Doing business in France
How quickly can I set up a business?
It takes 4 days to create a business in France (+ French territories).
What is the minimum investment needed?
1 € for a limited liability company (Société à responsabilité limitée (SARL)).
How can I raise finance?
The French government and local authorities have developed support tools to localize economic activity nationwide (investment support for businesses).
In addition to this state aid support, investors can also take part in the Major Investment Plan (Grand Plan d’Investissement – GPI) launched by the French government to pursue accelerated ecological transition, the building of a knowledge economy, the anchoring of French competitiveness in innovation, and the construction of the state in the digital era.
You become eligible for a whole set of public funding programs in France from the moment you open a legal entity in France and hold a bank account:
• Tax exemption
• Repayable advance / Honor loan / Zero-interest loan
• Tax credit
• Low-interest loans
• Co-financing and guarantees
• Capital injection
What are the legal requirements for setting up my business?
Foreign investment in France is, in principle, free from any administrative control. Whatever your development strategy, in France you will find the legal formula best suited to your choice of implantation. You will be able to implement it, temporarily or permanently, with complete legal certainty, investors can freely develop their project under simple and inexpensive conditions.
Some takeover operations made in so-called “sensitive” sectors are subject to prior authorization by the government minister responsible for the economy. This authorization is given within a two-month timeframe from when the request is received by the minister for the economy. If no response is given, tacit approval may be considered.
The transactions considered concern the acquisition of control, the acquisition of all or part of a business line, or the crossing of the threshold of 33.33% of the capital or voting rights.
What advice can you give me in regards to payroll and taxation requirements?
France offers a simple and predictable business creation process that takes place with a single point of contact: the business formalities center. The formalities can be carried out digitally.
Whatever the choice of installation mode, you can perform the formalities for creating the structure with the Centre de Formalités d’Entreprises (CFE). CFE presents in all the country, centralizes the formalities and transmits, instead of the company, all of the documents in the creation file, modification or cessation of activity to the administrations concerned.
The time limit for registering a company or a branch in the Register of commerce and companies is on the order of a few days. The cost administrative registration formalities are around € 50, to which may be added the cost of advertising in newspaper advertisements legal in the event of the creation of a company (approximately € 230).
Is there anything else that I should know?
For more information:
Chamber of commerce (CCI)
Our firms in France
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LONDON – Kreston Global has begun 2023 by welcoming eight new member firms on four continents: India, Uganda, Lebanon, Japan, Croatia, Bangladesh, Chile and Taiwan.
Stuart Brown, Global ESG Committee Member, recently commented on this significant development in Compliance Week.