France has been slower than many of its EU counterparts to embrace a truly liberal business culture. At the same time, it has aggressively sought to attract foreign investment – and with considerable success. One result is that it is now very simple and straightforward to open a company in France, although local advice would be necessary to guarantee all legal and financial regulations are adhered to.
Procedure of company registration
- Minimum share capital is 1 € but banks require more than this figure in order to set up an account. The traditional share capital has been 7 500 € but a minimum amount could be deposited of around 4 000 € ex VAT. Please bear in mind that this is “working capital” and can be taken out of the account for use at any time.
- Minimum number of directors is one. However, usually there are 2 directors as this helps with social security payments. If the company only has one director, the burden of these payments is incurred from the first day the company is formed. If the client is non-resident, we can write to the authorities on your behalf to assure these payments are not made. (secretarial fees charged)
- All non EU residents are required to apply for the government authorization if they want to open a SARL in France. This includes applying for an extract of criminal record (not less than 3 months old) which needs to be officially translated into French by a certified translator. A list of translators can be obtained through the French Consulate in the country of residence.
- Company formation takes up to 5 weeks
- VAT registration takes up to 4 weeks.
In order to commence the formation procedure, we will require the following:
- 100% of the company formation cost.
- A completed application form.
- A certified copy of each director/shareholders passport.
- Two utility bills that are less than three months old.