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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Setting up a Limited Liability Company (SARL) in France

September 7, 2011, 12:36 am

If a foreign investor intends to set up a Limited Liability Company in France or a Societe a Responsabilite Limitee (SARL), it is necessary to know that this type of company is the best choice for small and medium-sized businesses. Although the French system is rather complex and you may need some guidance in the process of incorporation, establishing a SARL in France has simple rules.


An entrepreneur needs no more than 1 EUR in order to set up a Limited Liability Company in France. One may choose to contribute in either cash or assets, but no matter what form, 20% of the initial capital has to be paid prior to registration and the rest can be paid within five years. An expert (commissaire aux apports) has to evaluate the contributions and issue a report.


At least one partner and maximum 100 partners can establish a SARL in France. They can be either French or foreign citizens. Their voting rights and profit rights will be proportional to the amount of capital shares owned. Shares can be freely transferred between the shareholders. If there is only one shareholder, then the company is a EURL or Entreprise Unipersonelle à Responsabilité Limitée, also known as Private Limited Company under Sole Ownership.


A French SARL usually has one or more managers (gerants), according to the articles of incorporation, regardless of their residence and nationality. The manager is appointed by the articles of incorporation and if it does not stipulate a different term, then the position can be occupied for lifetime. Otherwise, one or more shareholders holding more than half of the shares have to appoint another manager. He can be chosen from the shareholders, employees or he can be a third party. Anyway, a manager represents the corporation and takes all necessary decisions in the interest of the corporation. His authority may be limited by shareholders.


If two of the following conditions are exceeded, then the French SARL needs a statutory auditor. It happens if the total assets exceed 1,550,000 EUR or sales are over 3.1 million EUR or there are more than 50 employees. The auditor needs to issue reports concerning the accounts and financial transactions performed by the company.

Other requirements

It is mandatory to inform the other shareholders about any transfer of shares. However, you are free to transfer share between partners or to members of the family.


Open Business in France
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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]