Where and how to register your business in France

By Valérie Aston on 9 June 2008 · Viewed 3043 times · Questions

Many business activities registered with the Chambre de Métiers such as builder, hairdresser or electrician require a Brevet d’Etudes Professionnelles (BEP) or Contrat d’Apprentissage Professionnel (CAP), which are the equivalent to an apprenticeship. You will therefore have to bring a copy of your English diplomas or prove that you have been working in this field for over 3 years. Anyone registering with the Chambre de Métiers will also have to attend a one-week compulsory training entitled Stage préalable à la création d’entreprise costing about 200€.

What about gîtes and bed and breakfast? Should you be registering with the Chamber of Commerce or the Centre des Impôts? If the revenue from the gîtes activity is your main source of income, you will have to register with the Chamber of Commerce. This will imply paying social charges of 3,500 euros for the first year. If it is a secondary income, you are entitled to register direct with the Centre des Impôts.

The Centre de Formalité des Entreprises (CFE) will inform the RSI, URSSAF and general direction of taxes of your inscription. The official registration papers or Extrait KBIS with your SIRET and SIREN number will be posted to you within 10 days.

Registering a one-man business in France or enterprise individuelle is straightforward and can be completed within an hour. On the other hand formalities for registering a company – EURL or SARL – can take a couple of weeks. Three stages have to be completed before going to the CFE:

  1. Funds composing the capital have to be blocked on a professional bank account. A récipissé de dépôt or confirmation of deposit will be given to you.
  2. The Statuts or articles of incorporation can be written by a notaire, lawyer or accountant. These statuts will have to be recorded by the Centre des Impôts. The CFE, and usually your bank, will require a copy of the validated statuts.
  3. Finally, an advertisement costing about 150€ will have to be placed in the Journal Officiel to confirm your registration. Once again a récipissé will be required for the CFE.

Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.