One million startup businesses in France in 2021

By Valérie Aston on 24 January 2022 · Viewed 1131 times · Questions

The number of business start-ups in France approached one million in 2021, a new historical record, according to Insee - the National Statistics Institute keeping the national business records.

The transport and storage sector including home deliveries, which have exploded with the pandemic, has increased by 24.9%.

Business creation in France based on legal structure

The total number of business creations for 2021 reached to 995,868, an increase of 17.4% compared to 2020. In detail, the number of micro-enterpreneurs has increased by 17% and that of incorporated businesses by 24.3%. The number of traditional sole traders called entreprises individuelles has only increased by 1.7%.

Popular sectors for start-ups in France in 2021

The sectors that recorded the most business start-ups in 2021 were household services (+30%), financial and insurance activities (+30.6%), information and communication (+25.4%), and transport and storage (+24.9%). This last category includes home deliveries, which have exploded with the pandemic.

This strong increase is explained by "the particularly low level of business registration during the first lockdown in 2020", according to INSEE. But this had not prevented 2020 from already being a record year.

Personal insights on these numbers

  • My personal take on this is that for many people who had been working from home or being furloughed for the different lockdowns, this was an occasion to think about their existing career and think or have a go at freelancing via the micro entrepreneur to test a market.
  • My second comment is on the fact the enterprise individuelle, the traditional freelancing legal structure, has fallen into disfavour. Only 1,7% of increase between 2020 to 2021, compared with +17% for the micro entrepreneur or +24.3% for a French incorporated business. This legal structure has been more or less replaced by the micro entreprise, which is more flexible and easier to manage or understand as a first business structure. 

When looking are creating a business, new entrepreneurs are looking at micro-entrepreneur, as a 1st-time businesses or a French incorporated businesses if the investment and development potential is high.

One million startup businesses in France in 2021

Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.