It’s quite simple, it’s because you’re purchasing a concept, a history of corporate culture, a customer base, premises, production facilities, the employees’ skills and expertise and sometimes even the continuing support of the previous owner. Basically, what it allows you to do is to bypass a big slice of the process of setting up a new company. True, it may cost you quite a bit more, but it’s a way of reducing the risk for the buyer as it offers better long-term viability and a bigger chance of success. While there is a 60% success rate for new companies, it goes up to 95% or even 100% for certain sectors when it comes to buying a company. And buying a company also means buying into the economic dynamism of Strasbourg and the 33 municipalities which make up the Eurometropolis, preserving jobs and transmitting knowledge and expertise!
Why purchase a company in Strasbourg?
Because the City and the Eurometropolis actively foster entrepreneurship, both in starting and purchasing companies.
Because the city and its surroundings are chock – full of talent and encourage, at every stage of the process, collaboration, the exchange of skills and the transfer
of technologies. Because Strasbourg has excellent connections and is right in the centre of Europe. And if you need persuading, just look at how much domestic and inward investment the city has attracted! But there’s more to it than that – the process of acquiring or creating a company can sometimes seem to be a solitary trial that can drag on forever, but in Strasbourg you can rely on expert networks, specially set up to advise and help you through all the key steps, and they are there to help you get your new company up and running (again), advising you on processes such as due diligence, forecasts and the sales agreement, offering guidance and providing support. When one realises that 50% of the people who set out to buy an existing company are not fully prepared, it’s nice to know that in Strasbourg, you’re spoilt for choice !
The Be EST Entreprendre network sets out to facilitate the acquisition of a business
Be EST Entreprendre acts at a regional level, on the basis of 4 services:
- #Development : general support, from the original idea to the initial development phase for creating new companies or buying existing ones, subject to conditions.
- #Funding : help with seeking and applying for bank funding.
- #Training : assistance with finding suitable training.
- #Premises et test d’activité : access to business incubators and job cooperatives.
A Strasbourg-based network of open-minded, interconnected operators
The network also features 9 organisations expert in starting up and buying companies, which are linked up to facilitate the initial contact with the right person at the right moment and provide a “gateway for entrepreneurs” (and the whole thing is, of course, supported by the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg) :
- CCI Alsace Eurométropole (the local Chamber of Commerce, see above)
- Chambre de métiers d’Alsace (the local Chamber of Trade, see above)
- ADIE : a non-profit organisation helping people excluded from the workplace and the regular banking system to start a business and get self-employed, through microcredit
- CitésLab : starting up and purchasing businesses in the city’s priority districts
- Alsace Active : practical support, guidance and funding for project leaders throughout the project life-cycle
- Cooproduction – les Scop : cooperative entrepreneurship – guidance for new forms of governance for businesses, support for projects in the social and solidarity economy, business incubator, training
- Info Conseil Culture : support for artistic and cultural initiatives
- Agence Tempo : guidance and support for artisans, retailers and independent professionals
- Créacité : business incubator
The ARCA non-profit works alongside Be EST Entreprendre to help people buying or selling businesses, by sharing experience and introducing contacts.
The Alsace Eurometropolis Chamber of Commerce (CCI) for the transfer of businesses
The CCI organises information meetings for entrepreneurs looking to purchase a company, to show them the processes involved, the contacts and the local ecosystem and also sets up one-to-ones to help them build up their project, lay down specifications, find the company, carry out due diligence, seek funding (such as through the les-aides.fr website) and get things up and running. The list of companies available for purchase in Strasbourg and in Alsace can be seen on the opportunet.net website, the directory drawn up by the CCI.
This kind of support is also available for company owners who are looking to sell their company, when, for example, they decide to retire.
The Alsace Chamber of Trade (Chambre de métiers d’Alsace- CMA), for the sale and purchase of artisan businesses
The CMA is a specialist contact for artisan businesses and it will offer expert advice on location, the strong and weak points of your project for purchasing a business, the recommended legal status and company structure.
An action plan can also be drawn up for the seller, featuring analysis, drafting and dissemination of the transfer offer and advice on the formalities to be accomplished. The CMA will put the seller in contact with the purchaser in complete confidentiality. Similarly to the CCI Alsace Eurométropole, the CMA is a member of the Be EST Entreprendre # Strasbourg network.
The CCI CCI Alsace Eurométropole and the CMA organise regular meeting days for people seeking to sell or purchase companies, where sellers and purchasers can find out about the challenges and key stages of any potential business purchase, establish the seller/purchaser relationship and receive expert advice from lawyers, accountants and notaries. The meetings also help bring stakeholders into contact with other people and resources within the local Be EST Entreprendre # Strasbourg network or at a national level through the Réseau Transmettre et Reprendre (the transfer and purchase network).
« Le bonheur ! Strasbourg réunit toutes les qualités qui ont fini par nous manquer à Paris.
Nous sommes ravis qu’il y ait une vraie place pour l’entrepreneuriat et que les nombreux réseaux professionnels permettent de se faire connaître très vite. Quant à la qualité de vie, nous ne pouvions espérer mieux. »
“Créer, reprendre et développer sa boîte en Alsace” (the exhibition for starting up, purchasing and developing your company in Alsace)
This is the main event for people looking to buy or sell a company in Alsace and it’s here that you’ll find everybody involved in the process, such as the Chambre de métiers d’Alsace, CCI Alsace Eurométropole, the partners of the Eurometropolis of Strasbourg and the Grand Est Region.
The exhibition features some 80 exhibitors, split into 10 sections, including start-ups, acquisitions, social protection, guidance and support, in addition to theme-based workshops.
One of the more original aspects of the exhibition is the Crash-Test section, which gives project leaders a stage to pitch their initiatives to a jury of professionals.
The many conferences and workshops will give concrete solutions and ideas to project leaders on a wide variety of subjects to help them, for example, become members of the innovation ecosystem, successfully achieve their digital transition or conclude the acquisition of a business.
The Transmettre & Reprendre (transfer and purchase) network
The network is hosted and was created by the French public investment bank, BPI France, which provides funding for entrepreneurs starting up and purchasing businesses. It comprises seven national organisations directly involved in the sector :
- The APCMA, the permanent assembly of the chambers of trade and crafts
- BPI France
- CCI Entreprendre en France, the Chamber of Commerce for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship
- Le Conseil national des barreaux (CNB), the French law society
- Le Conseil supérieur du notariat (CSN), the French society of notaries
- Le Conseil supérieur de l’ordre des experts-comptables (CSOEC), the French National Association of Chartered Accountants
- Le CRA (Cédants & repreneurs d’affaires) – buyers and sellers of businesses
The network will guide you towards the professionals you will need to contact when considering purchasing a company.
The BPI also publishes handy data sheets (https://bpifrance-creation.fr/encyclopedie/se-faire-accompagner/reseaux-professionnels-laccompagnement/reseau-transmettre) on subjects such as conducting a wealth audit and preparing for the free transfer of the business, as well as a comprehensive guide to selling and purchasing a business: Du cédant au repreneur (in French).
One thing you can be sure of – you’ll never have to be alone when you purchase a business in Strasbourg!