Starting a business in France
implies several steps, among which the preparation of specific documents and their filing with the authority in charge with the company registration
procedure. The main authority handling the company formation procedure in France
is the Trade Register
. However, this is not the only agency which deals with company incorporation matters in this country.
The French Companies Register
has several functions which are explained below by our local consultants. Our French company formation consultants
can explain the requirements related to the registration of a company with the Trade Register
Legislation governing the French Trade Register
The Trade Registry in France
is also known as Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés
. The French Registry of Commerce and Companies
is regulated by the Act of December 19, 2002, and falls under the authority of the Ministry of Justice. The State Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber of Trade are entitled to manage the Trade Register in France
. The French Trade Register
deals with both company registration
and sole traders’ registration. As far as persons are regarded, information such as full name, address, date, and place of birth are included in the database of the Trade Registry
. Company registration with the French Trade Register
includes company name, social capital, date of incorporation, initial capital, governing bodies.
The main company registration centers in France
the Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is in charge with the registration of businesses operating in various commercial fields;
the Chamber of Crafts and Craftsmen which is charge with the registration of individuals completing various crafts;
the URSSAF which the agency in charge with the issuance of various licenses for freelancers and other liberal professions;
the Chamber of Agriculture which is in charge with the issuance of licenses for companies in agriculture;
the Greffe which is the agency in charge with the registration of commercial agents in France.
Before registering with any of the agencies above, the selected business form must be incorporated with the French Trade Registry.
If you plan to open a company in France
and need representation in order to register the business with the Trade Register
, our consultants can act as your local agents. We will only need a power of attorney in order to complete any action on your behalf.
The main functions of the Trade Register in France
Even if the main activity of the Companies Register in France
implies the incorporation of the businesses, it also has other functions. Among these, any changes brought to a company need to be reported with the Trade Register
, case in which the personnel here will update the information requested. The staff of the Registrar will also review the documents submitted and return any document which does not comply with the legal requirements imposed by specific regulations, including those of the Company Law
The company liquidation procedure must also be reported with the Trade Register which will be in charge with recording all the stages of the procedure and completing it by deleting the company from its records.
Another function of the French Trade Register is related to completing company searches. Also known as company due diligence, these searches can reveal important information about existing companies.
Our French company formation specialists can offer more information on the Companies Register.
How can a company register with the French Trade Register?
Company registration in France
with the French Trade Register
is a mandatory procedure for all companies set up in France
. The Commercial Court receives the application forms for company registration in France
. Also, since 2005, company registration in France
can be performed by electronic means. Company registration in France
is completed when a certificate of incorporation is issued.
The changes brought to the company management are also registered with the French Trade Register. If there are any changes in the directors’ board, shareholder information, headquarters or share cession, these must be sent to the Trade Register and mentioned in the database, which must be updated.
You can read about the French Trade Register in the scheme below:
Company registration documents in France
⁻ personal information about the shareholders and the directors of the company;
⁻ the company’s memorandum and articles of association which must be drafted and notarized;
⁻ the application form issued by the Trade Register which must be filled in;
⁻ the application with the previously approved trade name of the company.
We can assist with the drafting of the company’s constitutive documents.
How can I have access to the French Trade Register?
Information in the French Trade Register
is available for anyone who submits a special request. It is one the French Trade Register’
s characteristics to offer details about the memorandum of association, certificates, balance sheets
, collective actions and other information. Individuals who want to have access to these details in the database of the French Trade Register
can ask for copies of certain documents or search through registered companies.
The company search can be completed by:
- entering the company’s trade name or registration number, if the applicant knows it;
- entering the company’s address, the name of directors or of the administrators;
- entering the name of the city where the company has its headquarters or administration seat;
- entering the company’s SIREN number (the unique identification code issued by the Trade Register).
The Trade Register extract in France
The main document issued by the Companies Register upon the registration of a company is the KBIS extract which represents de ‘identification document’ of the company incorporated in France. The KBIS contains all the information and changes made in a company, as well as notes entered by the staff of the Trade Register on a company.
Company liquidation with the Companies Register in France
As mentioned above, not only the commencement of a business
needs to be reported to the Trade Registrar
, but also its cessation. The company liquidation procedure
must be announced to the Companies House
as soon as the shareholders have made the decision and have recorded it in the minutes of the meeting held for this purpose. This requirement applies in case of voluntary company liquidation in France
. In case of compulsory liquidation, the decision issued by the French court must be filed with the Registrar. Once the decision recorded with the Trade Register
the company must append the words ‘in liquidation’ to the company’s trading name.
Once the company liquidation procedure is terminated, the French Companies Register will delete the business from its database.
We can also assist in company liquidation matters in France, should you need any help.
Why open a business in France?
France is one of the most important economies of the European Union, and according to the OCED:
- for 2019 and 2020, the French economy is expected to register a growth of 1.3% on an annual basis;
- private consumption is also expected to grow 1.5% in 2019, respectively by 1.4% in 2020;
- exports of goods
and services are predicted to grow by 2.3% in 2019 and by 2.7% in 2020;
- the unemployment rate is expected to decrease to 8.7% in 2019 from the 9.1% recorded in 2018.