1.      What are the main company forms in your country?

The main forms of company are the private limited liability corporate company (SARL) and the limited liability company (SAS).

It is also possible to form partnership, join-stock company or other companies such as corporation or limited partnership (without any limited liability).

2.      Which is the most preferred company form by foreign investors?

The limited liability company, known as “société par actions simplifiée” (simplified join-stock company) is considered as the preferred form for investors.

3.      What are the basic capital requirements of this company? (minimum amounts, types of capital, deadline of capital contribution)

The minimum share capital is €1.

Higher thresholds apply for other forms.

 Evidence of remittance of share capital must be provided simultaneously with incorporation.  

The share capital is composed of actions that have been freely evaluated by the partners.

The partners must release 50% of the capital at start and have 5 years to release the others 50%.

4.      What are the basic rules of shareholders liability for company debts in this company?

Liability of shareholders is limited to any unpaid part of the share capital.

Beyond that, there is no personal liability of the shareholder saving except in case of “lifting of the corporate veil”.

5.      What are the basic management requirements for this company? (only natural persons, or nationals can be managers etc.)

Law provides that there must be at least one director.

Both natural persons and corporate bodies can be directors.

There is no statutory requirement for the director to be resident in France, though the residence of directors may have tax implications.    

6.      How long does the registration procedure of this company take?

Registration is issued within a delay of at least 4 days from the date of submission and the filing of all the required documentation.

7.      What are the main costs of formation of this company in local currency?

Registration Fee to the Registrar of Companies: €49,92

Publication fee (mandatory): on average €230, depending the location of the company.

8.      What is the average attorney’s fee of the formation of this company in local currency?

Fees vary from €800 to €2,000 taking into account the circumstances and the complexity of the drafting.

9.      What are the basic publicity requirements of this company (filing of company changes, financial reports, etc.)

The original statutes and any future modifications need to be registered.

The financial reports, the Company Statute and changes including identity of shareholders, directors and company secretary must be publicly accessible.

Financial statements are addressed to the Registrar of Companies.

10.   What are the main auditor requirements?

Companies are obliged to appoint auditor, if both of the following  conditions are met:

- €1,000,000  total balance sheet

- €2,000,000  net sales

- 20 permanent employees on average.

Under these rates, there is no legal obligation to audit the financial situation.