Doing Business on the Côte d'Azur

Steps to create a foreign invested company

Etapes pour créer une entreprise étrangère

Identifying the legal form of the company


If the activity is run by a foreign natural person

Choosing the legal form of your company is essential. This decision will define the legal frame in which your business will grow. The legal forms are diverse and varied with several specificities: self-entrepreneur, entrepreneur, individual company (EI and EIRL), company (“SAS, SARL, SA, SASU, EURL…). The choice of the legal form also depends on several criteria:

The nature of the activity

Depending on the nature of the activity, certain legal forms are mandatory. As some cases are exceptional, we advise you to contact BPI France Creation for further information.

Partnerships or not

Depending on your desire to create partnerships or remain alone and independent within your company, the legal form will be crucial. If you wish to remain alone, it is advised to choose the status « individual company », « EURL » or « SASU » as a legal form.

Assets organization

Depending on whether you have personal assets to protect or share, the legal form of your company will play an important part. It will be even more crucial should you have created a company with partners.

Financial needs

Depending on the financial needs you mentioned in your forecasts, the creation of a company can be necessary should you wish to add investors in the capital.

Operation of the company

Depending on the structure and legal form, the company’s operation can be more or less simple. Creating an individual business will grant you more flexibility since you will be able to make decisions and bear responsibility in case of an issue.

The social and fiscal regime of the entrepreneur

Depending on the legal form of your company, your benefits will be subject to income tax or corporate tax.

Credibility towards partners

Depending on the legal form of your company, you will have more or less credibility among its partners. The creation of a company with a high capital is recommended to reach certain markets and look credible towards other stakeholders.


If the activity is handled by a foreign legal entity

The legal person is an entity usually formed by a group of natural persons with their own legal capacity. Contrary to the natural person, the legal person has rights and duties.

Depending on its goal when coming to France, the foreign legal entity that wants to set up on the Côte d’Azur can choose between several legal forms : a liaison office, a branch or a subsidiary.

When the foreign legal entity does not have a commercial activity and focuses on research or on providing technical or pricing information, they can open a liaison office.

Yet, when a foreign legal entity plans on developing commercial activities, there are two options:

  • The subsidiary: Company under the French Law with its own legal capacity. More than half of its capital must be held by the parent company. Its legal form is subject to the French Law.
  • The branch: An establishment without legal capacity. Branches are business assets separate from the main company with a certain degree of management and management autonomy but not at the level of its assets.

Useful links


Registering a foreign invested company


Formalities to set up a stable company (or branch)

Do you wish to register the company on the Côte d’Azur which has its headquarters abroad? If so, you will need to fulfill several formalities with the “CFE – Centre des Formalités des Entreprises”. Those procedures can vary depending on the legal form of your business, the number of hired employees and the type of activities operated.

If you are a shopkeeper or wish to create a trading company (SARL, SA, SAS, EURL, SNC, etc.), not engaged in craft business, unless it employs more than 10 employees, you will have to go through the services of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for your registration.

Useful links


If you are a natural person or if your future company will hire less than 11 employees and is registering with the “Répertoire des métiers” (companies specializing in handcraft), you will need to register with the Chambers of Trade and Crafts (“Chambre des Métiers et de l’Artisanat”)

If you are a natural person or if you wish to create your company registering with the “Registre des entreprises de la batellerie artisanale” (handcraft companies specializing in waterway transport), you will need to register your company with the National Chamber of Waterway Transport (“Chambre nationale de la batellerie artisanale”).

Useful contacts

If you wish to create a civil company (SCI, SCP, SCP, etc.), an independent professional company, (SERLARL, SELAFA, SELCA), a public industrial and commercial entity (EPIC), an economic interest group (GIE), a European economic interest group (GEIE), a joint venture, an association subject to business taxes, to become a sales agent or to rent a furnished accommodation, you will need to register with the services of the Commercial Court (“Greffe du tribunal de commerce”).

Useful links

If you wish to practice a liberal profession (regulated or not) for an independent company, to become an artist-author, or to be an employer whose company will either not be registered with the “Registre du commerce et des sociétés”, be registered with the “Répertoire des métiers” or with the “Registre de la Batellerie Artisanal” (e.g professional unions), you will need to register with the URSAFF.

Useful links

If you are a natural and legal person wishing to run agricultural activities primarily, you will need to register with the services of the local Agricultural Chamber.

Useful links

If the previous CFEs do not apply to your situation, we invite you to visit the website of the South Region.

Useful links

  • Which CFE to contact?

Social declarations

If you are an employer, you will need to make a certain number of declarations to the relevant fiscal and social organisms regarding your employees. Those declarations are important and will help the appropriate organisms to determine the rights of your employees as well as the contribution rates of the company.

To know more about the different social declarations:

Useful links

Fiscal declarations

In connection with the activity of your company and the profits generated, you will have to take a number of tax declarations with the French tax and social organizations.

To know more about the different fiscal declarations:

Useful links

Formalities without the set-up of a stable company

What are the steps to register a foreign invested business in France without the set-up of a stable company?

If your company does not have any establishments nor employees in France but runs taxable operations, you will need to refer to the foreign invested business tax service (“service des impôts des entreprises étrangères – SIEE”). You will need to fill a form and forward several documents.

To know more about the registration procedures with the SIEE:

If your company does not possess an establishment in France but hires employees subject to the French social system, you will need to register your company with the CNFE (“Centre National des Firmes Etrangères”).

If you wish to set up a business in France, you will have to hire employees. There are certain steps to follow throughout the recruitment process.

For further information :

The « Titre Firmes Etrangères » (TFE / Foreign Invested Enterprise Title) allows a company under 20 employees without any establishments in France to be registered with the « URSSAF » for the recruitment of employees, and for future procedures linked to employment and social declarations allowing the payment of taxes and social contributions.


Taxation and accounting: Help and advice


In France, all companies must keep an accounting. The accounting can be done internally or use an accounting firm if it does not have the means nor the capacity to deal with it alone. If the accounting is carried out by a third person, it must be be registered with the Order of Accountants.

Sometimes, French taxation and accounting can be complex and entail interrogations. Find out more below to simplify your future procedures.

Useful links


Finding premises

Trouver des bureaux

Finding the accurate location and premises for your business is an essential step to set up and launch your activities on the Côte d’Azur in the best conditions.

4 times cheaper than Paris and 7 seven times cheaper than London, the Azurean offer in terms of premises is a great asset to come set up in the area. The rental prices in the two main business parks (Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole and Sophia-Antipolis) are the following:

Rental price range sqm/year/excluding tax and charges

  • Sophia Antipolis : 225€ high range and 200€ low range for new or redesigned premises,
    190€ high range and 120€ low range for second-hand premises.
  • Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole: 250€ high range and 190€ low range for new or redesigned premises, 190€ high range and 140€ low range for second-hand premises.

Acquisition price range sqm/year/excluding tax and charges

  • Sophia Antipolis : 3.000€ high range and 2.900€ low range for new or redesigned premises, 2.300€ high range or 1.600€ low range for second-hand premises.
  • Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole : 3.200€ high range or 2.800€ low range for new or redesigned premises, 2.400€ high range and 1.800€ low range for second-hand premises.

Premises in the azurean business hubs and technopoles


There are three main business hubs on the Côte d’Azur, which offer great real estate opportunities to set up your future premises: Nice Méridia, Nice Grand Arénas, and Sophia-Antipolis.

Nice Meridia

Nice Méridia is an urban technopole located at the heart of the OIN of the Eco-Vallée. It is renowned for its diversity in offices, shops, and accommodations, and seen as a real living space. In the future, the neighborhood will totalize 58,000 sqm of offices. Nice Meridia is also very close to the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (5 minutes away), and the Nice Saint-Augustin train station (5 minutes away). It benefits from a straight access to the A8 highway, and the T3 tramway line. Many iconic buildings are in Nice Méridia or planning on being built there, such as the Joia Meridia (73,500sqm with 2,580sqm offices), the Palazzo Meridia (7,900sqm of offices), and The Crown (11,105sqm of offices).

Useful links

Nice Grand Arénas

Grand Arénas is an international business hub at the West of Nice. It benefits from close proximity to the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (5 minutes away), the Nice Saint-Augustin train station (5 minutes away), and direct access to the A8 highway. It is served by many buses, and the T2 tramway line of Nice. Many iconic buildings are located or planning on being built there, such as the Connexio (11,500sqm of offices), Air Promenade (25,000sqm with offices), and Unity (20,500sqm with offices).

Useful links


Sophia Antipolis is an internationally renowned technopole located in the heart of a natural park. It owns the largest surface of offices on the Côte d’Azur. Sophia Antipolis is only 20 minutes away by car from the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, and benefits from straight access to the A8 highway. A lot of iconic buildings are already set up there, and new ones are going to be built or redesigned. The most important buildings include Centrium (13,500sqm of offices), Sky Sophia (9,500sqm of offices), and Garden Space (8,200sqm of offices). By 2030, close to 500,000sqm of additional surface will be added to the current 1.4million sqm.

Useful links


Co-working spaces/business centers on the Côte d’Azur


As they quickly developed over the past years, many co-working spaces set up across the Côte d’Azur.

In total, there were 127 co-working spaces in the South Region in 2018, which represents 8% of the national French park. The largest Azurean cities hosting co-working spaces and business centers include Cannes, Villeneuve-Loubet, Vence, Cagnes-sur-Mer, and Nice. Together, they hold the highest concentration rate of the Côte d’Azur. The technopole of Sophia Antipolis also welcomes co-working spaces and business centers.

Find out more about the different co-working spaces and business centers available in the region.

Useful links


Startups: business incubators, hotels and accelerators on the côte d’azur


The Côte d’Azur received the French Tech label and welcomes more than fifteen business accelerators, hotels and incubators. The region offers a stimulating environment, which is perfectly adapted to the creation and development of your startup, regardless of its development stage and field of activity.

Incubators/business hotels

Is your startup being created or was it created recently? Do you need assistance ? The incubators of the Côte d’Azur welcome and guide your newly created business through the first steps of your project : business model analysis, search for funding, access to certain strategic tools…

A lot of incubators are located in the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropole: the CEEI (general incubator created by the Metropole), the “centre 27 Delvalle” (supporting startups working in the Health sector), Le Mas (incubator of Nice Matin working for local startups), as well as the incubator of the EDHEC (supporting the projects of its own students). In addition to being set up in Valbonne and Toulon, the incubator PACA-EST opened another branch in the premises of the CEEI in Nice.

Useful links

Several business incubators are also set up in Sophia Antipolis. The largest incubator is PACA-EST, which mainly supports innovating projects. There is also the incubator of SKEMA Business School dedicated to the school’s alumnis, and the Paris Tech incubator supporting startups specializing in Digital activities.

Useful links

As part of the creation of the Imagery Technopole, Cannes also set up a business incubator for creative startups, which are directly linked to the businesses of Imagery and New Technologies.

Useful links

The city of Grasse has its own incubator, which supports startups specializing in the Flavor and Cosmetics fields in priority. It also supports startups working in the Health, Microelectronics and Biochemistry sectors. A business hotel “Grasse Biotech” is also available in Grasse, and mainly focuses on Biotechnologies, Chemistry, Health and Cosmetics.

Useful links

Business accelerators

Business accelerators are programs intended to help startups boost their growth through measures such as funding, legal, and accounting assistance, business accommodation, and training or support from a trained entrepreneur.

The missions of business accelerators are close to the incubators’. The difference lies in the increased mentoring from entrepreneurs or Business Angels. Businesses hosted in accelerators are usually specializing in the Digital or Mobile industries and seeking to raise funds quickly.

The city of Nice hosts the business accelerator of Allianz within the Stadium of Allianz Arena.
This accelerator supports startups specializing in Big Data, Collaborative Economy, Internet of Things, Insurtech and e-Travel in priority.

Useful links

The technopole Sophia Antipolis hosts one of the many Villages by CA, a network of business accelerators developed by the Crédit Agricole. Le Village by CA supports companies working in different sectors such as Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Cybersecurity.

Useful links

The Principality of Monaco launched its own business incubator-accelerator with MonacoTech in 2017. Hosting more than ten companies, it focuses on different sectors such as Energy, Health, Sailing, and Online Storage Solutions.

Useful links


Legal aspects

Commercial, professional or mixed leases? Administrative domiciliation or exercise of the activity? Do you face legal aspects concerning your premises or the property management of your business site? We try to best answer your questions, whether you are a tenant or buyer of your premises. Start with “The practical guide for entrepreneurs” from BPI France

Useful links


Commercial Rentals

Commercial leases are specifically for companies engaging in a commercial, industrial or artisanal activity. The rented premises will be used for running an artisanal or a commercial business. Find out more below. Liberal professions can also seek commercial leases with the agreement of the premises’ owner.

Useful links

Professional Leases

Professional leases are specifically for tenants running a non-commercial or artisanal activity (liberal occupation or related) as long as no other artisanal business has been run in the same premises. Find out more below.

Useful links


Mixed Leases

Same as the professional leases, mixed leases are premises in which the tenant will run a non-commercial (liberal occupation or related) or artisanal activity as long as no other artisanal business is run in the same premises. The specific feature of mixed leases is that a part of the premises is reserved for the housing unit of the tenants. Find out more below.

Useful links


Assistance and useful contacts

Do you have any questions regarding the set up of your company or regarding the search for premises? Several relevant organizations can assist you:

Team Côte d’Azur – Business Promotion Agency of the Côte d’Azur
400 Promenade des Anglais, BP 3185, 06204 Nice cedex 3, France
Phone+33 (0)4 92 17 51 51
Fax: +33 (0)4 93 80 05 76

Eco-Vallée Plaine du Var – Operation of national interest
455 Promenade des Anglais BP 33257, 06205 Nice Cedex 3 – Immeuble Nice Plaza
Phone+33 (0)4 93 21 71 00

CCI Côte d’Azur
20 Bd Carabacel, CS 11259 – 06500 Nice Cedex 1
Phone: +33 (0)8 00 42 22 22
Phone: +33 (0)4 93 13 73 17 from abroad


Useful contacts

Connecting to the local ecosystem

Se connecter à l’écosystème local

Key sectors


The Côte d’Azur is experiencing a very strong growth of foreign direct investment in its territory, according to a profile of investment-oriented to services, R & D and new technologies.

As a leading region in the fields of research and innovation, the Côte d’Azur offers companies an exceptional potential thanks to a constantly growing pool of expertise, research laboratories of excellence, and professional networks that promote cross-fertilization between companies and universities, SMEs and key accounts, public research and R & D centers.

Among the sectors of excellence:

Tourism Economy
The decision-making centers of the tourism industries find exceptional hospitality conditions on the French Riviera, and a strategic point of anchorage both technologically and geographically. After the Paris region, the Côte d’Azur is the first destination for international business and leisure tourism, it welcomes more than 13 million tourists each year of which 16% are business trips or 130,000 delegates. This excellence in business and leisure tourism, coupled with a high level of expertise in ICTs, makes the Côte d’Azur a favorite area to develop new uses and new services, in e-tourism, but also in the fields of logistics or boating.

Useful links

Digital Industry
The French Riviera has established itself as a European center of excellence in the field of information and communication technologies, displaying internationally recognized expertise throughout the value chain, from silicon to connected objects. Internationally recognized, Sophia Antipolis, the leading technology park in Europe, attracts world leaders and unicorns like Symphony.
The sector represents 1,740 companies for 25,000 jobs and a turnover of 4.91 billion in 2017.

Useful links

Health / Life Sciences
Innovation in life sciences and technologies is focused on the Côte d’Azur through public research structured in poles of excellence. The sector, which is at the forefront of oncology, diseases of the central nervous system, nutrition and metabolism, dermatology and ophthalmology, has naturally opened up to e-health by taking advantage of the ICT expertise concentrated at Sophia Antipolis, and finds outlets in the “silver economy” on a Côte d’Azur which offers a fertile ground for conducting clinical studies and experiments.
The sector represents 313 establishments for 11,330 jobs and a turnover of 3.1 billion in 2018.

Useful links

Aromas and Cosmetics
Born in the sixteenth century with the trend of scented gloves, the aroma and perfume industry has evolved along a vertical integration logic. From the traditional culture of perfume plants, the activity of the Grasse basin has extended to the manufacture of ingredients and the formulation and composition of finished products: perfumes, toilet products, but also detergents, products and food supplements. The region offers an unparalleled concentration of companies producing aromatic ingredients, strongly oriented towards export (70%), which account for more than half of French production and 8% of global turnover.

New technologies related to education services (EdTech), sport (SportTech) or travel (TravelTech) are gaining importance and developing their markets on the French Riviera which offers a connected, innovative ecosystem, ideally located and world tourism place.

Ecotechnologies and green energies
On the Côte d’Azur, ICT and environmental technologies converge in a privileged field of action between Sophia Antipolis, Europe’s leading technology park that works tomorrow’s technologies, and the Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis, which links research and innovative companies to invent a smart and sustainable city. The materialization of the territory’s investment in this green economy is the Eco Valley of Nice, an experimental and welcoming site for eco-technology companies.

Useful links

Smart City
Nice, the fifth largest city in France and in the top 15 of the world’s smart cities, was very early positioned as a “smart and connected city”. Innovation and sustainable development are at the heart of its economic development strategy. Thanks to its numerous Smart City-led initiatives in the area, Nice Côte d’Azur Metropolis has strengthened its collaborations with ecosystem players from large industrial groups to local SMEs and start-ups from the French Tech or from the world of research and teaching.

Smart vehicle and new mobility
Composed of automotive players (Renault, Bosch, Mercedes …), major technological players (Orange, Thales, NXP …), green mobility players (Schneider Electric, SAP, Mobendi …), competitive clusters (SAFE Cluster, Capenergies), a research ecosystem (IMREDD, INRIA, Eurecom) and an ideal territory for experimentation, the Côte d’Azur is a fertile land for connected vehicle development.

Directly involved in the development of intelligent and autonomous vehicles of tomorrow, the Côte d’Azur is multiplying its locations and projects such as the Smart Vehicle Côte d’Azur initiative, with the aim of becoming a reference for automotive in Europe.
Initiated at the end of 2017, based on the observation that restructuring in the microelectronics industry has unlocked attractive skills for connected vehicle operators, the Smart Vehicle Côte d’Azur cluster wants to develop an entire ecosystem promoting the deployment of the connected vehicle sector. The initiative is to become a European smart car hub by 2025.

Artificial intelligence
The Côte d’Azur, future hub of the AI? The goal is to establish a real cluster dedicated to AI, for the benefit of research and businesses in the Alpes-Maritimes. Thanks to the academic environment, the training offer and the presence of specialized AI talents, the Côte d’Azur has managed to win the 3AI label in 2019. This Interdisciplinary Institute of Artificial Intelligence (3AI) supported by Université Côte d’Azur, the CNRS and Inria, along with three others in France, is part of the national program for artificial intelligence. In addition, since 2018, Sophia Antipolis is hosting the International Summit dedicated to Artificial Intelligence. An essential event under the sign of innovation and multidisciplinary exchange that brings together local and international AI experts from the world of research, leading companies and startups.

Blue economy, smart port and yachting
Blue Economy represents a sector of importance of the Côte d’Azur economy. All the economic activities related to boating are represented on the Côte d’Azur. The SOUTH region can be proud to be the first region in France in terms of marinas with 60,900 sites spread over 104 seaports which represents 32% of French sites (2015 figures).

The aeronautics and space industry of the Côte d’Azur is structured around world-class companies, subcontractors and specialized companies working in conjunction with major research laboratories and specialized training institutes. Today, more than 23,000 jobs at the Côte d’Azur level are involved in this sector.

Useful links


Research environment


The quality of the Research environment is one of the many great assets of the Côte d’Azur business ecosystem. Today, there are 47 Research labs (INRIA, CNRS, INSERM, INRA, CRD etc.) in the region. More than 4,200 people from the Université Côte d’Azur are specializing in Research and working in A or A+ labs.

The quality of Research and Education of the Côte d’Azur was praised in 2016. The region received the IDEX label, which is granted by the Government as part of the Investment Program for the Future (“Programme d’Investissement d’Avenir”). This label positions the Université Côte d’Azur as a worldwide leading player. It also allows the University to invest 58M€ in Higher Education and Research in the region for 4 years.

INRIA Sophia Antipolis Méditerranée

The French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control INRIA is a public Research institute specializing in Computing Sciences and Mathematics. INRIA has several branches, including one in Sophia Antipolis Méditerranée.

The branch of Sophia Antipolis progressively expanded beyond the borders of the Côte d’Azur and opened sites in Bologna, Montpellier and Athens. More than 450 researchers and people specializing in Research activities are working for INRIA Sophia Antipolis. They are spread in 33 Research teams, 27 of which are based in Nice Sophia Antipolis. INRIA built many partnerships with different universities (UCA, Bologna, Montpellier), and other Research structures (INRIA, CNRS, etc.) to train mixed Research units (I3S, IBV, LIRMM, and LIAD).

Useful links


The French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM) is a public Research institute specializing in the Health sector. INSERM has 4 Research units on the Côte d’Azur:

  • Sophia Antipolis
  • The Mediterranean Centre for Molecular Medicine (« Centre Méditerranéen de Médecine Moléculaire (C3M) ») is based in the Hospital of l’Archet in Nice and run in cooperation with the University Côte d’Azur
  • The French Research Institute for Cancer and Aging (« Institut de recherche sur le cancer et le vieillissement (IRCAN) ») is based at the Pasteur Medicine University campus of Nice and run in cooperation with the CNRS and the University Côte d’Azur
  • The Valrose Biology Institute (iBV) is based in the Valrose Sciences University campus of Nice and run in cooperation with the CRNS and the University Côte D’Azur.

Useful links


The French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) is a public Research institute specializing in different scientific fields. The Côte d’Azur delegation of the CNRS covers the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var departments. 28 research units are part of this delegation and specializing in sectors such as Biology, Mathematics, Ecology, Environment, Chemistry, Human and Social Sciences, Earth and Universe Sciences, Physics, Engineering, Systems, and Information Sciences.

Several Research units are led in cooperation with other Azurean Research structures such as the INSERM and the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.

Useful links

Other Research structures set up on the Côte d’Azur. Find out more about them and the Azurean Research industry below.

Useful links


Networks, clusters and competitiveness clusters


Clusters and Competitiveness Clusters are groups of stakeholders from the local economic environment. They bring activities together to create local dynamics and reach new markets. They also provide companies with support and R&D up until the marketing of their products and services.

Other accompaniment measures include the access to advice and skills during the different development stages of the company, funding assistance, globalization support, etc. The Côte d’Azur hosts 8 state-approved competitiveness clusters, as well as many clusters specializing in local key industries.


The Capénergies Competitiveness Cluster is specializing in the Energy sector. Its main objectives are supporting the energetic transition and creating an Energy industry of excellence.
Today, more than 500 members joined the Capénergies Cluster in the South Region and in Corsica.

To learn more about the Capénergies Cluster:

Useful links

SAFE Cluster

The « SAFE » Cluster is specializing in Security and Risk Management Solutions, as well as in new Aerospace and Technology Solutions for Defense. Today, more than 450 members joined the SAFE Cluster in the South Region.

To learn more about the SAFE Cluster :

Useful links

Pôle Mer Méditerranée

The « Pôle Mer Méditerranée » (Mediterranean Sea Cluster) is specializing in the Water sector and aims at developing a sustainable maritime and coastal economy in the Mediterranean area. Its measures include the protection of the fauna and flora, and the different maritime infrastructures, as well as the management of maritime and mining resources.
Today, more than 420 members joined this cluster in the South Region, in Corsica, and in Occitania.

To learn more about the « Pôle Mer Méditerranée » :

Useful link

Pôle SCS

The « Pôle Solutions Communicantes Sécurités – SCS » (Secured Communicating Solutions Cluster) is specializing in Digital Technologies, especially the following: Microelectronics, Internet of Things, Digital Security, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Today, more than 320 members joined the SCS Cluster
in the South Region.

To learn more about the SCS cluster:

Useful links


The Eurobiomed Cluster is supporting the development and commercialization of the Health and Fundamental Research industries in the South of France. Today, more than 270 members joined the Eurobiomed Cluster in the South Region and in Occitania.

Useful links

Aqua Valley

The Aqua Valley Cluster is specializing in all jobs related to the Water sector and is a co-founder of “France Water Team”, an international brand that combines three French competitiveness clusters working in the water industry. Today, more than 250 members joined the Aqua Valley Cluster in the South Region and in Occitania.

Useful links


The Optitec Cluster is specializing in the sectors of Deep Techs in Photonic and Imagery for the following fields: Security/Defense and large scientific instruments, Health and Life Sciences, Manufacturing of the Future, Smart City and Automotive, and Precision Agriculture. Today,more than 220 members joined the Optitec Cluster in the South Region and in Occitania.

Useful links

Pôle Terralia PASS

The POLE TERRALIA PASS cluster is specializing in the Flavors industry and relies on the expertise and richness of companies in the Grasse area. More than 160 members joined the POLE TERRALIA PASS Cluster in the South Region.

Since 2019, the POLE TERRALIA PASS Cluster is associated to the Terralia Cluster. Together, they created the ABEN Cluster which is specializing in the Food, Well-being and Natural Products fields. More than 450 members joined the ABEN Cluster in the South Region, in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region, and in Occitania.

Useful links

Cluster IA

The “Cluster IA” (Artificial Intelligence Cluster) is a group of stakeholders supporting the economic development of Artificial Intelligence on the Côte d’Azur by bringing together different local players around joint projects. It aims at promoting the Azurean AI ecosystem on a national and international level. Today, some thirty members joined the Cluster IA.

Useful links

Smart Vehicles Côte d’Azur

The Smart Vehicle Côte d’Azur initiative is a business community supporting the development of new mobility solutions in the Azurean region. Large industrial groups, startups, and institutional establishments are part of this initiative. The Smart Vehicle Côte d’Azur aims at creating synergies between the different local stakeholders and placing Sophia Antipolis and the Côte d’Azur as leading European territories for new mobility solutions. Today, some forty members joined the initiative in the Alpes-Maritimes.

Useful links


Assistance and useful contacts


Do you wish to set up your business on the Côte d’Azur and need assistance to discover and connect to the relevant local community?

Useful contacts

  • Contact Team Côte d’Azur :

Are you already set up on the Côte d’Azur and wishing to be better connected to the local community?

Useful contacts


Réseaux, clusters et pôles de compétitivité


Regroupement d’acteurs de l’écosystème économique local, les clusters et pôles de compétitivité fédèrent les activités afin de créer des dynamiques locales et d’atteindre des nouveaux marchés. Ils offrent également aux entreprises un accompagnement, de la R&D jusqu’à la commercialisation de leurs produits et services. On retrouve, au sein de cet accompagnement, un accès à des conseils et des compétences sur les différentes étapes du développement de l’entreprise, une aide pour trouver des financements ou pour s’étendre vers l’international etc…

La Côte d’Azur se félicite d’héberger sur son territoire, 8 pôles de compétitivité labellisés par l’état français et de nombreux clusters, positionnés sur des filières stratégiques locales.


Le Pôle de Compétitivité Capénergies se positionne sur le secteur des énergies faisant de la transition énergétique et de la création d’une filière énergétique d’excellence ses objectifs principaux. Aujourd’hui le pôle Capénergies comptabilise plus de 500 membres à travers la Région Sud et la Corse.

Afin d’en savoir plus sur le Pôle Capénergies :

Liens Utiles

SAFE Cluster

Le Pôle Safe Cluster se positionne sur les domaines des solutions de sécurité et de management des risques, des nouveaux usages aérospatiaux et technologies de défense. Aujourd’hui, le pôle Safe Cluster comptabilise plus de 450 membres au sein la Région Sud.

Afin d’en savoir plus sur le Pôle Safe Clusters :

Liens Utiles

Pôle Mer Méditerranée

Le pôle Mer Méditerranée se positionne sur la filière de l’eau et a pour objectif de développer durablement l’économie maritime et littorale au niveau de la Méditerranée, que ce soit dans la préservation de la faune et la flore, les différentes infrastructures maritimes ou encore la gestion des ressources maritimes et minières. Aujourd’hui, le pôle comptabilise plus de 420 membres à travers la Région Sud, la Corse et l’Occitanie.

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Pôle SCS

Le Pôle Solutions Communicantes Sécurités (SCS) se positionne sur la filière des technologies du numérique et plus particulièrement quatre : la microélectronique, l’internet des objets, la sécurité numérique et l’intelligence artificiel et les big datas. Aujourd’hui, le pôle SCS comptabilise plus de 320 membres au sein de la Région Sud.

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Le Pôle Eurobiomed œuvre pour permettre à la filière santé de se développer, de la recherche fondamentale jusqu’au marché, dans le sud de la France. Aujourd’hui, le pôle Eurobiomed comptabilise plus de 270 membres à travers la Région Sud et l’Occitanie

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Aqua Valley

Le Pôle Aqua Valley œuvre pour la promotion de l’ensemble des métiers de la filière de l’eau et se présente comme un des co-fondateurs de « France Water Team », une marque internationale regroupant trois pôles de compétitivité français directement impliqués dans les métiers de la filière de l’eau. Aujourd’hui, le pôle Aqua Valley comptabilise plus de 250 adhérents à travers la Région Sud et l’Occitanie.

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Le Pôle Optitec se positionne sur les secteurs des deep techs en photonique et imagerie, appliqués dans 5 domaines d’activités : Sécurité/défense et grands instruments scientifiques, santé et sciences du vivant, industrie du futur, ville et mobilité intelligentes et agriculture de précision. Aujourd’hui, le pôle Optitec comptabilise plus de 220 adhérents à travers la Région Sud et l’Occitanie.

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Le Pôle TERRALIA-PASS se positionne sur la filière aromatique en s’appuyant notamment sur l’expertise et la richesse d’entreprises présentes sur le bassin de Grasse. Il comptabilise plus de 160 adhérents au sein de la Région Sud.

Depuis 2019, le Pôle TERRALIA-PASS s’est associé avec le pôle Terralia afin de former le Pôle ABEN, spécialisé dans les filières de l’alimentation, du bien-être et des produits naturels. Le pôle ABEN comptabilise plus de 450 membres à travers la Région Auvergne Rhônes-Alpes, la Région Sud et l’Occitanie.

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Cluster IA

Le Cluster IA se présente comme un écosystème d’acteurs œuvrant pour le développement économique de l’Intelligence Artificielle (IA) sur la Côte d’Azur en fédérant les différents acteurs azuréens autour de projets communs. Il vise à promouvoir l’écosystème azuréen sur le plan national et international. Aujourd’hui, le Cluster IA comptabilise une trentaine d’adhérents.

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Smart Vehicles Côte d’Azur

L’initiative Smart Vehicles Côte d’Azur se présente comme un écosystème d’affaires favorisant le développement des nouvelles mobilités sur le territoire azuréen. Composée de grands groupes, de startups, et d’établissements institutionnels, l’initiative veut créer des synergies entre les différents acteurs locaux afin de faire de Sophia Antipolis et de la Côte d’Azur, un territoire leader en Europe en matière de nouvelles mobilités. Aujourd’hui, l’initiative comptabilise une quarantaine d’adhérents au niveau des Alpes-Maritimes.

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Accompagnement et contacts utiles


Vous envisagez de localiser votre entreprise sur la Côte d’Azur et avez besoin d’un accompagnement pour découvrir et vous connecter à l’écosystème local dans votre secteur.

Contacts Utiles

  • Contacts Team Côte d’Azur :

Vous êtes déjà implanté sur la Côte d’Azur et souhaitez être mieux connecté à l’écosystème local

Contacts Utiles


Financing solutions

Emploi sur la Côte d'Azur

Public programs to support the creation of companies


In France, entrepreneurs can benefit from many public programs to help start a business. These programs, provided by the public authorities, also concern business buyers.

New support for the creation or the takeover of business (NACRE), Support contract for the business project (CAPE) or help with the recovery or the creation of a business, we invite you to take knowledge of the different existing programs.

Useful Links


Financing your R&D


There are several grants in France to finance the R & D of your company. Among these grants, we find the Research Tax Credit and the status of Young Innovative or University enterprise.

The Research Tax Credit (Crédit Impôt Recherche) (CIR) is a measure of financing the research and development activities of existing companies in France. Find out about all the information available around the CIR for your company, such as the activities involved, how to benefit from them or the various CIR rates.

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The status of Young Innovative (Jeune Entreprise Innovante – JEI) or University Enterprise (Jeune Entreprise Universitaire – JEU) offers tax and social exemptions under certain conditions. To benefit from these exemptions, companies must notably be SMEs less than 8 years old, be independent and have R & D expenses up to a minimum of “ 15% of the tax-deductible expenses for this financial year, excluding expenses engaged with other JEIs carrying out research and development projects.” (See

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We invite you to read the other help available below:

Useful Link


Finance your concept


Do you want to start a business and are you wondering about the different financing methods for your concept?

The financing chain of a company is materialized by a relatively traditional scheme.
She is initiated by self-financing and Love Money, that is to say the financing by relatives, friends and family. We also find competitions, prizes and loans of honor in the first phases of financing. Depending on the growth of the company, different methods of financing will come to you.

In the incubation phase, funding comes primarily from incubators, public funds and accelerators. Business Angels and crowdfunding sites are generally the means of financing that is identified between the incubation and start-up phases of the business. Seed funds are financing solutions for the business in the seed and start-up phases and will be monitored by the venture capital funds for the growth phase.

Business Angels, BPI France, public aid, venture capital funds … we invite you to discover the various financing solutions that come your way.

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Financing & regional aid


Network initiative (Réseau Initiative)

The initiative network is a decentralized network containing 230 local associations in France accompanying entrepreneurs in their creation / takeover of businesses. About twenty network initiative associations are locally located within the Southern Region.

These associations offer human support and financial support to entrepreneurs to finance their project. They work to reinforce the capital of the creators / buyers with loans of honor (Rate 0%, without guarantee).

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Enterprise Investment Fund of the Region

The Regional Enterprise Investment Fund (Fonds d’Investissement pour les Entreprises de la Région – FIER) is a fund set up by the South Region to provide entrepreneurs with tools for financing their projects. Among the tools that can be found in the FIER include:

  • Seed fund up to € 2 million
  • The investment fund for SMEs, which involves participating loans of € 15,000 up to € 200,000 or acquisition of equity or convertible bonds of € 200,000 up to € 2 million.
  • The TTPE fund for small businesses with less than 10 employees with more than 2 years of existence resulting in loans of up to € 10,000.

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The PARGEST fund is a fund set up for the financing of SCOPs (Société Coopératives et Participatives – Cooperative and Participative Companies) and SCICs (Société Coopérative d’Intérêt Collectif – Cooperative Interest Societies) in the South Region, which respond to the capital needs of companies in the creation, development or shifting phases.


Other aid from the Region Sud

The Region Sud also supports the creation of businesses through other forms of financing and regional aid.

Nearly 470 regional public financial aid schemes exist, covering financial needs in business creation and takeover, innovation, export, eco-development, financial management, material, immaterial and real estate investments. employment and training, business development and transmission.

Discover the help available according to your needs in financing directly on the portal of the Region SUD Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur.


International banks


The various international banks established on the Riviera territory can present themselves as solutions to finance your project. Means of financing more difficult to access, especially when you are an innovative company, the bank loan remains a solution at your disposal.

We invite you to discover the banks that can provide you with financing on the Côte d’Azur.

Useful Links


Hire staff and recruit talents

Embaucher du personnel et recruter des talents

Vivier of local talents


You want to settle on the Côte d’Azur and you are interested in different local talents? Developed by the Nice Côte d’Azur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the EDRH Côte d’Azur tool was born from the desire to help companies acquire the necessary skills to develop their business in the French Riviera. It materializes in the form of an online shared territorial HRD platform.

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Platforms & recruitment services


You want to recruit for your company? Multiple online platforms offer to help the entrepreneurs to recruit on the Côte d’Azur, according to profiles, skills or the sector.

By listing job offers and the companies that use them, recruitment platforms connect recruiters and candidates with the aim of encouraging recruitment. These offer the possibility to search accurately and efficiently for the right candidates according to the offer.

We invite you to discover the different local platforms for your recruitment:

Useful Links

In addition to recruitment platforms specific to the Côte d’Azur, other services exist at the national level to find your future employees.

We propose you to discover the various existing platforms for your recruitment.

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Grants & premiums for hiring


As part of a recruitment process in France, companies can benefit from various hiring aids and measures.

Among these aids are the Competitiveness and Employment Tax Credit (CICE), resulting in a reduction of social charges for companies employing employees and being taxed on companies or income.

Several specific contracts also exist to encourage hiring. This is the case of the Hiring Contract offering various hiring aids such as a reduction in employer contributions. These contracts concern young people between the ages of 16 and 29 and take the form of a permanent or fixed-term contract – from 6 months to 3 years – with remuneration between 27% and 78% of the SMIC.

There is also the Professionalization Contract, which, like the Hiring Contract, offers various hiring aids for young people between the ages of 16 and 25 or over 26 if the person in question is a jobseeker. This contract takes the form of a fixed-term contract of 6 to 12 months or a permanent contract with a professionalization action of between 6 to 12 months with a remuneration between 55% and 80% of the SMIC.

There is a variety of training, recruitment and job maintenance and development aids that we invite you to discover below.

Useful Links