How to open a business in France: methods and legal framework

How to start a business in France in 2020

Considering jurisdictions for starting a business, investors and businessmen estimate the number of procedures in the registration authorities, the time, the cost of registering a company, the minimum capital required to start a small and medium-sized business in the form of a limited liability company.

Having studied French legislation and the ease of starting a business in France, we can say that the jurisdiction is quite attractive for international and local operation of large, medium and small companies, including through tax incentives provided for by local regulations. In this article, we will look at why it is profitable to start a business in France, in the largest business center of Europe, as well as step-by-step creation of your own business.

Doing Business in France: Standard Limited Liability Company

Using the data for comparison, we decided to focus on a standardized business that:

  • is 100% owned by France;
  • has start-up capital equivalent to 10 times per capita income;
  • is engaged in general production and/or commercial activity;
  • creates from 10 to 50 jobs within a month after the registration of the company (subject to the employment of residents of France).

So, to start doing business in France, you need to initiate the procedures for legal start and formal company management:

  • Registration and post-registration (for example, if a seal is issued, social security).
  • Obtain spouse approval.
  • Obtaining a document (certificate) on registration of a legal/natural person.

Time costs for setting up an LLC in French jurisdiction will be less than 1 week. You should also read:

  • each procedure provides for a separate period, several procedures cannot be started on the same business day;
  • the specified period of company formation does not include the time for collecting information and documents;
  • there is completely no contact with officials if the registration of a business in France is entrusted to our specialists;
  • the procedure is considered fully completed after receiving a document confirming state registration;
  • foreign investors and businessmen face only official expenses (here bribes are completely excluded), in some cases professional fees are due, provided that an accountant, nominee director is hired, etc.

Attention: funds of the authorized capital must be deposited in a local bank 3 months before the registration of a business in France.

Now let's try to compare the work of French companies with business in other jurisdictions, which will determine the clear advantages. Namely:

How to start a business in France in 2020

It is not difficult to open your business in France - the authorities of the country do their best to contribute to this. However, there are some difficulties that a businessman should be aware of. Learn about the specifics of doing business in France, documentation and obtaining a business visa, buying a ready-made business, as well as ideas for starting a profitable enterprise.

How relevant and profitable is business in France?

France is considered one of the most profitable and stable countries for starting a business. The state authorities create favorable conditions for investors, helping to attract foreign capital. About 30,000 new companies, opened by foreigners, appear here every year.

More and more companies and individual entrepreneurs appear in Russia who are ready to do business in France, as this is a country of great opportunities and direct access to the European market. Opening a business in France promises greater profits than in Russia, since this country has a higher level of income, which directly affects the purchasing power of the French.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The main advantages of doing business for foreigners in France include:

  • availability of state support programs;
  • lack of rigid framework and serious restrictions for foreign entrepreneurs;
  • stable currency and well-established laws;
  • access to the internal market of the country and the EU;
  • the country's economy is considered one of the most developed;
  • protection of private property and economic freedoms;
  • simplicity starting a business.

A significant disadvantage is that not all business areas are open to non-residents of the country. So, for example, for a business in the field of law, education or medicine, you will have to obtain many special permits and licenses. And the sphere related to public administration is completely closed to foreigners.

Also, according to French law, an entrepreneur cannot immediately dispose of the income of his company. He receives personal profit either as a salary, once a month, or once a year as dividends.

The intricacies of French entrepreneurship and culture

Step-by-step instructions for aspiring investors and businessmen in France. Stages of creating a profitable company in the French jurisdiction.

France is a dream country for many people, which is primarily associated with the Eiffel Tower and frog legs. France is rightfully in one of the first positions in the conditional rating of the most attractive European countries for doing business. There are several reasons for this.

Entrepreneurs from other countries who are planning to open a business in France are waiting for the understanding of the country's authorities, a good attitude from local residents, as well as broad business opportunities.

Business culture in France

In order to conduct a successful business in France, it is vital to become familiar with some of the specifics of the business culture of this country. Let's highlight the main points:

  • During business meetings and contacts with business partners, keep your distance and adhere to formalities. For example, when addressing a person, especially when meeting someone or holding a managerial position, you need to give your first and last name and be sure to use the words Monsieur or Madame. The greeting is accompanied by a light handshake, not too careless, but also without risk of injury to the hand.
  • Always carry business cards with you, with information in both English and French. A business suit should be the main part of your wardrobe, regardless of the day of the week. Outwardly, you need to look neat, no three-day stubble or bright makeup.
  • Schedule business appointments well in advance and learn the rules of etiquette at the dinner table in advance. Being 10-15 minutes late is considered normal. If the meeting takes place at a business partner's home, it is advisable to send flowers to the hostess in advance, and it is better to exclude wine as a gift. Unless it's an expensive elite drink.

Requirements for a businessman in France

The basic requirements for a businessman, of course, are the same in all countries - ingenuity, enterprise, the ability to find creative solutions and overcome difficulties, perseverance and courage, without which it is simply impossible to set foot on this path. If you want to open a business in France, then you do not need any special education or the presentation of special documents.

Anyone can buy a business in France; this does not even require being a citizen of this country. The only requirement that France makes is that the director of the company should be a citizen of the country.

However, this does not apply to the owner, he can come to live in France, or he can be permanently abroad. Since tax is paid on any sale and purchase of a business, the French authorities are interested in the business changing owners.

The only important requirement is to obtain a merchant card. It is not difficult to get it, you will need to present a standard set of documents - a passport, a foreign passport, a visa in France, an application for a merchant card.

Problems with this almost never arise, the French government would be glad if all citizens were businessmen and did not look for vacant jobs, but created them themselves.

At least if a foreign citizen wants to become a businessman and buy a business in France, he will be met in all cases and will even provide some assistance.

Occupying a large part of the European continent, France is the destination of any trip to Europe. It's hard to cover everything at once. Each area looks different, considering architectural styles, culinary delights and even dialects. The country has many attractions - from the northern Gothic cathedrals, boulevards and museums in Paris, to the monuments of the ancient Roman era in the south and the beaches of the Mediterranean and Atlantic. If you are arriving in the country from the north, you can travel from the port cities of Calais or Boulogne (or Normandy) to Paris, one of the most enchanting European capitals.

To the west lies the rocky coast of Brittany, to the south - the castles of the Loire. Many tourists head south to the limestone mountains of Provence, the Pyrenean canyons and mountains on the border with Spain, or to the wonderful Cote d'Azur. However, it also makes sense to slowly move through the German-speaking cities of Alsace in the east, the gorges, mountains and valleys of Lo and Dordogne, and adventure lovers can climb the peaks of the Massif Central.

Getting to know France

No matter how much you travel to France, it is impossible to fully experience its immense variety. The changing landscapes are stunning, from the rugged coastlines of Brittany and the sandy hills of Provence to the canyons in the Pyrenees and the semicircular bays in Corsica, and from the forested valleys of the Dordogne to the picturesque fields of the Loire Valley and the glaciers at the tops of the Alps. Each region of the country looks different, has a special atmosphere and even its own architectural style, culinary dishes and often dialect. Industrialization came relatively late to France, and millions of French people living in cities still insist that their country is predominantly agricultural.

Respect for the land is reflected in a wide variety of areas of French culture, from pride in “home” in the recipes for special delicacies, to vigorous government support for a European agricultural subsidy program. Probably the most striking countryside in France is its vastness. You will see dense forests and uncultivated land, where no habitation can be seen for many kilometers. Hundreds of towns and villages far from large cities have changed very slowly over the years, gradually: their old streets and mansions have survived to this day, becoming as integral part of the landscape as rivers, hills and fields.

Despite the idyllic tranquility that reigns here today, French history has known unusually turbulent times. For more than a thousand years, France has been at the forefront of European development: evidence of its accumulated wealth and knowledge awaits you everywhere in the form of a stunning variety of attractions: from prehistoric drawings in the primitive caves of the Dordogne and Roman monuments in the south to Gothic cathedrals in the north, the Loire castles and the most modern architectural " big projects ”in Paris. The legacy of culture and history - la patrimonie - is so widespread throughout the country that even the shortest visit allows you to feel the imperious touch of France's past.

The French government is well aware of the importance of the traditional approach and therefore does everything to preserve and develop the national culture (probably more than the government of any other country in the world). This is also felt by private companies fighting to strengthen French traditions in such diverse areas as haute couture, pottery and, of course, gastronomy. The fruits of these efforts are demonstrated by state-sponsored art (especially in cinema) and luxuriously decorated and original museums and galleries. From colonial history to fishing art, from airplane design to fabrics, from itinerant shepherds to the intricacies of manicures, collections await you across the country. But, of course, in the first place are the magnificent art galleries in Paris.

Where and when to go to France

Traveling in France is easy. Hotels and restaurants thrive here, with prices in many relatively low compared to other developed countries in Western Europe. Trains delight with their convenience, as well as the network of roads (toll autobahns - autoroutes are especially good), and cyclists are very much loved and welcomed here. The necessary information is carefully selected and is easy to obtain from travel agencies open throughout the country, as well as from special organizations for hikers and camping enthusiasts, cyclists and other entertainments.

When it comes to specific cities, Paris is undoubtedly an outstanding cultural center: you will be amazed by the majestic buildings, the alleys imbued with the atmosphere of antiquity, the works of art, the trendy nightlife and the ethnic diversity of the population. But the main cities of the regions - Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille - are now competing with the capital and among themselves for prestigious achievements in art, dominance in sports competitions and innovations in order to attract as many tourists as possible. For most visitors, however, the uniqueness of each region of France (and not least the regional cuisine) will be the defining factor.

The only important thing to consider when planning a trip to France is tourism itself. Since most French people prefer to vacation in their own country, try not to come there during the French holidays: that is, from mid-July to the end of August. At this time, almost everything in the country was closed, except, of course, institutions serving tourists. You can walk a whole kilometer across Paris and still not find a single working bakery: the city is emptying, or rather, there are only tourists - just like you. The prices at the resorts go through the roof during the peak season, and often it is impossible to rent a room for any money.

You shouldn't also come to Paris for Easter: it seems that half of schoolchildren from all over Europe come here at this time. For the same reason, alpine skiers should remember the February holidays for young skiers. And if you value your life and want to stay sane, God forbid you get stuck on the French roads on the last weekend of July or August (the worst thing is to be there on the weekend of August 15). When planning a trip, you shouldn't think too much about the climate. Of course, a skier should not come to the mountains from May to November, and those who want to sunbathe on the beach should not go to the coast in summer (which does not apply to the Mediterranean coast, where it is best to relax in spring).

Transportation and accommodation in France

Short list of documents

Detailed list of documents for a business visa to France

A detailed list of required documents for a business visa to France:

For a business visa to France, a printed scan of the invitation will be enough. The original is optional. A faxed copy of the invitation will also work.

The invitation can be written in French or English.

The invitation must contain the following information:

  • full contact information of the French company;
  • details of your foreign. passport (surname and first name, date of birth, passport number, date of issue and expiration of the passport; preferably, the issuing authority);
  • preferably - your place of work and position;
  • dates travel (for example, from 02 February 2019 till 10 February 2019);
  • justification for entry: the name of the event you are planning to attend, or a travel plan in any form;
  • the dates for which are asked to issue a visa (for example, from 02 February 2019 till 01 February 2020). It is highly advisable to indicate the justification for issuing a multiple-entry visa (for example, indicate an approximate plan of travel to France during the requested period);
  • if the costs are covered by the inviting French company, then a guarantee of covering all costs of the stay must be separately prescribed;
  • surname, first name, position and contact telephone number of the signatory of the invitation.

If the company has a seal/facsimile, then ask them to certify your invitation.

Basic requirements for a foreign passport for a visa to France:

  • it can be an old or new foreign passport;
  • Your passport must be “live” signed by you in the appropriate box;
  • your passport must be valid for at least 3 months starting from the end date of your planned trip;
  • your passport must have at least two blank (or blank) pages.

Important! If you have a second valid passport, then it must also be handed over for the entire period of consideration of your visa request.

The questionnaire can be completed in French or English.

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