Starting a French company / Frequently Asked Questions
A few years ago, one of my client asked me to help her setting up a company in France as soon as possible in order to invoice one of her french client. Online research led me to two conclusions: One, no clear and undertsand step by step process. And two, any service providers contacted were able to assist me from A to Z. Alain
However, a guide exists
Where to start, how much it will cost me, what are the risks, who to contact first?
Setting up in a country abroad especially when it is the first time in France can be stressful. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Having helped over 100+ people create a company, we have created the most comprehensive step by step guide on how to a set up in France within 1 to 2 weeks.
Here is an overview from start to finish of all the questions and steps we’ll walk you through in this guide.
As a company name you take almost any names and two companies can also have the same! We assist all our clients for the name choice by providing all information needed from the companies’ commercial registry.
When you set up in France you need to declare the list of activities you would like to perform in France. You can choose different activities, but the commercial registry (usually the court of the Chamber of Commerce) will need to check if any activities declared are regulated or not. Once the company is registered you get a license to trade for 99 years without any renewal fees.
General trading or import/export is a too broad definition of activities.
Many clients want their company set up as soon as possible and it is indeed possible in a few days without the need to travel in France.
The director(s) run the company and is the legal representative. The director(s) is not necessary a shareholder but it could be a shareholder at the same time. There are no restrictions of nationality nor residency for directors, shareholders and legal representative. You do not need to have a French resident to run your company.
As part of our company formation package, we will assist you every step of the way as well as advising you on the amount of the capital.
There are no minimum but the capital is supposed to cover your initial investments, we recommend to start with a minimum €5000.
The capital will be transferred onto a share capital account before the registration. We open this account for you and company capital will return to your company once registered.
They are the owners of the company. It could be another company and in this case we talk about subsidiary.
There are no restrictions of nationality nor residency for directors, shareholders and legal representative. You don’t have to be French to form a company in France.
You can set up any form of limited liability companies (LLC) also called SAS/SASU/SARL/EURL and all very similar. They all take the same time to set up.
The branch, subsidiary or stand alone is just a diffence of ownership, the shareholder can be the mother company in your country or just you and partners.
In most cases, a valid ID (I.e. Passport) and a proof of residence for all shareholders and directors.
Scanned copies will suffice, the registration process in France do not require sworn translations or apostiles in 99% of cases. More info HERE.
If you do not have an office lease contract, the business address is a huge cost saving alternative to office rent. We will provide you with an official and approved business address, ask for a quote to our experts.
We have developed partnership with established major banks in France. All our partners banks comply with all laws and regulations required to perform banking or payments activities in France which means regulatory and compliance checks. For more information please Click Here
In most cases, the bank can open the account for your company without having you to travel.
If you’re thinking about creating a company in France, you might be worried that corporate tax is too high. Well, a bill passed in 2017 introduced a number of changes to the way companies are taxed. While the drop of the corporate tax from 33.33% to 25% is by far the most noticeable of these changes, it is by no means the only one. You will also benefit of a global reduced rate of 15% (only on the part of the taxable profits representing less than 38 120€)
The average percentage on gross salary for social charges -health and retirement plans- is currently 24% for the employer and 17% for the employee . Calculation based on a gross salary of €2000/month.
Our Chartered Accountants will offer you several services for international clients and will interact with you in English. We will not be able to perform a throughout analysis of your company needs and activity volume estimation before the company is actually created. Book keeping / VAT and annual reports filing: starting from 200€ / month
We can assist you a many ways, not only for the incorporation but also in the first years of your development in France for accounting, banking, secretarial services, trade mark & domain names management, lawyers consultations, insurance and many others service.
The commercial court refuses to open your French company? We refund you all company formation fees. Best value for money in the market and risk free experience.
A first call will be required for a conformity check before engaging with you. All clients have a specific requirement or specificity which require a personalized quote. There is no standard list price available online because we value our clients and want to give them the exact amount to be budgeted for what they really need, not more! Book a call with an expert to get a free and personalized quote.
Our English speaking international business experts remove the obstacles encountered when forming a company in France. BOOK A CALL
Nothing is definitive you can always change company name, company form, shareholders, directors, address, activities and many other sections of your company articles of association.