All the difference between a small business and a large company?

Long defined only as a kind of unique reality at the legal level, the company has finally benefited from an economic definitional approach since the consecration of Decree n ° 2008-1354 of 18/12/2008, which was replaced by Is. Thus we now distinguish between four categories of entrepreneurial institutions in France. Among them, we will focus on the differences between a VSE and a large company.

Points of divergence in terms of economic structure

If we rely on the cumulative criteria set by the European and French framework, three main demarcation points make it possible to distinguish a very small enterprise (TPE) from a large one: the number of employees, the turnover business volume as well as the total of the unit. balance sheet.

number of employees

According to Decree n°2008-1354 of 18/12/2008, for a given company to be classified as a VSE, it must have less than 10 employees. In fact, if we rely on INSEE data (statistics for the year 2017), in general, these categories of business actually employ only one employee on average in their account.

Conversely, in case of large companies, the minimum limit for this criterion has been fixed at least 5,000 employees. Here too, according to INSEE data, practice shows that in fact, large French companies each employ an average of more than 17,500 employees on their account.

This obvious criterion is easy to understand: if you can know all your employees in a VSE, it will be difficult to remember all the first names of 5000 employees in a company and find the time to be interested in each. Differences will be evident in terms of communication or management.

Turnover and Balance Sheet Aggregate Norms

In relation to this second criterion, the same Decree n ° 2008-1354 stipulates the principle according to which a company should be statistically classified as a VSE when it has a cumulative turnover of less than EUR 2 million annually. achieves. 2 million euros in the total balance sheet. On the ground, the solid average displayed by this range of company is actually only 183,000 Euros per year (in turnover).

Conversely, on the other hand, a company would be classified into the category of large companies if and only if it posts a minimum turnover of EUR 1.5 billion per annum respectively as well as a balance sheet totaling more than EUR two billion. There, too, grassroots figures show that this limit has been largely exceeded because on average a large company realizes about 6,360,000,000 euros per year.

This distinction also seems relevant to us in most cases, even though turnover and profitability are a real difference that can affect the overall functioning of a company and this criterion can be further differentiated.

Points of divergence in terms of legal structure

Apart from economic differences, a VSE can be distinguished from a larger company very easily through its legal framework.

1/ Legal forms usually taken by VSE

Given the flexibility of legal systems that characterizes them, a TPE generally takes the following three types of legal forms:

  • EIRL or Individual Company with Limited Liability (this specific form has the specificity of allowing the entrepreneur a legal existence through his own natural person, in other words without the screen of legal personality).
  • EURL or sole proprietorship with limited liability,
  • SAS (Simplified Joint Stock Company),
  • SELARL (Liberal Exercise Company with Limited Liability). Unlike the first, these last two legal forms have legal personality.

2/General legal framework of large companies

In terms of legal form, this category of business has the choice between a plethora of structures:

  • Societe Anonyme (SA): This is the ideal form for a large scale company that plans to raise monumental funds to start its activities. In fact, despite its special legal structure, this form of company offers great reassurance to investors, thanks to the comfortable idea (easy integration into capital) it offers. In addition to this aspect of things, SA also offers entrepreneurs the comfort of an attractive tax system and a very beneficial social system (for example the taxation of SA directors is likely to be only 10%, with the opportunity of deducting actual professional expenses). without calculation). On the other hand, under the shortcomings, it is necessary to pay attention to the cumbersome functioning of the structures of the company.
  • SAS can be used interchangeably with SASU which is a Simplified Unipersonal Limited Company (it is a personal incarnation of the classic Simplified Limited Company).
  • Limited Liability Company (SARL) that continues to be a company with a flexible minimum contribution but limited to 100 (natural or legal persons)
  • economic interest group
  • Exceptionally General Partnership (SNC) or SCOP.

Beyond the demarcation we just made, it should also be known that, as a general rule, one of the other main points of divergence between micro enterprises and large enterprises is at the level of pay. Indeed, according to a recent study by the Ministry of Labor, the pay gap between the two categories of company would be around 600 euros! But note all that other criteria such as the ability to be involved in the actual project, the strength and the flexibility of the structure are usually factors in small businesses.

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