Doing business in: France
Produced in partnership with Bersay

The following Commercial practice note produced in partnership with Bersay provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Doing business in: France
  • Introduction
  • The business and legal environment
  • Forming a company
  • Financing a company
  • Opening a branch office
  • Opening a bank account
  • Renting real estate premises
  • Immigration controls
  • Key employment laws
  • More...

Doing business in: France

Updated in September 2021

Introduction

France is an open market economy and provides a business-friendly environment with strong public facilities and a legal framework in line with European standards.

France is one of the largest economic and leading commercial centres and serves as a major hub for businesses worldwide. For various economic and political reasons, the French economy has not been as exposed as others to the financial crisis in 2008–2009 and has not suffered to the same extent as other European countries. More recently, France had to face the global health crisis of Covid-19. In order to protect its economy and enable its companies to cope, France quickly put in place a number of state aids by injecting more than €200M of aid into companies and by setting up the system of state-guaranteed loans (‘Prêts Garantis par l’Etat, PGE). According to the Banque de France in June 2021, the French economy could grow by 5.75% by the end of the year. This is significantly higher than the Eurozone average of 4.6% (Projections macroéconomiques—Juin 2021, Banque de France).

There are a variety of ways of structuring an operation in France. The aim of this guide is to highlight some of the key areas that a new business will need to address before it begins to operate in France. This guide should not be considered to

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