“Freelance entrepreneur” registrations up, new incorporated enterprises down in 2012
In 2012, France recorded 550,000 enterprise births, the same number as in 2011. Unincorporated enterprise births posted a modest 2% rise, driven by the 5% increase in registrations by “freelance entrepreneurs” (auto-entrepreneurs). By contrast, the number of new incorporated enterprises declined 4%. Overall, excluding “freelance entrepreneurs”, business creation was down 6%. For all enterprise categories combined, most French regions registered little change in the number of new units. Business creation remained stable or rose in most sectors, apart from significant decreases in real estate (down 11%) and finance and insurance (down 7%). The sectors with the steepest rises in new businesses were information and communication (up 7%) and education, human health, and social services (up 6%). Fully 95% of the new enterprises had no employees, a reflection of the large share of new “freelance entrepreneurs” (56%). However, even excluding the latter, the proportion of employer enterprises remained weak at 12%. As in 2011, the mean age of new unincorporated entrepreneurs was 38. The percentage of new female entrepreneurs reached 38%, up from 34% a decade earlier.