Over 80% of companies still in business after 3 years

82% of businesses, excluding the micro-entrepreneur scheme, are still active 3 years after their creation, reveals INSEE in a study published on July 24, 2023. This result marks a 7-point increase on 2014.



Durability linked to legal status

As part of its study, INSEE reveals that 350,000 businesses were created in France in 2018 in the non-agricultural commercial sector, excluding micro-businesses. Three years later, 82% of those created in the first half of the year are still active.

The General Directorate of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance notes that sole proprietorships cease trading earlier than companies. In fact, almost 12% of sole proprietorships cease trading in their first year of existence, compared with 3% of companies.

Longevity by business sector

In terms of business sector, 87% of companies created in the first half of 2018 in the financial and insurance activities sector are still active three years after their creation. This rate was 86.1% for companies created in the first half of 2014 in the same sector.

At the same time, the trade sector has the lowest survival rate (78% overall and 80% among companies). The situation is different for traditional sole proprietorships.

In fact, according to INSEE, sustainability is highest in education, health and social services. In these sectors, nearly 80% of sole proprietorships remain in business three years after their creation.

On the other hand, in the information and communications sector, less than half of companies remain active three years after registration.

Factors likely to influence a company's sustainability

INSEE has identified three main ones: 

  • start-up funding and financial resources
  • experience in the trade
  • location

On this last point, the study shows that " companies located in a municipality outside a cluster's catchment area are 70% more likely to be sustainable than those located in a cluster's central municipality ".

40,000 additional jobs created in 3 years

Another finding of the study is that 39% of companies created in the first half of 2018 employ at least one employee in addition to the manager, 3 years after the launch of their business. At the end of 2021, 260,000 people were employed by companies that were still active, including 157,000 salaried employees. These results are up on the first half of 2014, when 223,000 people were employed, including 115,000 salaried employees (end 2017).

INSEE states that between November 2018 and November 2021, 39,800 additional jobs were created by start-ups. In 2014, employment had remained stable after 3 years of activity.