Company formation in brief
The legislation of France provides for the possibility of establishing enterprises of various organizational and legal forms, of which the interest of a potential foreign investor may be attracted by such as:
• Société à responsabilité limitée (S.A.R.L.) - private limited liability company
• Société Anonyme (S.A.) - open joint stock company
• Société en Nom Collectif (SNC) - unlimited partnership
• Société en commandite par actions (SCA) - limited liability partnership
All foreigners (except citizens of the European Union) in order to work as directors or managers of their enterprises in France must obtain an appropriate work permit - Carte de Commercant (professional card) and a residence permit, which are two different documents required by a foreigner for permanent residence and work in France. The application for their receipt is submitted at the same time.
Small and medium-sized businesses in France prefer to register in the form of a closed limited liability company, which is established by at least two shareholders (individuals and legal entities) and has the following features:
• minimum authorized capital - € 1;
• a company is allowed to issue only registered shares, which cannot be freely transferred to third parties without a consent of the other shareholders;
• the company is managed by a director who can be a physical person only.
An open joint stock company is established by at least seven shareholders (individuals and/or legal entities) to conduct a large business or to work with an unlimited number of potential investors and has the following features:
• a minimum authorized capital is approximately € 38,000;
• 50% of the capital amount is paid at the time of registration, and the rest - within 5 years;
• the issueance of both registered and bearer shares is allowed;
• shares of the company are allowed to be freely transferred to third parties without an approval of other shareholders;
• a company is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of three to 24 members (physical persons only);
• all directors are required to be shareholders of the company.
An unlimited partnership is established by at least two general partners (individuals and/or legal entities) without a need to pay any capital.
All partners have unlimitedly liable for debts and obligations of their business.
Partners are not free to transfer their rights and interests to third parties without a consent of the other partners. Management is carried out by the partners themselves in accordance with an Articles of association. One of the managers must be a resident of the European Union.
Limited Liability Partnerships are established by at least two persons (individuals and/or legal entities), one of whom is a general partner with unlimited liability for debts and obligations of the enterprise. Management is carried out by general partners in accordance with the Articles of association. One of the managers must be a resident of the European Union. The other partners participate in financing the business and bear limited liability for its debts.
Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, French Polynesia, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Quebec, Romania, Russian Federation , Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St Martin, St Pierre and Miquelon, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, USA, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
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