France Company Formation

Interested in exploring France company formation? Here’s everything you need to know. 

France company formation offers the société à responsabilité limitée (SARL) structure, which is the equivalent of an LLC. Applicants must register for VAT, a process that takes four weeks, and appoint a French chartered accountant to handle company business. 

The entire formation process takes up to one month.

As part of SARL registration, the company name must initially be submitted for approval along with a declaration of company business intent. There must be at least one director, who can be from any country and hold any citizenship.

There are no shareholder restrictions and as long as there are no more than 25 shareholders in the corporation, and there is no annual meeting requirement. Directors are considered self-employed people under French law, and as such, they have to pay social security at the rate that a French self-employed citizen would pay.

The documents required at formation are:

  • The names of one director and their spouse, along with photo identification

  • The names and photo identification of two shareholders

  • A criminal background check translated into French by a government-certified translator for those individuals or companies from outside the EU

  • A copy of the agreement between the landlord and the company authorising that the company is using the address as the official business address

  • The names and photo identification of director spouses are also required

There is a minimum share capital requirement, and each shareholder must declare the percentage of shares they hold. They must provide proof of capital requirements in the corporate bank account. The company must also say when it will disclose its financial statements.

The registration requires that you file documents with the Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (“CFE”). Once this is completed, the company is published in the Official Journal and pays the registration fee and stamp duty. The company will also have to register with the tax authority, appoint its director and provide the minutes of the meeting, as well as issue any shares.

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