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French Commercial Code explained by our lawyers in France

French Commercial Code

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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The French Commercial Code is part of the private law, one of the two branches of the French law. France has a civil law legal system, influenced by the Civil Code, also known as the Napoleonic Code. The commercial law (droit commercial) is used to govern the relationships between individuals and businesses, commercial activities, trade, sale and merchandise. 
The Commercial Code is divided into several books that regulate various aspects of commerce. The first book describes general issues related to commerce in France - the commercial act and the traders are defined in the first chapters of the French Commercial Code.

Commercial activities in France

According to the Commercial Code definition, commercial instruments in France are all and any purchases of real-estate, movable property and any other actions regarding reselling them, manufacturing activities and transport activities, either by land or water, brokerage and exchange operations, public banking operations, relationships and obligations between merchants, dealers and bankers. There are also included in commercial activities the following: the purchase and sale of foodstuffs, sea shipments and other activities related to commercial ships and trade by sea.
The capacity of a trader in France is also described in the first book of the French Commercial Code. According to the law, traders in France are individuals who carry out commercial instruments, as defined by the Code, and who make a profession out of these activities. Minors in France cannot be traders.
Foreign investments and trade in France are regulated by Chapter II of the first book. According to this chapter, foreign nationals who are not citizens of an EU or EEA member state need to register their activities and obtain a consent from a French Prefect before engaging in any commercial or industrial activities in France.
Our French lawyers may offer you detailed information about the legislation for exports and imports in France.

How can French lawyers help you with opening a company?

Special provisions apply to foreign nationals who open companies in France or who carry out commercial activities through a branch or a subsidiary in France. The Commercial Code also stipulates the general rules for company registration and the registration requirements for natural persons who undertake trading activities in France.
Our French lawyers can help you register your company in France and choose the best type of company for your business. Also, traders in France need to observe the general accounting rules in France and be aware of the possible financial liabilities applicable to all traders.
Our law firm in France offers various legal services and consultancy for businesses in France. Please contact our French lawyers for a detailed offer.


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