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8 tips for running a barge business in France

PUBLISHED: 16:26 01 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:47 05 January 2016

Luciole barge, run by Penny Liley

Luciole barge, run by Penny Liley

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Expat Penny Liley runs barging holidays along the Burgundy canals. She shares her 8 tips for owning a barge in France and running barging holidays

1. Work on a barge before buying one and setting up a business.

2. Make sure you have a good French accountant and a robust accounting system.

3. Invite the tax inspector on board so that they understand both the business and the cost of expenses involved. Expect to pay around the €1,000 mark to deal with each tax inspection.

4. Regular maintenance is an essential aspect of running a safe barge. Internal safety inspections are carried out every two years and exterior inspections in a dry dock every five years. This costs at least €10,000.

5. Fuel, mooring fees, dry dock and official inspection charges are a considerable ongoing expense.

6. Cultivate relationships with your suppliers and bave a back-up. Getting a new supplier to accept a cheque can be a challenge.

7. A barge is constantly moving and it is a constant challenge to coordinate vehicles and deliveries.

8. There are many barges operating in France so heavy discounting is often required to fill low-season weeks.

Penny owns the barge Luciole and runs barging holidays along the Burgundy canals www.bargeluciole.com

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