Business start-up costs in France

Business start-up costs in France

Updated on Thursday 26th January 2023

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The business start-up costs in France include several taxes that differ according to the type of company and the business field in which it operates. They mostly consist of taxes for mandatory procedures in relation to the public authorities, but also include fees for notary procedures, the share capital for the company and other auxiliary costs.
Our French lawyers can help you evaluate your business plan and establish the main costs for business formation.

Fees for drawing up the necessary documents

Notaries in France have different fees, according to the complexity of the provided service. Certain documents are mandatory and they need to be drawn up in front of a public notary. The articles of incorporation are mandatory for limited liability companies, as well as certain other documents that need to be notarized.
Unlimited liability companies can draw up these documents only on an optional basis and usually a simple private deed is enough for forming this type of French company. If the investor cannot be present in France at the time of the incorporation, he/she can draw up a special power of attorney so that a representative can take care of the necessary documents. For more information regarding this special document, you can contact our French lawyers.
Other fees are applicable when the articles of association are registered at the Registry Office and when an extract is published in the Official Gazette. Additionally, any changes brought to the articles of association will be charged with a tax. After all the incorporation documents are complete, the company identification data is introduced into the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE), which delivers a business number. After this number is validated, a VAT number will be issued. A fee also applies for this step and if the company has several business units, there is an additional cost per unit.
Other taxes may include a tax for a deeper research for checking the availability of a business name and for buying company books.
You can also find out what are the costs related to opening a French business are from the video below:

The minimum share capital: a mandatory cost

Perhaps the most important business start-up cost in France is the company’s share capital. This varies according to the type of company. In this sense, the minimum share capital that needs to be deposited for a limited liability company is 1 EUR and for a joint-stock company the entrepreneurs must provide a minimum capital of at least 37,000 EUR (and at least half of this amount must be deposited upon registration).
When one or more partners make contributions in kind (real estate in France, vehicles, machinery, other acceptable items), an expert report must be prepared by an independent and accredited auditor. The cost of such a report can vary.
Buying a property in France is a process that can be supervised by one of our lawyers with experience in this matter. There are no restrictions on the acquisition of hotels, residential buildings, land, or office space if they are not owned by the state. Mention that a pre-sale agreement is necessary, and this document can be verified from a legal point of view by our experts. In addition, we can represent you at the moment of signing the documents, in front of the notary.
In 2013, the World Bank estimated that the costs of the business start-up procedures in France was 0.90 percent of the gross national income. If you need additional details about company incorporation, our lawyers in France can offer you legal assistance and representation in front of French courts.