France Gives Startups Tax Breaks. And Now Wants to Take Them Back.

So, that whole fiasco this summer was pretty embarrassing for France. But hey, at least the local entrepreneurs got the last laugh. Still, I would’ve thought France would be a little more careful about putting its foot in its mouth, but maybe not. And this time there’s unfortunately nothing particularly funny about the situation.

Back in 2004, France introduced a special tax scheme, called the Jeune Entreprise Innovante (JEI), granting tax breaks for startups meeting a certain criteria (less than 8 years in age, 250 people maximum…) and investing no less than 15% of their turnover in R&D. In a country where it doesn’t exactly rain VC funding, this definitely had a very positive impact and kept companies hiring at home.

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