• Over the years, this California-based business lawyer has specialized in helping companies - especially French ones - seeking to establish themselves in Silicon Valley. We met him.
  • May 3, 2018
  • François Laugier: There are two essential things to think about if you're going to California. First of all, it's not because Silicon Valley is dreaming and sees tremendous success that bank notes grow on trees. There is a huge competition. It is easy to get established, to develop but it is not easy to succeed. Then you have to realize that in the United States, people change jobs very frequently. The cost of living is often very high - at least in California - which means that every employee is always looking for a higher salary. This can be troubling for a business owner. Because when you find an engineer doing a great job and developing a great product, losing it a year after he started working for you is never good.


    What advice would you give to a business owner who wants to move to the other side of the Atlantic?
    F. L .: Creating a company and moving to the United States is extremely easy. But for this to work, one should not imagine that one will just spend a few weeks or months, then hire someone on the spot who will be the manager of the US business. It is necessary to send to the country someone who represents the genetic code of society, who is there to convince. It is this person who must implant the company, and hire the first employees.
    Do we work in the same way in France and in the United States?
    F. L .: I would say that companies in the United States have a unique way of involving employees in their own success by offering them a share of the capital. Of course, in France too, there are tools to share wealth with employees. But they are used less in France than they are in É the United States . I think that over there, the leaders collaborate in a more peaceful way with their employees. What is sometimes similar in France to a phenomenon of class struggle hardly exists in the United States.
    What are the most searched profiles?
    F. L .: What I know best is the area of technology in the United States. In this branch, there is clearly a deficit of engineers. Americans are hiring hundreds of thousands of Indian, Chinese and French engineers into their companies. The great French schools produce world-class mathematicians and this is beginning to be known. The advanced practice of mathematics is what is most used in programming software, in any technological creation.
    With the Trump administration, is it as easy as before for a French entrepreneur to settle on American soil?
    F. L .: A priori, Donald Trump announces restrictions on illegal immigration and on migration from countries he deems suspicious. In my opinion, immigration that concerns traditional industries and engineers, service professions, researchers, sportsmen, should not be affected. I do not think it influences the desire of French entrepreneurs to settle or not on American soil. A contractor follows his inspiration, according to the opportunities that arise.