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Taxation of foreign companies in France

Taxation of Foreign Companies in France

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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taxation_of_foreign_investors_in_france.jpgForeign companies in France are generally taxed under the same taxation regime as French companies. The French government encourages foreign investments in the country in most parts of the industry as they create new jobs, contribute to the development of new technologies and increase imports and exports.  However, restrictions do apply to foreign companies in regards operating in the defense field or in the public services field.

Foreign companies that activate in France need approval in order to invest in some specific areas of business, including oil refining or service stations. Special permits and licenses are also necessary to perform specific activities, such as selling and processing foodstuffs or running several types of businesses. Foreign companies have the same type of obligations as the French companies registered with the Trade Register, known in France as “Registre du commerce”.

Our French lawyers can help you with any necessary information about the company registration procedure and other company obligations. Company management is an important process and our attorneys in France are qualified to help you with the best services for management and tax minimization.

Taxes for foreign companies in France

The main taxes in France are:
- the corporate income tax,
- the business tax,
- withholding taxes,
- the social surcharge,
- the real estate tax,
- the transfer tax,
- registration duties,
- social contributions.
France offers a participation exemption for dividends and capital gains. Also, controlled foreign company and thin capitalization regimes apply. France has signed double tax treaties with more than 100 countries worldwide. 
Corporate tax in France must be paid annually and it applies to all French-source profits made by the company, irrespective of the type of company. Resident and non-resident companies in France are taxable in the country on the profits made by their French business. The corporate tax for most companies in France is 33.33%. A surtax of 3.3% applies for large companies and the surtax is calculated when the company’s tax liability exceeds 763,000 euros. 

Other taxes in France

Stamp duty, customs and excise duties and environmental taxes, as well as other taxes, can apply to companies in France. Our team of experienced lawyers in France can give you more details about the taxes for your company, depending on the business field in which you operate.
Foreign companies can open a branch in France and this type of company is generally ineligible for tax breaks. Branches are taxed on the income generated in France. The branch tax in France can be reduced under certain conditions.
Apart from branches, foreign companies in France can also open liaison offices in France, that is allowed to hire employees, but it is not engaged in commercial activities. The liaison office has the advantage that it does not have to pay the usual taxes. However, it must pay social security for its employees. 
If you need more details about the taxation system in France, you can contact our attorneys in France.



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