France company registration

DOING BUSINESS IN FRANCE IN 2017

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our Clients with business registration in France. Our services include i) France company formation services ii) government license registration iii) corporate bank account opening services in France and abroad iv) employee recruitment services v) visa strategies and vi) office rental solutions in Paris and other French cities.

France business setup summary

  1. France is the 2nd largest market in the Europe Union after Germany. Formation of a local company is a must for our Clients willing to increase their sales in Europe;
  2. The most commonly used business entity to start business in France is the simplified joint stock company. Find more information on the different types of legal entities on this page;
  3. While the paid up capital to start a company in France is only €1, it is necessary to open a corporate bank account before proceeding with the registration of the company. Find no travel banking solutions on this page;
  4. While the published corporation tax rate is 34%, Healy Consultants Group PLC helps our Clients enjoy an effective rate of 9%;
  5. With our deep knowledge of the French taxation system and our “think outside the box” approach, we optimize the use of legal tax incentives and exemptions available for French companies, but little known outside of France;
  6. French people are usually not fluent in English and our Clients usually decide to hire a local sales team. Navigating the local labor laws can however be complex so hiring a local HR manager is also recommended.
SummarySimplified JSCFast Business SolutionLLCPublic limited companyRepresentative officeBranch office
Also known asSASSociete preconstitueeSARLSABureau de representationSuccursale
Best use of company?All products and servicesSigning urgent contractsAll products and servicesTo secure public fundingMarketing & researchSpecific projects
How soon can you invoice Clients/sign sales contracts?5 weeks1 week6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
How soon can you hire staff?5 weeks1 week6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
How soon can you sign a lease agreement?ImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediatelyImmediately
How long to supply corporate bank account numbers?4 weeks1 week4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
How long to supply company registration / tax numbers?5 weeks1 week6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks
Corporate tax rate on annual net profits?33%33%33%33%0%33%
Limited liability entity?YesYesYesYesNoNo
Government grants available?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?NoNoNoNoYesYes
minimum paid up share capital?€1€1€1€37,000nonenone
Corporate bank account location?Credit AgricoleCredit AgricoleBNP ParibasSociete GeneraleHSBCCredit du Nord
VAT payable on sales to local customers?20%20%20%20%No sales allowed20%
Average total business set up engagement costs?€11,790€24,700€11,790€14,390€10,940€12,790
Average total engagement period?5 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks6 weeks

See full table

Accounting and tax considerationsSimplified JSCFast Business SolutionLLCPublic limited companyRepresentative officeBranch office
Statutory corporate tax payable?33%33%33%33%0%33%
Legally tax exempt if properly structured?YesYesYesNoYesNo
Personnal income tax payable by shareholders for legally exempt entity?YesYesYesNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
Group HQ tax incentives?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Must file an annual tax return?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Must file annual financial statements?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Must always appoint an auditor?NoNoNoYesYesYes
Access to double taxation treaties?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Withholding tax on payments to foreign shareholders?30%30%30%30%None30%
Monthly or quarterly VAT reporting to the Government?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Company RegistrationSimplified JSCFast Business SolutionLLCPublic limited companyRepresentative officeBranch office
Resident director/partner/manager/ legal representative required?NoNoNoNoYesYes
Minimum number of shareholders/partners?1112Parent companyParent company
Maximum shareholding for foreigners?100%100%100%100%100%100%
Minimum statutory paid up share capital?€1€1€1€37,000nonenone
Shelf companies available?YesYesYesNoNoNo
Time to incorporate a new entity?1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week1 week
Can easily convert to a PLC?YesYesNoYesNoNo
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYesYes
Can have preference shareholders?YesYesNoYesNoNo
Business ConsiderationsSimplified JSCFast Business SolutionLLCPublic limited companyRepresentative officeBranch office
Good entity for trademark registration?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Can secure an import and export license?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Minimum number of directors/managers?111311
Can bid for Government contracts?YesYesYesYesNoYes
Can secure trade finance?YesYesYesYesNoYes

Security deposit to be kept with Government?No
Government approval required for foreign owners?No
Sponsorship by a local citizen required?No
Our Client needs to travel to France for business set up?No
Temporary physical office solutions available?Yes
You always need a local resident as bank signatory?No
Can be wholly foreign owned?Yes
The entity will likely be regulated by?Registre du Commerce (Greffes)
Must sign an office lease agreement during incorporation?Yes
Shareholders & directors documents to be attested/translated?Yes
Each foreign non resident director needs a personal income tax number?No
Foreign director needs a residence visa?No
Maximum number of staff allowed?No maximum number for any entity
Expatriate to local staff ratio?None
Can secure residence visa for business owner?Yes
Other useful information
What will be included in my customer sales invoice?Click link
This country has signed free trade agreements?Yes
This country is a member of WIPO/TRIPS?Yes
This country is a member of the ICSID?Yes
Average custom duties suffered?0.60%
Government foreign investment approval required?No
Average monthly office rental? (€ per sq m)€27
Minimum statutory monthly salary?€1,480
Average monthly € salary for local employees?€2,480
€ deposit interest rate? (1 year average)0.80%
Overseas remittance currency controls?None
Banking considerations
Multi-currency bank accounts available?Yes
Corporate visa debit cards available?Yes
Quality of e-banking platform?Yes
Crowd funding available in this country?Yes

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Contact us

For additional information on our business registration services in France, please email us at email@healyconsultants.com. Alternatively please contact our in-house country expert, Mr. Simon Guidecoq, directly:
client relationship officer - Simon
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