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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VAT in France

August 19, 2011, 9:53 pm

1. What is the VAT in France?

The VAT in France has a standard rate of 19.6% since April 2000 and applies to the majority of products and services, while the reduced rate of 5.5% applies only to some sectors, such as public health or culture.

2. How can I get a VAT refund in France?

Most entrepreneurs are able to recover their VAT taxes on their business expenses in France. In order to obtain the VAT refund, the entrepreneur must render him/herself as eligible by providing invoices and documents on the company represented. A form provided by the French tax office must be filed by the refund claimer. Usually, original copies of documents are requested in order to prevent fraud. The VAT refund is obtained in a maximum time period of two months.

3. How can I register for VAT in France?

VAT registration in France is mandatory only for some businesses, carrying out specific activities. Upon company incorporation the representative, or the person in charge with establishment of the company, must submit an application at the Centre de Formalités des Enterprises which issues the registration certificate for the French company. After issuance of the incorporation certificate the institution also informs the tax authorities of the formation of the new company submitting its information. Even though the procedure is completed automatically upon registration, a company may register for VAT by submitting an application at one of the offices of the Tax Authorities. The registration is completed after the issuance of a VAT number of 13 characters, the first two letters being the country code FR. If you want to learn more about VAT registration in France, you can look up in the General Tax Code (Code général des impôts).

4. How does intra-community VAT work in France?

In France, there is a system called VIES (VAT Information Exchange System) that contributes to observing the VAT system and any abuse of the zero-rated transactions intra-community by checking your VAT number. The VAT number for your company is provided after the company is registered and it is placed on the European VIES register immediately. If you perform intra-community supplies to another Member State, you need to submit every month a trade of goods declaration, listing all your intra-community trade.

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

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.

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Accounting Firm France


BridgeWest provides accounting services in France through our affiliates in Paris, Lyon, Marseille and France’s main cities. Our main areas of expertise include the following:

Accountancy & Book keeping in France
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