Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Updated on Monday 18th April 2016

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Frequently-Asked-QuestionsOur lawyers in France often receive questions from foreign citizens moving to the country in order to set up their own business or looking for employment. Below we have gathered and answered some of those questions.


1.       What are the steps of business litigation cases in France?

Business litigation in tried by the French Commercial Court. Once the defendant is served with the summons of the plaintiff a judge will start analysing the evidence each party submits and make a decision. In order to avoid lengthy court proceedings our French lawyers can also recommend arbitration.

2.       What are the most important legal aspects I should know about company formation in France?

There are no special requirements for foreign investors opening companies in France. As long as they respect the requirements of the Commercial Code. The most employed types of companies in France are the limited liability company and the company limited by shares. There are no minimum share capital requirements, but you must deposit 20% of it in the case of limited liability companies and 50% in the case of companies limited by shares.

3.       What are the basic legal requirements for foreign investors wanting to invest in France?

The first step when opening a company in France is to select a business name and have the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association drafted. These must be submitted with the appropriate authority depending on their object of activity.

4.       Will I need special permits or licenses for my new company in France?

Yes, depending on the company’s object of activity, special licenses or permits might be required. Our French attorneys will offer you personalized advice on how to set up your company.

5.       What is the procedure of debt collection in France?

Debt collection procedures in France can be done amicably or by legal means. The main goal is to achieve an amicable debt recovery solution. If no agreement is reached between parties the Commercial Court will try the case.

6.       Do you need a visa to enter France? How can I obtain it?

Foreign citizens of non-EU countries are required to apply for a short-stay or a Schengen visa before coming to France. All applications are processed by the French Embassy or Consulate in your country.

7.       What are the steps I must follow in order to obtain citizenship in France?

In order to obtain French citizenship you must live and work in France for at least five years. Having a French income source is essential in obtaining citizenship.

8.       What are the requirements regarding employment in France?

Foreign citizens of non-EU countries are required to apply for one of the following types of work permits: self-employed or temporary worker permit, the merchant permit, the employment permit for trainees or the permanent labor permit.

9.       Are there any special requirements for marriage and/or divorce in France?

Foreign citizens are allowed to register their marriage in France after publishing their wedding banns at the City Hall 10 days prior to the event. The bride and groom must have one witness.

In case of divorce, the couple must have lived apart for at least two years, case in which a judge will validate the separation.

10.   How are individuals and companies taxed in France?

The personal income tax applied to individuals in France is progressive and ranges between 5.5% and 45%, while companies are subject to the 33.33% corporate tax rate.


For other questions or legal advice you can contact our law firm in France.