Expat Entrepreneur in Dordogne: Linda Turner
British expat Linda Turner cautions on 'advice' posted on the internet by non-experts and stresses on the importance of research while choosing a regime for your business.
Name: Linda Turner
City of residence: Dordogne – St Priest Les Fougeres
Name of company: www.Dordogneinformation.com
Date of company launch: 1 January 2010
Can you give us a brief description of your business and how it is going?
I have four advertising information sites mainly for English and now, French tradespeople. Business for my websites is growing very quickly ever since I launched in mid- February this year. I started with Dordogne and Limousin and went on to include Charente after many people requested for it. I decided to include Vienne two weeks ago as this area is currently being promoted.
What do you like about doing business in France?
The entrepreneur system is very simple to use. It’s a great opportunity to network with English and French locally. Most people are being very supportive and distributing business cards for me
What do you find most frustrating about doing business in France?
All the bureaucracy and paperwork; however I found a good website/forum for supporting new business in France which provided a lot of help. The most irritating problems are all the current scams i.e.: fake Pages Jeune invoices and lots of unwanted marketing materials hitting the postbox!!!!
What hurdles did you encounter when setting up?
None at all. Really, it was all very simple to complete the online form. My Siret number was allocated to me within seven working days. I applied late December 2009 and received all the paperwork on the first week of January 2010
How has the economic crisis affected your business?
Because I run an advertising site it has actually helped me, I am having no problems in recruiting new advertisers as my rates are reasonable.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs setting up business in France?
Do your homework! Make sure you choose the right regime for the type of business you intend to run. The auto entrepreneur only allows for one person to work on your business – no family, husbands, partners, brothers or sisters. So make sure you can handle all aspects of your business yourself i.e.: paperwork, accounts etc.
However having said that you can pay extra (in excess of EUR 1,000) if you would like to work with your spouse/partner
How does running a business in France compare to running a business in other countries that you have lived in?
In France, there are very strict guidelines regarding your Siret number and what you can do within your designated activity -- you cannot cross borders. In the UK you can purchase a company name and more or less run any type of business under that business name. You do not have to pay any contributions in advance. You do not have to join any Regimes de Retraite – which is compulsory in France.
But when your business is up and running it is fairly simple, there is a lot of useful information available on the internet, and many individuals running translation/bilingual businesses out there to assist. Some of the websites forums have experts as moderators and offer useful advice. Do be aware of (non-experts’) inaccurate advice posted on blogs and chat rooms.
Would you like to add anything that we haven’t addressed in the questionnaire?
I have extensive experience in the IT/Marketing business and came to France to relax and get away from the fast pace of life in the UK. After spending many hours on the PC looking for local English speaking tradespeople and trawling through numerous confusing badly-designed websites, I decided to design my own.
When the auto-entrepreneur scheme was introduced, it suited my business plan perfectly (as I did not want to work fulltime again). I have recently taken up Reiki, which keeps me calm and stress-free. Now I can enjoy my work at my own pace, within perfect surroundings to fit with my lifestyle instead of the other way around.
In this new series of Expatica interviews, we invite expat entrepreneurs to share their experiences of setting up and running their businesses in France. If you too would like to add your voice, send an email with 'Please send me an Expat Entrepreneur in France questionnaire' in the subject line to editorFR@expatica.com.
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