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Company Formation in France

Entity Type: SAS/SA (unquoted in stock exchange)

Name Details

Does the name of the company require approval by the Registry or other authorities?

It is necessary to verify with the INPI (Intellectual Property Authorities) if another company already uses the new corporate name.

  • INPI: INPI – Direction de la propriété industrielle
    15 rue des Minimes – CS 50001
    92677 Courbevoie Cedex
  • Fax : 01 56 65 86 00.

Our IP/IT legal team can perform a double-checking of the availability of the new corporate name. This work is subject to an additional fee quote provided by the IP/IT legal team.

This work consist of some verifications on the availability name such as:

  • to double-check the availability of the name on the online trademark databases and on the online Trade and Company Register
    (Commercial Court); and
  •  to perform a research on existing domain name.

Both researches are based on the exact words of the new corporate name and on similar names that could be infringed by the new corporate name.

How many prospective names will you require?


Are there any restrictions or limitations on words that can be used in company names?

It is not possible to use:

  • name of a regulated activity
  • the term “fondation”
  • the term “solde”
  • the symbol “€”
  • an ambiguous term (on the signification)
  • a third party’s trademark for similar products
  • a famous trademark
  • the third’s surname if it is a specific surname
  • a famous pseudonym

Address Details

Does the company need to provide a registered address?


Are there any limitations on the registered address (i.e. must be in-country, must not be a PO box)

Yes, the registered address must correspond to the place of effective management of the company.

It can’t be a PO box.

If the client has no physical location incountry, can they use your address for the purposes of registration?


Officer Details

How many Directors are required?

For an SAS : 1 President and optional General


For an SA: 3 Directors and 1 President General Director or 1 President of the Board of Directors and 1 General Director

Are any other officers required (i.e. Secretary)?


What personal details will you need for each officer?

Last name, First name, Place and date of birth, Address, Nationality.

Parent’s names (including mother’s maiden name).

Is there a requirement for any in country resident directors?


Do you need proof of address or Identity for officers? If YES, in what format?

Yes: passport or identity card.

Shareholders Details

How many shareholders are required?

1 for a SAS
2 for a SA

Are there any restrictions on who can be a shareholder?


What information will you require about shareholder?

  • Legal entity: corporate name, registered office, share capital, legal representative’s name and position.
  • Individuals: last name, first name, place and date of birth, address, nationality.

Will you require proof of address or ID from the shareholders?

No, a written confirmation by the client is sufficient.

Share Capital

Will the company need to specify a maximum number of shares that can be issued?

No (Except otherwise provided in the Articles of Association (AoA))

Is any stamp duty paid on the issued share capital? If YES, at what rate is this calculated.


Other Details

Do you require any further information about the company or its officers?

  • The purpose of the activity (Company)
  • The date of closing of the financial year
  • Contact details and letters of acceptation of their duties of the statutory auditors
  • Number of employees
  • Copy of the lease or domiciliation agreement for the registered office.
  • Bank deposit certificate for the moneys corresponding to the share capital
  • Fiscal regime and TVA option


  • Appointment of an auditor when contribution in kind is brought to the company during the setting-up process (in specific situations provided for by the Law);
  • Adoption of the articles of associations: Draw up it/Appointment of the Director/Appointment of the Statutory Auditor (if it is mandatory);
  • Deposit the fund on the bank account;
  • Evidence of the registered address of the company;
  • Double checking the corporate name;
  • If it is a regulated activity: meeting the conditions required by French law (for instance, diploma or personal qualifications (Head of Pharmacist));
  • Legal announcement;
  • Filing with the Commercial Court;
  • Reception of French Certificate of Registration;
  • Creation the legal company books stamped and signed by the Clerk of Commercial Court.


How long will it take to complete incorporation?

Approximately 15 days from the deposit of documents to the Commercial court.

Is there any way to expedite the incorporation for an extra fee?


Latest version updated 2nd May 2018

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