Using a domiciliation address for your French business address

By Valérie Aston on 22 September 2019 · Viewed 205 times · Questions

When registering a business in France, you will have to give a business address or adresse commerciale, which for most entrepreneurs would be their home address. The question is, what happens if you are currently renting a property or if you do not want to have your home address appearing in business directories. Yes, I am afraid that if you do not specify it, your business address will appear in business directories such as Societe.com.

What is a domination address?

Domiciliation is a service that enables you to rent a business address or letterbox. This address will be used as your addresse commerciale, meaning in business directories, your marketing material and your invoices. The domiciliation company will still have your personal address in their records, as they legally need to be able to communicate them to the tax office.

French business address when you are renting a property

Chances are that if you have just arrived in France, you might start by renting a property or flat before you decide whether you want to stay long term or where you want to buy a property.  If you are renting and registering a business, you should therefore ask for your landlord’s permission to use this address for your business. You can reassure your landlord by confirming that this is purely for administrative purposes and that you will not have customers coming to the property.

Some landlords may not be very keen. A first option is to opt for your personal details not to be published in business directories when registering your business. I’m not very keen on this option, as it is very useful to check that your business details are correct. I often use online directories to help customers figure out what is wrong with their business set up, such as a wrong address, wrong name or wrong activity code, which often explains why you get no mail.

The second option is to set up a domiciliation address, before registering your French business. This must be done before the business registration, as you will need the address and SIREN number of the domiciliation company and/or a copy of the domiciliation contract (for trading activities for instance).

How much does a domiciliation cost in France?

There are different kinds of domiciliation services ranging from the plain letterbox that you come and check to postal mail being redirected or calls taken in your name. The basic domiciliation service may range from 6,49€ per month with Se Domicilier for the cheapest option to 34€ per months for an address in a well-known location and for your mail to be scanned for you.

Where can I set up a domiciliation for my business in France

If you are living in Province (i.e. outside of Paris, Ile de France), look at local Pepinieres d’Entreprises, which is a property site designed for small businesses, with affordable rent. Also, look at coworking or office rental places. This is a good option, as you will be able to go and collect your post, as well as meet other entrepreneurs, as such places often hold entrepreneurs morning coffee or workshops.

If you are in Paris, Bordeaux, Biarritz, Lyon, Marseilles, Toulouse, Rennes or Lille, have a look at companies such as Se Domicilier. Customers and visitors from Start Business In France will benefit from a 10% discount for 6 months with this code DOMICILIATION10.


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.