Open a Restaurant in France

Open a Restaurant in France

Updated on Friday 14th December 2018

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Open-a-restaurant-in-France.jpgMost foreign investors coming to France seek to open companies in prolific industries, such as hospitality. Many French cities provide for numerous possibilities of operating in this industry by opening HORECA companies, such as cafes, hotels, and restaurants.

Those who want to open a restaurant in France must comply with several laws and are required to apply for specific licenses in order to be allowed to operate on the local market. Below, our lawyers in France explain the legal requirements for opening a restaurant here.

How to register a company for opening a French restaurant

The opening of a restaurant in France implies several steps which must be completed in a specific order in order to be able to operate as soon as possible. One of the most important steps is the company registration which also takes the longest.

In order to register a company for opening a restaurant in France, a foreign entrepreneur must:

  • -          choose one of the legal structures provided by the French Company Act;
  • -          prepare all the supporting documents related to the registration of the company;
  • -          finding a suitable location and opening the company’s bank account which take the longest time;
  • -          applying for the necessary licenses and hiring specialized personnel for the food establishment.


Our law firm in France can help with the incorporation of the company with the Trade Register.

Licenses and permits for setting up a restaurant in France

There are several licenses which must be obtained by a restaurant in France. Also, it must obtain certain authorization and undergo inspections from the local authorities.

The following special requirements apply when opening a restaurant in France:

  • -          it must undergo inspections from the police department and the Department of Social Protection;
  • -          it must obtain certain licenses related to the opening and closing hours and on the protection of minors;
  • -          regular inspections will also be carried out by the general town council representatives;
  • -          it must apply for one or more liquor licenses, based on the types of drinks served.


French restaurants must also obtain a rating, just like local hotels.

For assistance in setting up a restaurant, do not hesitate to contact our French lawyers.