How to register a company in FRANCE in 2019

Since 2003, Healy Consultants Group PLC has assisted our multi-national Clients’ Clients with company registration in France.

Our professional services include i) France company formation services and ii) secure government business license registration and iii) corporate bank account opening services in France and iv) employee recruitment services and visa strategies and iv) office rental solutions in Paris and vii) accounting and tax services.

 LLCPLCSimplified JSCBranchRep Office
Also known asSARLSASASBrancheBureau de liaison
How long to set the company up?2 weeks2 weeks2 weeks3 weeks2 weeks
How long to open company bank account?4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks4 weeks
Legal liability?LimitedLimitedLimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Wholly foreign owned?YesYesYesYesYes
Minimum paid-up share capital?€1€37,000€1€0€0
Must file annual corporation tax return?YesYesYesYesNo
Tax Registration Certificate required?YesYesYesYesNo
Corporate bank account recommendationBPCEBNP ParibasSociete GeneraleHSBCHSBC
Does our Client need to travel?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident director required?NoNoNoNoNo
Resident shareholder required?NoNoNoNoNo
Minimum directors allowed?13111
Minimum shareholders?17100
French resident company secretary required?NoNoNoNoNo
Corporate shareholders allowed?YesYesYesYesYes
Corporate director(s) allowed?NoYesYesYesYes
Public register of shareholders and directors?YesYesYesYesYes
France corporate tax rate?33%33%33%33%0%
Annual financial statements required?YesYesYesYesNo
Statutory audit always required?NoNoNoNoNo
Allowed to issue sales invoices?YesYesYesYesNo
Allowed to sign contracts?YesYesYesYesNo
Allowed to import and export goods?YesYesYesYesNo
Can rent an office in France?YesYesYesYesYes
Can buy France property?YesYesYesYesNo
Can own equity in other French companies?YesYesYesYesNo
Estimate of total business setup costs in Yr. 1€13,790€16,390€13,790€14,790€12,940
Estimate of total annual costs thereafter (excl. accounting and tax fees)€1,400€1,400€1,400€1,400€1,400
Sample engagement fee InvoiceView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDFView invoice PDF

Choose your France business entity

Advantages of doing business in France

Revenue

Revenue from sales can be high. While taxes are high in France, our Clients’ sales income can also be high because France boasts the 2nd largest consumer market in Europe, with 65 million locals spending up to €2 trillion annually;

Taxation

Even though the published corporation tax rate is 34%, Healy Consultants Group PLC helps our Clients enjoy an effective tax rate of 9%. With our deep knowledge of the French taxation system and our “think outside the box” approach, we legally optimize the use of legal tax incentives and exemptions available for French companies;

Good source of funding

The Public Investment Bank offers low-interest loans of up to €1.5 million to finance innovation projects in companies that have i) less than 250 employees; ii) less than 50 million in annual revenue and iii) been operating for at least 3 years;

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Disadvantages of doing business in France

Business pecularities

Getting business done in France can be challenging because some of their citizens may focus on problems. A habitual focus on what is wrong rather than on what’s going well. Consequently, it can be painful for a foreigner not used to the local culture to run a business and deal with French customers and staff;

Annual business costs

Multi-national companies prefer not to register a company in France because of the extreme high costs of doing business in this European country including i) high staff costs and ii) imposing the highest total taxes on the planet;

Government control

There is significant Government control over business activities in France. A painful amount of complex paperwork and filings and reports makes business slow and difficult;

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Incorporate a company in France in 12 steps

A French limited liability company can be incorporated within 2 weeks with 1 director and 1 shareholder, who can be of any nationality. The minimum paid-up share capital required is €1 and our Clients do not need to travel to France to complete the engagement.

Check company name availability with the French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) and the Commercial Court Registry
Register the company’s name and apply for a Certificate of Uniqueness
Open a corporate bank account and deposit the company’s share capital
Submit company incorporation application to the Center for Administrative Procedures
Publish a legal notice of incorporation in the legal gazette (JAL annonces légales)
Register for a tax identification code;

View all steps

Time required to start a new SARL company in France is 9 weeks

Start
Engagement Planning

1 week

Company incorporation

2 weeks

Corporate bank account approval

4 weeks

Corporate internet banking approval

1 week

Engagement completion

1 week

9 weeks

Compare timelines with other type of businesses in France

Open a corporate bank account in France without travel

Healy Consultants Group PLC recommends these 4 banks HSBC, Société Générale, BPCE and BNP Paribas for corporate bank account solutions.

Opening the corporate account can be completed within 2 weeks of France company formation. Our fee for this service will be €4,950.

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Accounting and tax considerations

33%

corporate tax in France

20%

VAT rate in France

30%

withholding tax on dividend payments

33%

withholding tax on royalties payments

30th April

filing deadline for corporate tax return

123

signed double taxation treaties

The effective corporate tax rate can be as low as 9% for larger companies.

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France visa requirements

Only non-EU/EFTA citizens are required to secure a work visa in order to work in France.

Entrepreneur visa

Non EU/EFTA entrepreneurs opening a company in France will be required to obtain either a residence permit for resident directors or a circulation visa for non-resident directors.

Employee visas

Employers will be required to apply for a work permit (valid up to 3 years) for hiring a non-EU/EFTA national. This can only be done after company formation in France.

Visitor visas

This visa is issued for 3 months for the purpose of either tourism or short-term business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to incorporate a French company?
Setting up a French company can be completed in about two weeks.
How difficult is it to open a corporate bank account for a French company?
It is very easy to open a corporate bank account with a reputable international bank in the France.
Am I required to visit France to incorporate a company there?
No. Healy Consultants can legally incorporate your France company without you needing to travel.
Is a resident director required?
A director is not required to be a resident in France.
What is the minimum number of directors required for a French company?
A French company needs a minimum of one director.
What is the minimum number of shareholders required for a French company?
A French limited liability company (SARL) requires a minimum of one shareholder.
Are shareholder/director details available for public viewing?
Yes, a register of directors and shareholders is available for public viewing.
What are the minimum capital requirements for a French company?
A minimum capital of 37,000 Euros (approximately US$46,582) is required for the formation of a SA (société anonyme), whereas the minimum capital requirement for a limited liability company (SARL) is 1 € (US$1.27).
Is a French company required to submit an annual return and/or financial statements?
A French company is obliged to submit an annual tax returns and audited financial statements.
How much tax does a French company pay?
A French company is liable to pay a profits tax of 33.33%.
Does a French company need to register for VAT?
A French company is required to register for VAT, which the standard rate is currently 19.6%.
Is it easy to incorporate a France company?
Yes. Our Clients are often pleased to find that incorporating a company in France is a straightforward process.
How much time does France business incorporation process take?
Company incorporation in France takes less than 2 weeks on average, once all the documentation requested by the French authorities has been provided.
Why should I use a company incorporation specialist to setup a French company?
French incorporation services providers will not only enable you to save time, but also money. The French tax system is very complicated and the right choice of business entity will allow you to reduce your tax payments. The use of Healy Consultants’ company incorporation services will improve your understanding of the French Tax code, so as to minimize the tax burden.
Do I need to travel to France to start a French company?
No, you will not be required to travel to France to incorporate a company in the country. Healy Consultants can assist you to complete incorporation procedures, provided our Firm receives a Power of Attorney (PoA) for that purpose.
Do I need to hire a director ordinarily resident in France for my French subsidiary?
No, it is not mandatory to appoint a French national or French resident as the director of the company. Still, our Firm recommends our Clients to appoint somebody who at least travels frequently to France to supervise the operations of the company and to liaise with the authorities.
What are the different business entity types in France?
Global entrepreneurs usually setup a Simplified Joint Stock Company (SAS)which provides additional advantages compared to a French LLC (SARL). PLCs (SA) are usually favored by investors with large financing needs and willing to list their company. Branches (branche) are usually chosen by corporates which want to keep 100% control over their subsidiary’s operations. Lastly, representative offices (bureau de liaison) are a smart solution to explore the French market while avoiding its high taxation.
Is there any wholly foreign business entity available in France?
Yes, all business entities that can be setup in France can also be 100% foreign-owned, without prior authorization from the government.
How can foreigners setup a limited liability company in France?
Business setup requirements in France for foreigners and French citizens are the same. Procedures commonly followed to open a company in France, which are described in the 12 steps to incorporate section, henceforth apply.
Why should I setup a company in France?
Business setup in France allows our Clients to tap into the UE’s 2nd largest consumer market. Please see more details in the advantages of France company registration section.
How to setup a company in France?
When setting up a business in France, main steps involved will be i) the creation of a corporation bank account ii) the submission of a detailed application to the Center for Administrative Procedures and iii) the publication of a legal notice of incorporation in the legal gazette.
Do I need to obtain a visa to travel to France in order to complete company formation procedures?
No, Healy Consultants can complete the procedures on your behalf, without any requirement for you to travel in order to complete formation of a France subsidiary.
How to open a company in France if I am not allowed to reside in France?
It is not required neither to reside in France nor to be a French national in order to start a company in the country. By using services provided by Healy Consultants’ France company formation specialists, our Clients avoid the need to travel to France for France company formation.
Register your company in France now!Healy Consultants Group PLC has the solution to help you grow.
Corporate bank account questionnaire
Thank you for your recent business inquiry, however I need a little more information from you.
To recommend the optimum non-travel banking strategy for your business, kindly complete the 5-minute questionnaire below.
Within 2 hours thereafter, a senior Consultant will ring you to discuss the specific results you need from Healy Consultants PLC:





  • Corporate bank account qualities

    In order of preference, list the countries where you want a corporate bank account?*
    What are your preferred currencies?
    Do you need corporate visa debit cards?

    Do you need to have a local currency cheque book?

    What daily funds transfer limits do you wish to have in place?
    Do you need secure phone banking?

    Do you need the bank to act on fax instructions from you?

    Do you prefer monthly paper bank statements or weekly e-statements?

    Do you need phone sms alerts when funds transfers happen?
  • Your preferences

    For now, do you prefer Healy Consultants PLC staff to phone you, or just email reply some corporate solutions?
    If a phone call, on what number can our senior Consultant call you?*
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    What is your preferred date and time for a phone call?
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    What is your budget for the service you need from Healy Consultants Group PLC?*
    During the engagement, how often do you require an email from us; advising engagement progress?
    During the engagement, how often do you wish to speak with our senior staff; discussing problems and solutions?
    What does quality customer service mean to you?
  • Tell us about your existing business?

    Name of your company?
    In what country are your resident?

    What products and services does your company supply?
    How many years are you operating this business?
    In what country are the majority of your customers?

    In what country are the majority of your suppliers?

    What is the name of the company that will own the new corporate bank account?
    Who will be the bank signatory?
    What are the expected US$ monthly incoming transactions?
    What are the expected US$ monthly outgoing transactions?
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