once your request has been processed and your company registered with the CFE, the INSEE (French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) will issue you with a unique SIRET identification number as well as an APE code, which indicates your company’s main area of activity.

 

If you are not currently working professionally in France, you will only be able to benefit from French social security cover after 3 months of stable and legal residence in the country. You will then have to apply for social security cover by submitting the relevant form to the primary health insurance fund (which you can find here), together with the supporting documents specified in the form.

What documents are required?

 

First of all, you will need to provide documents proving that you are staying in France legally:

  • A document proving your identity (passport or identity card).
  • Your residence permit, issued for a period of 6 months or more, depending on your circumstances.
  • A document proving that you have been a stable resident of France for more than 3 months, if you are not yet working professionally.
  • A full birth certificate or one specifying parentage.
  • A copy of a document attesting to your professional circumstances, if you are already working.

You must also complete the health insurance application form (which you can find here) and submit it to your local CPAM office.

Are my spouse and children covered?

 

Yes, your spouse, partner or civil partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 that you have together, will be covered when you register with the French social security system. Thus, from the moment you are covered by France’s universal health insurance system, your family members will enjoy the same rights as you.

Do I have to take out private insurance?

 

Until you have registered your company and if you have been in France for less than 3 months, you will need to take out private insurance.

Furthermore, the mandatory health insurance system covers only part of your healthcare costs. You will need to pay the remainder (known as the ticket modérateur, which is usually equal to 30% of the total cost), in addition to any excess fees charged by healthcare professionals.

Taking out a supplementary health insurance policy with a private supplementary health insurance company will allow you to cover some or all of the healthcare costs that remain payable by you, depending on the terms of the policy.

What is a provisional social security number?

 

The CPAM or Family Allowance Fund (Caisse d’Allocation Familiale – CAF) will issue you with a temporary number upon presentation of just one of the two documents required for an individual born abroad to be assigned a social security number.

It will be converted into a permanent social security number upon presentation of the second document. The composition of the number will not change when it is converted.

When will I receive the Vitale health insurance card?

 

It takes an average of 15 days for individuals to receive their Vitale card (Carte Vitale). It takes 7 days for the CPAM office to process the request, to which one must add the post office’s delivery time.

What is a mutual insurance company (mutuelle)?

 

Social security reimburses part of your healthcare costs. To have all or part of the remainder reimbursed, you can take out a supplementary health insurance policy.

Several different types of organisation offer supplementary health insurance policies: mutual insurance companies (in the majority of cases), traditional insurance companies and provident institutions.

How do I get reimbursed?

 

At the doctor’s 

When you see a doctor, presenting your up-to-date Vitale card enables you to be reimbursed more quickly, without having to send a treatment form (feuille de soin) by post to your local primary health insurance office.

If the doctor does not have the equipment required to scan Vitale cards or if you have forgotten your Vitale card, you must send the treatment form provided by the doctor to your local primary health insurance office by post.

If you have provided your local primary health insurance office with details of your supplementary health cover, the CPAM will send the form to your supplementary health insurance provider directly, so that the latter can refund you the remaining amount payable for your consultation.

 

In pharmacies 

If you produce your up-to-date Vitale card and your supplementary health insurance card, you will only pay the pharmacist the share of the cost that is not reimbursed either by social security or by your supplementary health insurance provider, if you have one.

If the entire amount is reimbursed, you will have nothing to pay to the pharmacy.

What is a treating physician?

 

Your treating physician can be a general practitioner or a specialist, working either in the community or in a hospital. They play a central role in guiding and monitoring patients throughout the treatment process.

Their knowledge of the patient allows the doctor to play a unique role in informing them about the prevention of ill health, screening, disease monitoring and therapeutic education.

The treating physician coordinates all the treatment their patient receives. They refer them to specialists or hospital wards when required and centralise all their information: test results, diagnoses and treatments. They therefore have a general overview of their patient’s state of health, a real advantage that enables the doctor to provide them with the most appropriate care.

When they have a patient with a long-term illness, the treating physician is responsible for developing a treatment protocol, a tool allowing medical practitioners to liaise and which helps improve the coordination of treatment.

What is the coordinated treatment process?

 

The coordinated treatment process places the treating physician in charge of coordinating the treatment your medical condition requires.

It ensures better coverage of healthcare costs.

To benefit from this process, an individual registered with social security must choose and declare a treating physician. This requires them to consult their treating physician first if they have any medical issues. If they fail to do so, the sum reimbursed will be lower (except for under-16s).

This does not apply when consulting dental surgeons, midwives, gynaecologists, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, neuro-psychiatrists and stomatologists.

I have resided in France in the past and already have a social security number. Should I request a new one?

 

No, a unique social security number is assigned to all insured individuals and is permanent: it remains valid even if it was issued a long time ago.

Insured individuals can only have one social security number and each number can only be assigned to a single individual.

I have questions about my arrival in France, who can I contact?

Our Welcome to la French Tech service answers all your questions about settling in France.

Thanks to “My procedures” you can also generate a personalized itinerary allowing you to visualize the main steps to be taken before and during the year of your installation in France.

Contact us!