Hello, we're starting a gourmet mobile restaurant for special events. It will be operating in France and the UK and will be registered as a SARL - a French Limited company, with 4 or 5 associates, two living in France and three in the UK

I wonder if anyone has experience of creating a SARL, and particularly, in having the PROJET STATUT drawn up?

I think the uk equivalent is the LTD company's "CONSTITUTION, aims & objectives"

The documents I have seen are quite woven with legal terminology and can obviously be quite general, like with this online "free" example or more specific for the individual company.

As a family business, and as we are starting out with borrowing nearly all the finance for this, with none of our own to speak of (except around 7,500€ capital investment in "biens" - stuff we own already, like our car & tools, that we are putting up as collateral) we must save on start-up costs whatever we can, so we want to create a statut ourselves.

We've been told by various people that an accountant/comptable will be needed to do it, and will charge 2,000€ for it, and this sounds to me like a massive exaggeration an/or a huge rip off. Bearing in mind the huge number of stories I read about accountants being wrong and getting their clients into all sorts of trouble. Plus, if it can be done online for free, why use an accountant?

PLUS, prepare to be astounded by this - I visited a "juriste specialiste" (supposedly a legal expert) in Poitiers last week, on the advice of my business advisor(who is marvellous - from BGE), any way I ended up at the Chambre de Commerce, trying to ask the question, but came away far worse off, because the first thing she told me, in no uncertain terms, was that I have to go to the Greffe de Tribunale in Poitiers to ask "special permission to be the manager of my own business, because I am not French, nor married to a Frenchman". How utterly ludicrous.

She'd totally made this up - it's NOT TRUE and is not even NEARLY true! She even suggested I needed a carte-de-sejour! (something that crops up regularly with types like her in French authority and ONLY APPLIES TO NON EU CITIZENS!)

I didn't believe her overly much, nor did I believe anything else she told me after that, but for a day or so I was really worried that I had missed something so basic, & I spent quite a while checking various sources before concluding that she had told an outrageous falsehood. I mean, even the Pole Emploi advised me to start my own business 3 years ago! I've since been funded by them & sent on several government -funded business courses and am about to recieve a grant to start it from my communes' local French business office! I've spent 2 years on this!

Anyway, I have now concluded that the advice I receive here is far more valuable.

thanks Hilary, I hope you find some part time work for should be able to get lots of contacts here on this forum to help you. I have a retired friend in Montmorillon, who volunteers for her local MJC and for the Red Cross and she's found quite a bit of work via her contacts there. The MJC is great, they do trips, meals, entertainment and not just for teenagers they are open to all.

Hi Jo,

From my reading of a loaned book, from an expat neighbour (recommended,interesting and entertaining) - 'Sixty-thousand Frenchmen can't be Wrong'......I realise that sitting the exams for the Civil Service and getting into their training colleges, is supposed to be the 'pinnacle of achievement' academically (bizarre, je pense), but from what you say (about 40% of the working population being in admin),this must go along way to explaining the French obsession with documentation and the reluctance to allow any loosening up, de-regulating a little.....What would all the form - processors & checkers do for a living !

Thanks for the info about employment....I am a couple of years away from recieving the UK state pension (luckily, I do have some income from a workplace pension to rely on, so I'm not desperate) and I also have some health concerns, so I am only looking for a small amount of part-time paid work to enable a bit more travelling I intend to get on developing the art side of things, renovating my place,reading, writing, spending time with friends etc.

Keep being reminded by the recent deaths of people in the entertainment industry ....(most recently, Anne Kilbride...'Deirdre' from Coronation Street, who was ill for a short time and only made it to 60 !), that it's important to do what you want to do before it's too late....even if the monetary side of things might suffer a bit.

Your plans for a gourmet food business sound adventurous...I wish you luck and success in 2015 !

Hello Hilary, if you are unemployed, the pole emploi will find you a business advisor for free. If you have been unemployed for over a year there are grants to help you and they will also pay for you to go on on training courses. They paid 800 out of 860 of my training fees. The training grants may be available if you have signed on for less than a year...their website has a lot of info.

For starting a SARL/SCOP/EURL you will have to do a compulsory 5 day course with one of the business institutions - called a Stage Preparatiore d'Insertion = "SPI". It's 285 euro I think. It'll probably be at your Chambre de Metiers or Chambre de Commerce.

Here in Poitiers I've found the Chambre de Metiers far more useful in every way, than the Chambre de Commerce, but that might be to do with the teams in those offices, or probably the director..we had endless problems in 2008/9 with CDcommerce when they told us the wrong information several times - leading to all sorts of disputes with the RSI. Like I say, you have to trust people who you initially think are experts, because you do'nt know any better, but if they make things up that are not true, it's hard to trust anyone.

I find the internet is my best friend for combating it. If it were 1979, I'd be spending all my life in the library!

I think the problem with French authorities, is their sheer size. They have 40% of the working population in admin roles - civil servants, whereas in the UK we have the opposite problem - only 15%. Too few and you get huge waiting lists and unfinished,missed tasks, too many and we have utter confusion because no-one knows the rules and there are too many people doing one job. If I had a choice in the matter, we'd have 25%.

Hello Jo,

Why do they make it so difficult ?'s madness, hope it changes sometime soon...

I've been making my own enquiries business wise....but at the moment I lack the specialist knowledge that you need. However, I did come across this lady.....

Valerie Lemiere <>

.....she's not free, but should have the knowledge as she's attached to some sort of government funded bureau to help people start up. She's not free, but it's less than 100 euros per year.....and she promises to answer all questions and will even help with filling in paperwork...

Hope this is of some use..

I just found this - it seems very apt

would still appreciate any advice/stories etc...