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Open a Travel Agency in France

Updated on Friday 15th February 2019

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Open-a-travel-agency-in-FranceFrance offers beautiful landscapes which is why the tourism industry is one of the flourishing sectors of the economy. Paris, Cannes, Nice are just a few of the cities visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists a year. Foreign investors are also receptive to the laws providing for the tourism industry, especially since the Tourism Code was modified a few years ago in order to provide for a simpler procedure for the registration of travel agencies and travel agents with the Ministry of Tourism. Just like local business persons, foreign entrepreneurs can set up travel agencies in France by respecting the same regulations covered by the Tourism Law.

Our French company formation representatives can offer more information on the Tourism Code. You can also rely on our local specialists for assistance in setting up other types of companies in France. We offer a large category of services to all foreign investors interested in doing business in France.

Choosing a business form for a travel agency in France

The first step to be completed when deciding to start a travel agency in France is to select a business form. Foreign investors have several choices, among which, sole proprietorships which imply for the entrepreneur to obtain a residence permit. Also, this simple business form can only be used for creating a small company.

The partnership is another type of structure which can be used for the creation of a French travel agency and this option is a good opportunity for those who are not acquainted with the legislation and who can rely on a French business partner in order to become successful.

The private limited liability company is another business form which can be successfully used for the creation of a travel agency in France.

Foreign investors can rely on our French company formation specialists for assistance in registering any type of structure for the establishment of a travel agency.

Company registration for starting a travel agency in France

Considering a travel agency will be involved in commercial activities through the sale of tourism packages, the first step to start such a business is to register a company in France. Therefore, a French travel agency or tour operator must follow the requirements of the Commercial Code and the Tourism Law. The most employed type of structure used to set up a travel agency is the limited liability company in France. Following the company registration procedure, the travel agency will receive its registration number.

Our company incorporation agents in France can assist foreign investors who want to register a company with the purpose of opening a travel agency.

The following documents must be prepared upon the registration of a French travel agency:

  • -          the company’s statutory documents which must provide for the object of activity of the business, including the relevant NACE code;
  • -          information about the business owners and the directors of the French company;
  • -          a receipt indicating the share capital of the company to be incorporated;
  • -          the registered address of the company (a legal address is required for any French business).

It is also possible for foreign tours operators to set up branch offices in France and thus enter the marker easier.

Types of tour operators in France

Foreign investors who want to open travel agencies in France can offer various types of services, among which inbound and/or outbound tours. As inbound operators, the agencies will only be allowed to sell and organize tours inside the country. As outbound operators, the agencies will be allowed to sell and organize tours outside the country. It is also possible for a French travel agency to obtain both inbound and outbound licenses for their operations.

It is important to notice that specific insurance policies must be concluded with insurance companies in France. These types of policies are created especially for this type of activity. Another important aspect is the upon applying for the necessary licenses, the operator will be required to submit a financial certificate which indicates the good financial standing of the business owner. The certificate will be accompanied by a declaration on the activities to be undertaken by the company.

France is a very appealing travel destination, which is why an inbound tour operator is very successful. The tourism industry relies on various sectors, among which the organization of memorial tours, seaside trips, but also business trips which account for a great number of visitors from Germany, the UK, and even Japan.

Another particularity of the tourism sector in France is the appearance of cycling tourism.

Licensing of travel agencies in France

France adhered to all EU laws providing for travel agencies, travel agents and tour operators within the Community. Following these directives, all French travel agencies and tour operators must register with the unique system applicable at EU level. Travel agencies will be subject to a fixed registration fee.

Travel agents may also obtain the IATA (International Air Transport Association) license. In order to obtain this process, the French company must file the following documents with IATA:

  • -          a prescribed application form;
  • -          a copy of the Registration Certificate of the agency;
  • -          a copy of the company’s Articles of Association;
  • -          a copy of the KBIS extract issued by French Trade Register;
  • -          a bank statement;
  • -          photos of the premises;
  • -          the agreement with agents selling flight tickets.

Obligations of French tour operators

Once registered and licensed, a French travel agency must comply with the requirements of the Tourism Law and with the international regulations imposed at EU level.

Among the obligations of a French travel agency are the sale of various types of excursions, holiday packages, and tickets. It should be noted, however, that the sale of any of these services must respect the international regulations in the tourism industry.

All services must be offered base on a contract which must contain an offer which will further contain all the costs attached to the respective service. The travel agency must also inform the client about:

  • -          the duration of the vacation (number of days) and the itinerary, where applicable;
  • -          information about the means of transportation, the departure date and time and any connections, where applicable;
  • -          information about the accommodation (the location, category of the hotel), etc.;
  • -          information about any other services, such as tours or excursions during the vacation.

Our local consultants can offer more information on the legal obligations of tour operators registered in France.

If you want to set up a travel agency and need assistance with the company formation process, please contact our company registration consultants in France. Foreign entrepreneurs interested in investing in France can rely on us no matter the type of company they want and the industry they want to perform in.

 

Meet us in Paris

Call us now at +33 9 73 22 01 51 to set up an appointment with our lawyers in Paris, France. Alternatively you can incorporate your company without traveling to France.

As a BridgeWest client, you will beneficiate from the joint expertize of local lawyers and international consultants. Together we will be able to offer you the specialized help you require for your business start-up in France.

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Starting a company in France can be difficult since it involves such complex procedures. The team from CompanyFormationFrance is very qualified and benefits from extensive expertise in this area.
Mihai Cuc, Partner of
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