French Company Formation

France is notorious for its complex bureaucracy, and so implementing a liberal business environment has been a struggle. However, the country has made considerable progress in simplifying company formation procedures. Combined with an assertive drive to attract foreign investment, this has been successful in making French company formation more accessible to foreign businesses. Despite this, there are still legal and financial regulations that require local knowledge to navigate properly and the services of a French incorporation specialist are advised.

Universal Company Incorporations has the expertise to meet your specific business objectives and requirements with regard to French company formation. We will ensure that the establishment of a professional corporate structure in France is executed efficiently to reduce your business costs and maximise your return.

Company Set Up Options

The options for setting up a company in France are diverse, from acquiring an existing company to opening a small Representative Office (bureau de liaison).

  • Specialists Limited Companies (SARL) are the most popular type of company in France as they can easily be incorporated by a range of different companies
  • Societé Anonyme (Business Corporations – SA) are better suited to larger companies as the requirements are more demanding
  • Societé Par Actions Simplifieé (Simplified Stock Corporations – SAS) are great for joint ventures between a local company and a foreign partner

Each company has different requirements to suit a certain type of company. Universal Company Incorporations will advise you on which type of company is best for your business and its French expansion plans. Incorporating a company that has the scope for your business requirements is crucial to make the best start possible in France. We will manage your formation on your behalf and ensure that you take advantage of the available benefits, saving you time and money.

Regulatory Environment

The EU member states generally have an established and well developed legal and regulatory system, and France is no exception. In terms of company formation the regulations in France are relatively relaxed. Foreign capital and imports are free from restrictions, although certain areas such as banking and insurance are still heavily regulated. As a considerable aspect of the French economy, state ownership is also regulated, particularly in industries such as infrastructure. The French legal system has not been as progressive as the regulatory environment and remains inefficient and complex.

Good local legal advice is strongly recommended to ensure compliance with legalities and to speed up the procedures. Universal Company Incorporations has a local office in France and contacts with a number of local professionals such as lawyers and accountants. We will provide the support you need to run your business efficiently in France.

Banking Facilities and Financial Incentives

France boasts a world-class international banking network, with representations of all the major global financial institutions. The banking system is well developed and banks are well versed in arranging financial transactions and transfers as well as being multi lingual.

Commercial bank loans are commonly available for new businesses and additional financial incentives may be extended by local authorities. These may be grants or loans and include support for new and innovative companies, help finding an office or workplace, tax reductions, and access to support services with shared costs.

Universal Company Incorporations will help you take advantage of the applicable financial incentives to make the most of your investment. Our team are experienced in setting up a French bank account to support your businesses finances. Online banking is widely available, allowing you to access your accounts anywhere in the world at any time. You can rely on us to provide financial solutions enabling you to manage your French finances in conjunction with your core business.

Staff Recruitment

Recruiting employees to staff your French company should be relatively easy. The French recruitment sector is not lacking in well-educated and motivated staff. However, as mentioned above the legal system is complex and slow. As a result French labour laws are incredibly complicated and it is essential to be aware of these regulations when hiring staff in France. For example, there are strict rules about fixed term employment contracts which are based on circumstance and only permitted in certain situations. There are also regulations that mean the employees of some commercial and industrial sectors, whether unionised or not, automatically qualify for nationally negotiated collective agreements.

Universal Company Incorporations have established a strong working relationship with legal and recruitment specialists in France. We will provide expert advice about recruiting the best staff and negotiating French labour laws to ensure your company has the right basis to increase productivity and long term growth through its expansion.

Contact us

Universal Company Incorporations is always on hand to guide you through all of the stages of forming a new enterprise or expanding an existing company in multiple countries. Please don’t hesitate to call us on +44 (0) 20 8421 7480 or contact us via the website for help and advice.