France offers a "One-Stop-Shop" through which businesses can be created very rapidly.

• A One-Stop-Shop for business creation : le Centre de formalités des entreprises

This center handles all administrative documents required to set up a business and delivers them to the relevant authorities.
Formalities can be completed and processes verified online.

Cost : about €314 (includes cost of publishing in the legal gazette).

• Choosing a legal structure :

The three main types of limited liability companies :

  • SARL (Société à responsabilitée limitée) : the easiest to set up and operate ;
  • SA (Société anonyme) : the most sophisticated type ;
  • SAS (Société par actions simplifiées) : often used by international companies wishing to maintain 100% control of the French subsidiary – No capital needed.

The chosen legal structure will affect the company’s legal status, taxes, assets and employment relations.

• Protecting your IP

The French Patent and Trademark Office (INPI) must be contacted to :

  • protect patents, trademarks, design models ;
  • extend legal protections granted in other countries to France and Europe.

(source : Doing Business in France, January 2014)