Set Up a Foundation in France

Set Up a Foundation in France

Updated on Friday 14th December 2018

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Set-up-a-foundation-in-France.jpgThere are two categories of structures which can be opened in France: commercial and non-commercial entities. Both categories are well represented by various types of companies when it comes to commercial entities, while non-commercial ones are represented by foundations and associations.

Our lawyers in France can help both local and foreign citizens who want to open foundations and associations in this country. Below, you will find information about the requirements and procedure of opening a foundation in France.

Requirements for opening a foundation in France

Foreigners who want to open foundations or non-profit organizations (NGOs) must comply with the Non-profit Organization Act which is one of the oldest laws in France, as it goes back to 1901. Ever since it was modernized several types and under its current provisions, the following requirements must be met in order to set up a foundation:

  • -          the foundation must be created through a legal deed which must be or not registered with the Companies Register, depending on their status;
  • -          the foundation can be created for non-profit purposes and the profits must be reinvested in the foundation;
  • -          the management of the foundation must be carried out voluntarily by the members;
  • -          in the case of dissolution, the members cannot divide the assets of the foundation between them.


As mentioned above, only certain types of foundations must be registered with the Trade Register. These are the foundations created by corporate entities. Our law firm in France can help with the creation of a foundation.

Advantages of foundations in France

There are several benefits offered by a foundation in France. Among these, we remind the following:

  • -          under the French Tax Law, foundations can benefit from various tax deductions;
  • -          the members will have full control over the foundation, including its assets and expenditures;
  • -          foundations can also be established for tax and estate planning purposes in France;
  • -          French foundations are also allowed to hire other family members;
  • -          the French law provides for a large variety of foundations which can be set up for various purposes.


If you are interested in setting up a foundation and need help, please contact our French lawyers.