Setting up your company in France

22 March 2024

The French economic eco-system is ideal for setting up a new business, creating a subsidiary or head office, or relocating your company.

Before you can benefit from financial aid to set up your business, you need to put together a solid file that is both serious and viable. Whatever your project and whatever aid you need, you’ll need to show a detailed presentation of the project, a business plan and a provisional budget.

The more complete your dossier, the more likely you are to benefit from technical, human or financial resources. 

It’s also important to remember that it will be easier to obtain financing if you have a personal contribution, even if it’s minimal, which will guarantee your professionalism and commitment to your business creation project.

Do you have a business start-up project?

The Basque Invest team would like to introduce you to the financial assistance available to make your project a success.

Financial assistance for business start-ups

France is the ideal place to set up your business: as an innovative country par excellence, public services and private organizations play an active role in providing financial support to companies in all sectors.

Whether private or public, every project is matched by one or more types of business start-up financial aid to support your project.

Consult expert local advisors such as Basque Invest’s business start-up service to put together a solid dossier that will help you create your own business.

Public subsidies

  • Aid for setting up or taking over a business (ACRE): this aid provides partial or total exemption from social security charges for one year.
  • Aid for the creation of innovative companies (JEI) or universities (JEU): this aid is intended for innovative companies and can reach €30,000.
  • Grants and competitions: many organizations offer grants and competitions for business start-ups, such as Réseau Entreprendre and Bpifrance.


  • Prêt d’honneur: the Bultza is a loan granted by business start-up support networks. It is interest- and guarantee-free, and can be worth up to €50,000.
  • Equity loan: with Herrikoa or Aquiti, a long-term loan similar to equity.
  • Soft loan: this is a low-interest loan offered by banks or public institutions.

Advances and loan guarantees

  • Repayable advance: This assistance is provided by organizations such as Bpifrance and can be up to €100,000. It is repayable over several years.
  • Loan guarantee schemes: initiated by BPIFrance, these schemes make it easier for business start-ups to obtain a bank loan, by guaranteeing all or part of the loan.

Targeted business

  • Financial assistance for women entrepreneurs to set up a business.
  • Assistance for job-seekers wishing to set up a business: ACRE, ARE, ARCE.
  • Dedicated assistance depending on where your business is located: priority urban districts (QPV), urban free zones (ZFU), rural revitalization zones (ZRR).
  • Special assistance and financing for micro-entrepreneurs.

Private financing

  • Business angels, venture capitalists and fund-raisers: these investors offer to acquire a stake in a company by providing equity capital. Business angels are particularly attracted by innovative and disruptive projects.
  • Participatory financing or crowdfunding: depending on the nature of your project, your commitment and the ethical or ecological values of the products or services you offer. Numerous crowdfunding platforms exist at national and international level (Ulule, Kisskissbankbank), sometimes with specific features, for example: ecological projects.
  • Love Money: don’t hesitate to ask friends and family for help! Your family and friends can contribute to the creation of your business through donations.

Basque Invest helps you set up your business in France

It’s important to note that the conditions for granting assistance may vary according to your situation and project. That’s why it’s important to get all the information you need before applying.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help in putting together your business start-up financing application.

The Basque Invest team, specialists in setting up businesses in the Basque Country for over 25 years, can help you make your project a success.

Obtaining subsidies or successfully raising funds cannot be improvised. 

Only a detailed and relevant dossier will enable you to achieve your objectives. 

Our experts in setting up a business in the Basque Country will guide you in choosing which grants to apply for, which professional networks to activate, and what you need to gather to convince the various organizations.

Here are a few tips on how to obtain financial aid to set up your business:

  • Put together a solid file. Your application should include a description of your project, a financial forecast and a business plan. Basque Invest can help you to review and optimize your dossier, so that you have every chance on your side.
  • Present your project to financing organizations. Don’t hesitate to contact several organizations to compare offers. Basque Invest can also help you find the right contacts.
  • Be patient. Applying for financial aid can take several months.

Contact the experts at Basque Invest to successfully apply for subsidies or raise funds for your business start-up in France, in the Basque Country.

Our service is offered by our public partners and is guaranteed 100% confidential.