Virtual Office

Setting up a business in Paris: The guide

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Well, the city of Paris in France may just be the best place to make your plans of opening a company come true. Let’s talk about how to set up a company business in Paris, France! We’ll walk you through the whole thing.

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Clarence D.
Mar 29, 23 · 8 min read
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Business structures

Let’s start off with the basics of building foreign companies in France.

While you may already have one in mind, it’s important to be familiar with the available structures in Paris, France.

The information below will help you in completing your work vision but if you need further assistance, you can contact SeDomicilier online and obtain the legal support you require. 

SeDomicilier is a service in France that specializes in providing virtual office solutions and assisting with company formation. They offer services such as registered office addresses, mail handling, and administrative support to help businesses establish a presence in France.

company formation in france



Starting off with the simplest of them all, a Liaison office is more of a less restrictive option when setting up commercial companies in Paris, France.

This office type acts as an extension and is not allowed to have any social and commercial activities or any legal entity from its parent companies.

What makes Liaison offices so ideal is not just that they require little to no registration, but also that it fully exempts them from corporate tax.


Now, for slightly bigger and longer plans, a Branch office is very much ideal.

This office type is fully dependent on its parent and requires registration with the Trade Register. It is set to take full responsibility for its branch office and will be liable for the structure’s obligations.

Representatives handle companies that are under a branch office. This is a more flexible option that allows them to grow since it has the right to conduct social and commercial activities.

These activities that the Branch office will be conducting must be in accordance with the activities of its parent.

Although not exempt from corporate tax, the office will only pay tax according to the incomes that were generated in France.


A Subsidiary office is the third structure in the Trade Register.

It is the most complex and autonomous of them all. However, despite these, it is also the most-deal and most flexible of all structures. The subsidiary model allows you to open a branch and establish it as a legal and individual entity in France.

Yet, although it is recognized as an independent entity, the parent companies still have ultimate control over its management and decisions.

Those who wish to start up big and long-term social and commercial projects should open a Subsidiary office.

These kinds of services may require you to pay corporate tax and submit a lot upon registration, but it also allows you to apply for both government support and R&D tax credit.

Company types

Now that you have heard about the business structures, it's time we move on to the information regarding the company types available in France.

Unlike the legal structures in France that are based on the length of your services, tax, and flexibility, these depend on the number of shareholders and share capital.

French Sole Proprietorship

Once again, we’ll start off with the simplest type, which is a French Sole Proprietorship.

A French Sole Proprietorship is best for one founder. This very founder will be completely liable for bank debts, obligations, and taxes.

Companies like these do not require any initial capital.

Simplified Stock Corporation

Moving on, a Simplified Stock Corporation is a flexible variant of the French Joint Stock, which we’ll be discussing soon.

Here, there shall only be two partners for its services to form and one of them should be the chairman or president.

And just like the French Sole Proprietorship, this type does not require any initial capital.

Commercial Partnership

A Commercial Partnership in France consists of at least two partners who will be responsible for all aspects of their partnership to the extent of their personal assets.

There is no minimum capital requisition for setting up these kinds of services in France.

French Limited Liability Company

The most common type in France is the French Limited Liability Company, which is popularly known as SARL.

Incorporated by a minimum of two shareholders and a maximum number of a hundred, the French Limited Liability Company is highly ideal to support small or medium-sized companies.

There is no initial capital required for the French Limited Liability Company.

French Joint Stock Company

The minimum requirement for the above is seven shareholders, which may be a number of individuals or legal entities.

It has a starting bank share of 37,000 EUR which will come from its shareholders. This provides them with the liability to the extent of their share contribution.



How to know what kind of business is for you

Now, before you open a foreign account in France, you must have a clear vision of what you’re building.
HowTo step image

1. Focus on your skills, experience, and passion:

If you’re starting foreign companies or businesses, it's important to choose something you’re familiar with or passionate about. Choosing something that doesn't pique your interest may result in a lack of motivation in the long run.

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