In what language can I write the by-laws for my French company?

By-law languages for French companies

The by-laws are an essential part of any French company. Indeed, they’re basically the set of rules that will determine how the company functions.

As such, as with any legal document, there are a certain set of obligations when writing by-laws.

Can I write them in any language?

As you might expect, this is not possible. Technically, writing the by-laws in another language isn’t prohibited, but since the RCS (Commerce and Companies Register) will have to validate them anyway, it’s very likely that your by-laws won’t be accepted if they’re written in another language.

Thankfully, there is a silver lining in this: writing your by-laws in English is generally accepted! In fact, it’s even recommended for French entrepreneurs to have an English translation of their by-laws, as it can give a positive image to international investors.

In a situation where you do have to translate your by-laws though, even if you are fluent in French, it is heavily advised that you have a professional do it.
By-laws must conform to the French judicial vocabulary, so unless you are an expert both in the French language and in French law, you shouldn’t attempt to translate these yourself.