You are an American company and want to set up your business in France ? Learn about the steps you will need to take :  


Step 1 :  Ensure to be able to practice your activity in France 

France currently has a reciprocity agreement with the United States which allows Americans to carry out any activity in France.

However, it is essential to ensure that you do not need to obtain certain specific diplomas, precise professional experience or administrative authorization to exercise your activity on French soil.


Step 2 :  Administrative procedures

The administrative procedures may be different depending on your place of residence.

You are American and want to reside in France :

Are you an entrepreneur? Your business creation project must be considered economically viable to obtain these permits.

You are American but do not want to reside in France :

  • Your company has a commercial activity : you must be registered in the French Trade and Companies Register (RCS).
  • You are self-employed and you practice a craft activity and employ less than 10 people : you must be registered in the trade register (RM).


Step 3 : Take the necessary steps with the qualified individuals 

  • Once in France, you will have to contact the French prefectural authority of your place of residence in order to apply for a temporary residence permit for work reasons. You will obtain a temporary residence document called a receipt, valid for 4 to 6 months. This receipt allows you to work and initiate the registration process for your business.


Step 4 : Choose the right legal status for your business

Once in France, you will have to choose from 9 different legal forms.

You will have to carefully select the best-suited for your business.

  • Sole proprietorship (Entreprise individuelle, EI)/Sole proprietorship with limited liability (Entreprises individuelle à responsabilité limitée, EIRL)
  • Limited liability single-member company (Entreprise unipersonnelle à responsabilité limitée, EURL)
  • Limited liability company (LLC) (Société à responsabilité limitée, SARL)
  • Limited company (Société anonyme, SA)
  • Simplified Stock Company (Société par actions simplifiée, SAS)/Single member simplified stock company (Société par actions simplifiée unipersonnelle, SASU)
  • General Partnership (Société en nom collectif, SNC)
  • The co-operative production society (société coopérative de production, SCOP)
  • Limited partnership on shares (Société commandite par actions, SCA)
  • Limited partnership (Société en commandite simple, SCS)


Step 5 : Get the best support

In order to make your development on French territory easier, it is best to be supported in administrative, fiscal, accounting, payroll management and human resources tasks.

Setting up a new business in France can be complex. Therefore, the CF Henderson Firm specializing in the taxation of American companies and individuals, is ready to help you throughout your process through its relevant and tailored advice and tax optimization services according to your needs.

For more information and if you want the best support from our experts in your project, do not hesitate :


Contact us