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How to Start a Business in France

Updated on Thursday 22nd April 2021

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How-to-Start-a-Business-in-France.jpgThe process of starting a business in France is similar with the ones of other member states of the European Union (EU). Investors who are residents of any of the EU member states, the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland can register a company here without any issues, following the same legal steps available for French investors, this being one of the benefits of starting a business in France for the said nationals. 
 
For investors from other regions or countries than the ones mentioned above, the process of incorporating a company will be the same, but prior to this, they will need to obtain various business or investment visas, prescribed by the immigration law. If you are an investor outside the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, we invite you to address to our team of specialists in company formation in France for legal advice on the steps you must follow in order to invest here. 
 

What are the main aspects on starting a company in France?

 
Prior to opening a company in France, investors should definitely analyze the local requirements, find out information on the capital required for all company types, study the types of documents that they should prepare and so on. One of the main aspects investors should decide is the legal entity of the company they will register here. 
 
Investors can opt to register a sole trader or a corporate body, such as the limited liability company or the public limited company, but they are also free to register partnerships. However, most of the local and foreign businessmen will prefer the limited liability company, as this structure can be employed for almost all business activities and its legal characteristics are suitable for both small and larger businesses. 
 
Businessmen starting a company in France also have the option of investing here through a branch office or a subsidiary, a common investment pathway chosen by large international companies wishing to expand on a new market. Depending on the business sector that you will choose to operate in, you may need to register with the organizations set out to regulate and supervise the activity of the respective business sector, as it is the case of accountants for example. 
 
After you have decided on the legal entity of your company, you will need to have a trading name for your company, registered with the local institutions. The trading name has to be unique at a national level. This procedure is done through the National Institute of Industrial Property; the same institution is the place where one can register a business or a logo as a trademark. You can request information on the procedure and the advantages you will obtain from our team of specialists in company formation in France
 
Other compulsory procedures when starting a business in France are: opening a corporate bank account at a local commercial bank, where the share capital will be deposited after the legal entity is formally recognized by the French institutions, publicly announce that the company has gained legal personality by publishing an announcement in a national newspaper, register with the local tax authorities and obtaining the value added tax (VAT) number.
  

What are the benefits of starting a business in France?

 
France is one of the most important European economies. It is also an important player at a global level and, over the years, the country has attracted a talent pool of specialists from various industries. It has very good trading relations with other European countries, its main investors being the Western EU states, as well as very good trading relations with the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Those interested in doing business in France should know the following: 
 
  • businessmen investing in manufacturing, real estate, finance and insurance can have numerous benefits of starting a business in France, as these industries are the top priorities of foreign investors – in 2019, 30.3% of the foreign investments were concluded in the manufacturing sector, 21.7% in real estate, and 17.7% in finance and insurance;
  • France is among the top 10 global economies;
  • It has a very skilled workforce, with a high level of productivity (for the latter, it ranks as the 2nd EU country);
  • France has signed 115 bilateral investment treaties with its partner countries;
  • with regards to investor protection, France stands above the OECD average on the index for transaction transparency (France – 8.0, OECD - 6.0). 
 
Businessmen interested in receiving more information on how to open a company in France are invited to address to our specialists. Our team of consultants in company formation in France are ready to assist foreign investors in the process of starting a business and investing in a given business sector. If you are interested in doing business in France, our team can provide information on any matter that can be of importance. 
 

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
Enescu & Cuc Law Firm
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