Fewer births of unincorporated enterprises in 2011
While total business creation in France held steady in 2011, gaining 2%, the number of unincorporated enterprises declined, notably owing to a 19% drop in “freelance entrepreneur” (auto-entreprise) registrations. These trends are fairly uniform across all economic sectors. The growing preference for starting businesses in simplified legal form or as single-person enterprises persisted in 2011. The total number of new businesses fell in almost all regions, but business creation was up in three-quarters of them. Ninety-four percent of new businesses were started without employees, notably on account of the large share (53%) of “freelance entrepreneur” registrations. The average age of founders of unincorporated enterprises is 38. Two-thirds are men, but the share of female entrepreneurs varies significantly with the activity sector. For example, they are very weakly represented in the information/communication and construction industries. The new status of “limited liability unincorporated enterprise” (Entrepreneur Individuel à Responsabilité Limitée: EIRL), introduced in 2011, was chosen by 4,520 business creators, or fewer than 1.5% of new unincorporated entrepreneurs.