France Company Formation

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Company Formation and Related Services



Buying a European shelf company with VAT number

Whenever you need to start doing business immediately in a European country and you need a company with a VAT number, you don’t have to wait for the bureaucratic procedures.

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Partner Law Firms

We encourage you to contact our partner law firms in Bucharest: Rolegal and E&C, both part of our legal network.

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Tax Minimization Structures

BridgeWest is specialized in special corporate structures designed for tax minimization. No matter where you want to incorporate your company, you will need to consider how you can legally minimize costs.

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Company Law in France

August 24, 2011, 1:23 am

The main document to which French company law submits is the Commercial Code (Code de Commerce). Moreover, the Civil Code and the Monetary and Financial Code are also considered sources of the rules that apply to the establishment of French companies. The French Registry of Commerce and Companies, or the Registre de commerce et des sociétés includes all natural and legal persons engaged in commercial activities and other entities, according to the Act of December 19, 2002. The most important things that are stipulated in the French company law are the definitions of the commercial companies, as opposed to civil companies.


The companies that appear under French law are limited liability company or SARL (Societe a responsabilite limite), joint stock company or SAS (Societe par actions simplifie), partnership or SNC (Societe en nom collectif) and corporation or SA (Societe anonyme). Partnerships can be limited by shares, undisclosed, economic interest grouping or cooperative. Besides, the opposite of all these corporations are the civil companies or non-trading, known as SC (Societe civile). Companies need to register to the Centre de Formalites des Entreprises, which is supposed to make the procedure a lot easier, by providing all necessary documents to only one place.

It is generally considered that company incorporation in France is a complicated procedure, which takes a lot of time. As general rules in French Commercial Code, an SA has at least seven shareholders and three directors, while the SARL does not have any directors, but it does need at least two shareholders and a CEO. The SAS usually has a minimum of two shareholders, but a board of directors is not compulsory. 


The notion of “fonds de commerce” refers to the similar notion of goodwill, that is an intangible asset, a value. The “fonds de commerce” constitutes a very important notion in the French Commercial Code, since it is involved in sales of businesses or obtainance of financing for the company. In the latter case, the “fonds de commerce” is regarded as a means of giving security to creditors.

Any contract contains references to articles in the French Civil Code or French Commercial Code. As a consequence, contractual documents are by far shorter than other signed agreements.

French Company Law also covers areas such as agency and distribution, either if it is on the territory of France or outside its boundaries.

BridgeWest offers assistance for setting up a company in France, including virtual office and other related services.

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Company Formation in France


Setting up a company in France can be done in a short amount of time and implies low costs.

Any person - no matter his or her nationality or residency - can be a director or a shareholder in a company in France. Shareholders of a Fren ... [More]

Lawyers in France


BridgeWest provides a wide range of legal services in France through our affiliated French lawyers and Law Firms in Paris and other major cities in France. We are mainly specialized in the main aspects of French Commercial Law, including Company F ... [More]