Because of the absence of the status of legal entity, a branch established in France must follow in its internal policy the law which guides the foreign company.
The branch registered in France has no legal autonomy and doesn’t own legal personality, so the liability for its actions is taken by the foreign company in full and its field of activity cannot be different from the one of the parent company.
Opening of a branch in France must be registered at the local Register of Commerce and Companies.
For this, the applicant must deposit at the Court of Commerce two copies of each of the following documents:
- the foreign company’s articles of association,
- the application for registering the branch,
- qualifications or approvals,
- a copy of proof of possession of the premises where facility is installed (or the right to use those facilities),
- the appointment of branch’s representative.
These documents must be certified and translated into French.
The registration of the branch in Register of Commerce and Companies doesn’t take longer than 15 days from submitting the correct documents.
If the branch’s representative is not a French resident, he must receive a residence card bearing the words of the activity (unless it is a citizen of a Member State of the EU, another state party the European Economic Area or the Swiss Confederation) and must make a declaration on non-conviction and affiliation.
The parent company must indicate, at the top of its invoices, price lists, correspondence (concerning the activities of the branch), its name, legal form, its seat, its registration number in the state where it has its headquarters and, if necessary, if it is in liquidation.
The branches opened in France are not subject to a second tax in the country of origin, but only if France has concluded a bilateral agreement to avoid this double taxation with those countries.
The French regulations stipulates that the parent company must include, in the annual financial statements, the assets and liabilities allocated to the branch and file annually two copies of its records with the clerk of the commercial court of the place where it is registered.
Even though it has no specific separate property of the society to which it is attached, the branches opened in France must keep records of its own.
The manager of a branch in France is subordinate to the parent company, he is under its control and dependency. He has, in most cases, the expatriate status, so he must follow the labor law of the country of the parent company.
Employees on the other hand, are subject to the rules of the French Labor Law.
The representatives of foreign companies who want to open a branch in France may contact our company formation team.
We also have a branch in the Poland, where our Polish lawyers can help you with all inquiries on the incorporation of the company there.