France is an attractive business location 

More than 25,000 foreign companies have established themselves in France, employing almost 2 million people. What could be a better testimony to the quality of the business environment in France?  

You should not miss the opportunities and chances of the French market. Therefore, in the following article, we will explain to you the steps you should take when establishing a company in France and give you tips on how to successfully enter the French market. 

15 steps to set up a company in France   

The formation of a company requires a certain number of steps to be taken before or parallel to the registration of the company.    

  1. Definition of the investment project; identification of the framework conditions for the establishment of the company  
  2. Development of a business plan  
  3. Seeking public or private financing (loans, venture capital, business angels, etc.)  
  4. Search for public sponsors at national and/or local level  
  5. Select an advisor abroad  
  6. Administrative formalities: registration of the statutes with the corporate tax department of the place of the registered office  
  7. Search for office space and domiciliation of the company headquarters  
  8. Choice of the legal form (e.g. SAS, SARL or SA). Read more about it in another article!
  9. Signing of the contract
  10. Appointment of Executive Directors  
  11. Application for a long-stay visa or residence permit (if required)  
  12. Choice of the company name (research aid for existing names at the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI), )  
  13. Where appropriate, the domain name of the company’s website  
  14. The appointment of the auditor   
  15. Opening of a bank account in France and payment of the capital of the company in formation 

Some of these steps involve procedures in the country of origin as well as on French territory and may take several weeks.   

Something you should also not forget when setting up a company in France:  

  • Company insurance, liability insurance and/or insurance for your office premises   
  • Membership of a pension fund in France for employees (compulsory within three months of registration)  
  • Registration of employees with the social security system 

It is often difficult to keep an overview with all the bureaucratic hurdles. We at Smylingua have specialized in advising you on all translation-related issues and thus assist you with your expansion in France.   

At Smylingua we employ professional translators who have undergone specialized training. Each translator is bilingual, having mastered at least two languages. Some of our qualified translators even have language skills in more than two languages and are therefore multilingual. This means that we can provide you with the expertise and resources you need to set up a company in France and we will be happy to advise you. Contact us today at or call us directly on +33 1 76 43 32 76.  


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