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Companies in France - statistics & facts

The French production system is one of the most important in Europe. In 2019, the total of goods and services produced in France amounted to 2.35 trillion euros, the third largest in Europe after Germany and the United Kingdom (UK). In 2017, the French economy was made up of nearly four million companies. It's a productive power that has significantly increased since 2011 thanks to the emergence of a new type of organization, the micro-enterprise.

The boom of consulting companies & micro-business

Launched in 2008 under François Fillon’s government, the formerly auto-entrepreneur and now micro-entrepeneur status was intended to facilitate the administrative and financial management of the self-employed. Almost ten years later, in 2017, nearly 3.5 million French people were their own bosses. The same year, at the other end of the work chain, there were nearly 6,300 companies that employed more than 250 employees. From an industry point of view, it is in the trade sector where the most businesses are being created in France.
Companies offering support activities to other organizations are very popular in France. Indeed, in 2018, more than 150,000 such companies were founded. Nearly a third of the new businesses were micro-enterprises.

Diversity of taxes in France

Capital taxation, payroll taxes, value-added and turnover tax, taxation of results are the direct taxes to be paid by companies in France. In 2018, the total amount of direct company taxes was nearly 125 billion euros. By way of comparison, the total amount of income tax paid by French companies amounted to almost 78 billion euros in 2017. Some companies benefit from tax exemptions or reductions depending on their sector or turnover. In 2018, nearly 6 million companies in France paid VAT.

Entrepreneurship in France

In 2018, more than half of the French population said they had an entrepreneurial spirit. Is it linked to a quest for personal fulfillment? For 37 percent of French entrepreneurs, this is mainly due to the inability to find paid work in a company. But the primary motivation is, above all, to face new challenges.
Women will have to take on these challenges in order to reach leadership positions in business. In 2016, women's wages were still lower than men's. The largest gap was on average among managers. In fact, in 2015, eight of the eight highest-paid CEOs in the world were men. Pay inequalities also vary widely from country to country. In the U.S., a CEO earns 265 times the salary of an average worker.

Companies and recruitment

The coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic shook the French economy in 2020. However, as of May 2020, 94 percent of employers said they could maintain their workforce. Companies in the commerce sector are the most pessimistic about the possibility of recruiting or retaining employees, with 5 percent of recruiters saying they would have to reduce their staff.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 40 most important statistics relating to "Companies in France".

Companies in France

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!

Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Companies in France" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Creation of companies

Companies and taxes

Entrepreneurship and business leaders



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