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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I am looking to make the jump to move over to France and set up as a tour guide, taking people around the Normandy landing beaches and the inland WW2 sites. I am a very keen historian and have visited the sites on multiple occasions and informally guided many friends / family members around. I have a home near St Mere Eglise and would like to move there full time to start the business.

Websites, marketing, etc. is all very easy. The area I am really struggling with is working out how I will register the business in France, and obtaining the correct transport and guiding licences required to work in such an industry. My French is passable but not great and trying to find out is proving very tricky.

Does anyone know exactly what I would need to do and how I would go about doing it?

All help very much appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hello Bev,

Thank you so much for your kind response. That's a really useful link, thank you - I will convert that into English now.

What really interests me, is understanding clearly what is require of me in terms of licenses. Do I need some form of transport license and a formal guiding qualification, or can I just set up as an auto-entrepreneur and off I go? I also assume I will need a French-registered vehicle?

Thanks again for your help.

You could start out as an auto entrepreneur until your revenues surpass the limit for this simplified type of business registration. Details here:

You may also want to take a look at the French government website on careers in the tourism industry, which includes a report on the profession of tour guides:
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hello Bev,

Thank you so much for your kind response. That's a really useful link, thank you - I will convert that into English now.

What really interests me, is understanding clearly what is require of me in terms of licenses. Do I need some form of transport license and a formal guiding qualification, or can I just set up as an auto-entrepreneur and off I go? I also assume I will need a French-registered vehicle?

Thanks again for your help.
I don't know that much about the vehicle issue, except that there are special licensing (and taxation) requirements for buses and vans that carry a certain minimum number of people - possibly as low as 8 or 10.

Best bet is to check with the Chambre de Commerce in the departement where your home is located. They often have pretty extensive resources for people looking to set up their own businesses. (And in Normandy it's probably easier to find English speaking personnel at the various government offices than elsewhere in France.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know that much about the vehicle issue, except that there are special licensing (and taxation) requirements for buses and vans that carry a certain minimum number of people - possibly as low as 8 or 10.

Best bet is to check with the Chambre de Commerce in the departement where your home is located. They often have pretty extensive resources for people looking to set up their own businesses. (And in Normandy it's probably easier to find English speaking personnel at the various government offices than elsewhere in France.)
Cheers,
Bev
Thank you, Bev.

I will be using a car with a maximum of 7 seats (including driver), so hopefully those taxes won't apply!

Is it worth finding a notaire or accountant to act on my behalf, or should I speak direct to the Chambre de Commerce? I haven't found them hugely helpful in the past.

Thanks again.
 

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A notaire won't do you any good at all - they deal almost exclusively in real estate and what I'd call "family law" (inheritances, estates, property settlements for divorces).

Accountants in France tend to deal exclusively with accounting stuff, not with general business matters.

If the Chambre de Commerce hasn't been terribly helpful/useful, check out the Ministry of Tourisme website www.tourisme.gouv.fr and look at the links on the left of the page, especially "professions touristiques" and the links under "Espace pratique." That should give you some ideas of who to contact.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hi
Did you have any success in starting your tour business as I would be interested in contacting you as I am hoping to start a bed and breakfast near St Mere Eglise and would be interested in a link with a tour guide to promote
regards
Alyson
 

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Tour guides are licensed professionals. You'll need to take an exam at the very minimum and probably a year course that leads to this exam/licensing. I don't know how foreign credential will translate, IE, if you are trained as a tour guide in the UK.

The driving thing is a whole different kettle of fish. Your best bet is to get the tour guide qualifications and then hire someone/company with the driving qualifications.
 
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