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Opening a branch

A Foreign company can establish a place of business in France without forming a new subsidiary company by setting up a branch office. It will be considered and treated as the same legal entity as its parent.

The Foreign parent is directly responsible for all incurred liabilities of the French branch office.

The Foreign company must file prescribed particulars of both of the Foreign company and its French establishment with the French Registry of Commerce such as:

  • the equivalent of an original certificate of incorporation and existence (showing the company’s main particulars) not less than 3 months old with  certified translations ;

  • a certified copy of the Foreign company’s articles of association with a certified translation ;

  • a copy of the deed of title, lease or domiciliation agreement relating to the premises of the French branch office; and

  • details of the authorised representative(s) of the French branch office.

Once the branch is registered in France, the Foreign company will have to file with the relevant Commercial Court, every year, a copy of the annual accounts with a certified translation.

The French branch office must have a local manager duly empowered to act on behalf of the company towards third parties. He/she will only carry out permitted activities (by the Foreign company) pursuant to a power of attorney.

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