Setting up in France: a practical guide

This practical 2017 guide explains the main legal, accounting, payroll and taxation regulations for companies considering to do business in France. It has been prepared especially for international groups who would like to invest in France, where more than 20,000 foreign companies are already established, running businesses under many different legal forms.

International companies choose France because of its strategic position at the heart of Europe, the largest market in the world with 500 million consumers, and because of its membership of the euro zone, which offers the advantages of a single currency in 19 different countries.

With 65 million inhabitants, France is the third-largest consumer market in Europe after Germany and UK and the sixth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 2,060 billion euros in 2014. More than 84 million tourists visited the country in 2014. While this makes France the leading tourist destination in the world, the country was also one of the leading recipient of foreign direct investment in the world in 2013, according to the UNCTAD, receiving 12.7 billion euros in foreign investment flows. The balance of international investment in France now reaches 803 billion euros ranking the fourth most important country in terms of international investment.

In a global economy marked by an overall drop in foreign direct investments, the Invest in France Agency and its regional partners in 2014 recorded 740 new job-creating foreign investment projects, that is to 8% more than in 2013, in the top three during the 15 past years. The number of jobs created or maintained by these new investments was more than 26,000.

France  is  the  #1  investment  destination  in  Europe.  More  than  20,000  foreign  companies  currently  have  a  base  in France, employing over 2 million people. Foreign companies in France produce 40% of French industries turnover and perform more than 27% of R&D conducted in France. 

With 31 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2014, France ranks 4th in the Fortune Global 500 behind the USA, China and Japan.

Over the years, Mazars has worked with many businesses setting up in France. They have all experienced the frustration of getting to grips with the complex regulatory environment. This guide is provided to give a general overview of the main regulations that will apply and make the familiarisation that much easier. 

1. Customizing your Project

    a. More than one way to skin a cat...
    b. Go live 101         
    c. Main requirements

2. Shedding light upon French taxes

    a. Corporate Income Tax and tax benefits
    b. VAT
    c. Other taxes
    d. Payroll taxes and government subsidies
    e. international taxation highlights

To read the full content of this guide, please download the document below.


Doing Business in France
Doing Business in France