7 Steps To Registering Your French Company

Here are the 7 necessary steps towards setting up your business in France.

Should you require assistance from a team of English-speaking international business experts, Companow can provide every service required to set up your business in France, on time and within budget.

Register a company in France

Step 1 Confirm Your Details:

The first key questions:
1.1 Company Name:
Confirm your company name. In France your company name does not have to be unique but, if you plan to trademark your company name, it will be necessary to check if this is available.
1.2 Activity:
A brief description of your company’s main activity in France, so that the commercial court can assign an activity code in order to check if this activity is regulated or not.
1.3 Directors:
Appoint your Company Director(s).  In French Company Law there are no restrictions on the nationality or residency for Directors and Shareholders therefore you do not need to appoint a Director who lives in France or has French citizenship.
1.4 Company Address:
The commercial courts will need proof of address of your company in France such as an office lease or business address contract signed by your company.

Step 2 Set & Transfer Your Company Capital:

Confirmation of all company shareholders (individuals or companies) and their respective shares and capital value. You require a minimum of one company shareholder and there is no minimum share or capital value although the capital should cover your initial set ups and investments.

Each shareholder then needs to transfer their capital into a Share Capital Account and the commercial courts require evidence of your Capital Share Account and Certificate prior to registering any French company.

Step 3 Write Your Incorporation Documents:

Arrange for a legal practitioner to author all company documents such as: Memorandum & Articles of Association; Minutes of the First Board Meeting and Directors Nomination; Ultimate Beneficiary Owners Declaration; and miscellaneous documents.  Directors and Shareholders will then need to follow signature instructions. In most cases, electronic signatures are accepted.

Step 4 Submit Your Dossier To The Commercial Court:

In most cases, this stage can be done online.

Step 5 Issue Your Company Registration Certificate & VAT number:

If all documentation is submitted correctly, the commercial court will issue the Company Registration Certificate (KBis) with your Company Registration Number (SIREN number) in as little as 24 hours. This document is your Ready to Trade License.  Your VAT number is issued by post the tax office within two or three weeks of receipt of your KBis.

Step 6 Open A Corporate Bank Account:

Starting a business in France means opening a business bank account in France. If you are not a French resident, trying to open a bank account in France can be a complicated process.  Once the bank account is opened the company capital is released and credited to the company bank account.

Step 7 Appoint a Chartered Accountant:

Upon registration, French accounting laws dictate that bookkeeping and filing obligations (VAT, annual reports) commence as soon as the new company is registered, regardless of how many transactions you initially undertake.

Your Free Consultation:

Should you seek the assistance of French company registration specialists, Companow offer all Clients an initial free consultation to assess your requirements and to field all of your questions.