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Types of French Companies

Updated on Wednesday 13th December 2017

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types_of_companies_in_france.jpgWhenever an entrepreneur decides to set up a company in France, he must be aware of all the types of companies and choose the best structure that suits his interest and objectives in terms of business in France.

  • French joint stock company (société anonyme - SA)

A minimum of seven shareholders are required in order to set up a French SA. The founders can either be individuals or legal entities. Initial share capital is 37,000 EUR for company formation in France. The capital is divided into shares and the shareholders have a limited liability to the extent of their share contribution.

  • French limited liability company (société a responsabilité limitée - SARL)

This type of business in France can only be incorporated by at least two shareholders. No more than 100 individuals or legal entities can form a French SARL. No minimum share capital is required. This structure is usually recommended for small and medium sized companies which are set up in France.

  • Simplified stock corporation (société par actions simplifiée - SAS)

This is a similar company to joint stock corporation, but it is more flexible and it requires only two partners for company formation in France. A chairman or president must be appointed by the shareholders.

  • French sole proprietorship (entreprise individuelle)

When only one founder decides to set up a company in France, the best choice is a sole proprietorship. The founder is fully liable for all debts and obligations. No initial capital is required for this type of company formation in France.

  • Commercial partnership (société en nom collectif - SNC)

At least two partners are necessary for company formation as far as a partnership is regarded. Partners are responsible for obligations and debts of the partnership to the extent of their personal assets. No minimum capital is required for setting up a commercial partnership in France. Commercial activities of the partners must be performed under the same business name.

If you need more information about the types of companies you can set up in France, you may contact our in company formation agents.

We invite you to watch a video about the types of companies you can open in France, helped by our experts:

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