Setting up a Corporation in France

A summary of the most common types of companies

When it comes to setting up subsidiary companies in France, a corporation (SARL, SA or SAS) is the preferred entity. The corporation is the most common entity in France. The limited liability company – Société à Responsabilité Limitée (SARL), is the most common one. The simplified stock company – Société par Actions Simplifiées (SAS), represented 39% of all newly incorporated companies in 2014. Meanwhile, the classic joint-stock company – Société anonyme (SA), is now referred to as a miscellaneous type’ of company.

The law on the modernization of the economy, which came into force on August 6, 2008, was a major contributor to the SAS’ attractiveness. The growing popularity of the SAS compared to the SARL and SA will most certainly further increase.

The following briefing aims to present a concise comparative overview of the different types of stock companies and to clarify what must be considered before incorporation.

The following summary is not exhaustive and the individual circumstances should always be considered. An expert’s opinion is strongly recommended for drafting the articles of association.

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