Our advice on setting up a business in the Basque Country, France

The Basque Country can be a strategic location for your company. To help companies and startups take the first step towards getting set up, BASQUE INVEST advises on the best locations, the required administrative arrangements, and the workforce potential in France.

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France: an ecosystem conducive to business creation and innovation

In France, there are a number of ways in which foreigners can set up a business or a start-up with the support of the government and private institutions. Numerous business incubators, private investors, business networks and clusters have been set up to support and develop entrepreneurial sectors in France. One example is the French Tech initiative, which aims to spread French entrepreneurial know-how around the world through a network of investors and startups in over 45 local communities.

According to the French Ministry of the Economy (Centre d’analyse stratégique), France ranks among Europe’s top countries for research and innovation. The government is heavily involved in the development of startups, and encourages foreign investors to set up in the country

Generally speaking, France as a whole offers a “startup-friendly” living environment that adapts to new work trends like nomadism, telecommuting and hybrid working. France’s major regional cities are increasingly attractive to startups. This is demonstrated by Hellosafe’s 2023 ranking of the world’s best startup-friendly cities: 29 French cities are ranked in the top 1000, including Biarritz, a major city on the Basque coast.

The different stages in setting up a business

To set up your business efficiently and successfully, you need to adopt a logical approach, respecting the different stages of business creation. BASQUE INVEST will help you get started and direct you to the appropriate organizations.

  • CONCEPTION
    This is your chance to express your creativity! You will need to focus on developing your idea into a real project, one that corresponds to real consumer needs: what is the offer? What are the services? The idea is to formalize a very precise outline of your future business.
  • BUSINESS PLAN
    Once your overall business idea has been defined, you can draw up your business plan. This enables you to create financial projections and have them checked by a professional. It is important to accurately estimate your future professional income.
    Your business plan should give you an overview of:
    YOUR MARKET
    YOUR TARGET
    YOUR COMPETITORS
    YOUR PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES
    YOUR SALES TARGETS
    YOUR COMMUNICATION PLAN
    YOUR BRAND
    YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN, including risks for the first 3 years.
    These documents are essential for convincing the various economic players who can help provide financing – banks, real estate agents, investors –  of the reliability of your project.
    They will also help you keep your strategy in mind and make improvements as the project progresses.
  • LEGAL STATUS
    Next, you need to choose the legal status of your company. This is a crucial decision, as the legal form of your company has an impact on several other important choices you need to make. Different options exist: sole proprietorship, EIRL, SARL and EURL, SAS and SASU.
  • BUSINESS PREMISES / WORKPLACE
    You will then need to find a business premises. While this may seem obvious, it can be a complex process if you want to set up in a region where demand is high. However, if your professional activity doesn’t require a specific location, you can work from home. Whatever the case, BASQUE INVEST can help you in your search for commercial real estate in the Basque Country. Contact us for a free, personalized consultation.
  • FINANCING
    Once your business plan is set and the configuration of your future company has been chosen, you need to finalize the financing of your project. Find out more about financial aid here.
  • ADMINISTRATIVE CREATION / REGISTRATION
    When all the above steps have been completed, you can then register your company. The formalities to be completed depend on your company’s legal status.
  • RECRUITMENT / INFRASTRUCTURE / EQUIPMENT
    Finally, the time has come to put everything in place to ensure that the business runs smoothly: recruiting your teams, setting up infrastructure, purchasing equipment, contacting suppliers etc.

BASQUE INVEST helps you set up your business

The BASQUE INVEST team will help you by offering personalized, confidential and free support in setting up your headquarters in the Basque Country.

We can help you set up a subsidiary, sales office, regional branch or production site. We simplify every step for you and guide you in your choices from company format, and visa requirements to environmental standards and help with drawing up a business plan. Don’t hesitate to contact us!