This is far more complicated than in the UK and in France will often require professional assistance.

You must register the enterprise in advance as unregistered trading risks severe penalties.

Whilst in the UK you can buy ‘off the shelf companies’ and begin to trade the next day this is not possible in France where it is a complex and long process.

In France certain trades are regulated and to operate you must satisfy the requirements of diplomas, expertise or have undergone a training programme.

Each trading entity is issued with a Siret Number to confirm that it is registered and this is also the VAT registration number.

When starting a business it is important to note that you will immediately be liable to social charges even if you do not immediately have income.