Establishing a Company in France

Situated in Western Europe, France rests along the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, and the North Sea. France borders Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Andorra, and has a man-made connection to the United Kingdom, in the form of the Channel Tunnel, a submerged tunnel that passes under “La Manche”, a.k.a. the English Channel. In addition, France lays claim to five international territories, official designated as provinces - Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guinea, Reunion, and Mayotte.

France’s history is peppered with revolutions and regime changes, foremost and most famous of which is the French Revolution, that broke out in 1789. The revolution effected major changes in French society and governance, accorded political influence on French citizens, and is a major milestone in the evolution of the modern world.

France plays a significant, highly influential role in the international arena owing to its dominant status in the European Union and its permanent memberships in the UN Security Council, NATO, and the G-7 and G-20 councils of industrialized countries. When France entered the Eurozone in early 1999, the Euro replaced the traditional French Franc as the country’s official currency.

Trade between France and Israel is stable and widespread, and collaboration between the two countries spans a variety of sectors, beginning with technological innovation and culminating in agricultural produce. All of the above provide a platform with a multitude of options for Israeli entities and organizations wishing to establish companies in France.

  • Paris’s “Gare du Nord” is the world’s busiest train station, with some 190 million passengers flowing through its halls every year. It is also one of the planet’s oldest stations – the station was established in the middle of the 19th century, and its structure is, in itself, a work of art.
  • France is Earth’s most visited country, with hundreds of millions of tourists coming to the country every year.
  • French innovators are responsible for some humankind’s most important inventions, including movies, cans, and Braille, to name a few.
  • As of February 2016, French supermarkets are prohibited from disposing of unbought food. Rather, they are required to donate these food items to charity.

France’s economy is Europe’s fourth largest and the world’s sixth largest. Particularly prominent, are some of the globe’s largest international corporations in the areas of – electricity, water, and energy, and its transportation sector includes the world’s largest train companies, that are carry out many projects outside of France itself, and the automotive companies, Citroen, and Peugeot. France is a global powerhouse of luxury products, a sector that is widely considered a hallmark of the country. Another central sector is tourism. As the world’s number 1 tourist destination, the tourism industry is the backbone for related industries, including aviation, hotels, restaurant, events, and more. Alongside these, France’s combination of extensive fertile lands and generous subsidies granted to farmers, have established the country as the largest agricultural producer in Europe.

The French government still plays a big part in the country’s economy, despite a growing number of large company privatizations over the past few decades, and the government’s presence is especially broad in sectors such as electricity, public transportation, and defense. France’s dependence on non-renewable energy sources is very small owing to massive investment in nuclear power – today, the majority of France’s power is generated by nuclear power plants.

For Israeli companies, France offers unique economic opportunities. The two countries maintain wide-ranging trade relations and collaborations in many fields, and Israel enjoys a substantial, healthy reputation as an epicenter of innovation. The concentration of world-leading mega corporations, their openness to novel technologies, and the existing infrastructure for collaboration, make France a preferred destination for Israeli companies seeking access to the European markets.

General Information


Type of company

Limited Liability Company (SARL)

Relevant Companies Law

The French Commercial Code, December 19, 2002

Offices

Not required

Language of original incorporation documents

French

Finance and Taxation


Currency

Euro (EUR)

Corporate tax rate

26.5%

Standard share capital

EUR 1

Office Holders


Company Secretary (Secretary)

 
Obligation to appoint company secretary

Not required

Obligation to appoint local secretary

Not required

Type of entity that may function as company secretary

Not applicable

Director

 
Obligation to appoint company director

Required

Obligation to appoint local company director

Not required

Minimum number of directors

1

Type of entity that may serve as company director

Individuals

Shareholders

 
Obligation to register shareholders

Required

Obligation to register local shareholders

Not required

Minimum number of shareholders

1

Type of entity that may register as shareholder

Individual and / or a company

Type of shares

Registered shares

Accessibility of Information


Company registrar

Information regarding corporate officers is publicly accessible.

Annual Assembly and Reporting


Obligation to hold annual assembly

Not required

Obligation to prepare financial reports

Required

Obligation to submit financial reports

Required

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