Opening a company in France

By Alen Uglik, 25th October 2016

France has the 5th largest economy in the world and the 2nd in Europe, after Germany. The country has always sought to attract foreign investment and has always had a considerable amount of success. One main reason for this success is that the French company formation process can be very simple although expert advice is essential in order to ensure compliance with financial and legal regulations.

France has an excellent infrastructure and one of the most business-friendly R&D tax treatment in the world. Euro Company Formations can assist you in the process of setting up a French company with minimal hassle and without the need to travel there. We can assist you with a full range of services including company registration France, Bank Account, VAT Registration, Registered/Virtual Office and Accountancy Services.

Company Types in France

There are three main company types that can be incorporated by foreign investors in France:

  • Limited Liability Company (SARL)
  • Join Stock Company/Public Limited Company (SA)
  • Simplified Joint Stock Company (SAS)

French Limited Liability Company (SARL)

The French Limited Liability Company is the most commonly incorporated company in France. This is mainly due to the liability which is limited to the amount of contributions. A French SARL requires at least one shareholder and can be incorporate with a minimum share capital of €1. The company’s accounts must be audited in line with statutory requirements.

Join Stock Company/Public Limited Company (SA)

The French Join Stock Company is suited for medium and large sized companies who require public funding. At least seven shareholders are required to incorporate SA along with a minimum share capital of €37,000. Shareholders of an SA are liable up to the limit of their capital contribution and the company’s accounts must be audited in line with statutory requirements.

Simplified Joint Stock Company (SAS)

The French Simplified Joint Stock Company is used for creating a joint venture between a local company and a foreign partner. SAS companies are increasingly finding favour with foreign investors, particularly in the USA, who wish to set up subsidiaries in France. A minimum share capital of €1 is required to incorporate the company however we would advise that at least €18,500 should be paid up.

For more information on registering a company in France, please do not hesitate to contact us on +353 1646 1627 or email

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