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New Rules for French Startups: Tax Changes to Boost Le Biotech

NEW YORK, Dec. 11-The French government today proposed new tax policies for startup companies that should provide a boost to that country's biotechnology industry.


In an announcement this morning, the French Industry Ministry and the Ministry of Research and New Technologies detailed a suite of new tax exemptions designed to provide a leg up for new technology companies.


Under this plan, startups-or Jeunes Entreprises Innovantes, as the French ministry terms them-will benefit from a range of business-friendly policies:


· R&D startups less than eight years old will pay no corporate income tax

· Taxes on venture capital R&D investments will be eliminated

· Reductions on other social charges and local taxes

· Other measures will encourage researchers to patent discoveries

· Students will be encouraged to explore careers in industry


France also intends to propose additional measures promoting innovative industries to the European Council in the spring.


Cooperation between industry and research in France is not strong enough, said the research ministry in a statement, and the government must help foster innovation. This role is "complementary to a liberal political economy," the ministry said.


As part of these efforts, the ministry is also urging that national investment in R&D be increased from 2.2 percent of GDP to 3 percent by 2010.


France Biotech, the French industry group, welcomed the measures. The new rules will ease high-tech investing in the country, the group said.

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