Business start-ups reach a new record in 2021

According to the latest figures from Insee, the number of business start-ups between January and November 2021 is higher than for the whole of 2020, which was already an all-time record.

Business start-ups up 19% over the last 12 months

915,454 businesses were created in France between January and November 2021, according to Insee statistics. This is a new record after 2020, when 848,000 new businesses were created.


Over the past 12 months, the number of business start-ups has risen by 19% on an unadjusted basis. This is a strong increase, even if there was a slight downturn in November, with 81,405 new companies, compared with 84,358 in October.

The downturn was most marked in the industrial sector, with a decline of 7.6%, or 328 fewer business start-ups than in October. The decline was over 4% in health and social services, accommodation and catering, trade, information and communication and transport. Taking all sectors together, the number of business start-ups in November was 3.5% down on the previous month.

An increase partly due to the creation of microenterprises

Despite this slight downturn in November, the trend is undoubtedly upwards in 2021, just as it was in 2020. However, what appears to be a sign of economic dynamism should not mask the phenomenon of the uberization of society.

A large part of this increase in the number of business start-ups is due to the rise in microenterprise start-ups, particularly in the transport sector for the activity of delivery and VTC platforms, such as Deliveroo and Uber. Over the last 12 months, Insee recorded an 18.3% rise in the number of microenterprises.

The number of company start-ups also increased, rising by 26.7% year-on-year, compared with just 3.4% for sole proprietorships excluding micro-businesses.

Over the past 12 months, the sector with the highest increase in business start-ups was finance and insurance, with an increase of 33.4%. Transportation and warehousing came 2nd (+31.5%), followed by household services (+26.6%). The accommodation and catering sector comes last, with an 8.6% increase in the number of business start-ups over the past 12 months.


While this overall rise in business start-ups is considerable, it must be put into perspective: it is largelya rebound effect from a very low level during the first confinement of 2020.