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Starting a Business in France


Virginie Le Baler


March 07, 2023


05:39 PM

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Do you already live in France, or are you thinking of moving there to start a business? If so, what are your immigration and visa options? If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss national (in which case no immigration formalities are necessary), you must obtain the appropriate residence permit. Find out below about the different options available to you!

Starting a Business While Inside France

First you need to check if your current status allows you to set up your business. Only some legal statuses allow you to do so. These include:

  • Job Search and Business Creation (RECE)
  • Liberal profession entrepreneur Talent Passport
  • Company creation entrepreneur Talent Passport
  • Investor Talent Passport Passport
  • Private and family life
  • Permanent resident
  • 10-years residence permit
  • Spouse of a European citizen
  • If you have another status, a change of status to the correct status will be required.

Starting a Business While Outside of France

Your visa application must be lodged at the Consulate of France of your country.

The “Company Creation” Talent Passport

The basic requirements for issuing this Talent Passport are as follows:

  • Hold a master’s degree or equivalent and/or be able to prove professional experience of at least 5 years;
  • Be able to prove the viability of the business creation project;
  • Invest at least €30,000 in the company;
  • Be able to justify sufficient financial resources (€20,511.40, i.e. 12 times the legal minimum wage)

The Company Creation Talent Passport falls into the category of Talent Passports and, as a result, allows its holder:

  • To benefit his family (married spouse / children under 18 years of age), who will thus benefit from visas / residence permits authorizing them to live and work in France;
  • To obtain a residence permit generally issued for 4 years


The Company Creation Talent Passport requires an advance of several months, due to the number of documents to be provided and the nature of these documents. The purpose of the authorities is to check that your file meets the requirements of this talent passport: viability of the project, investment, experience / professional skills.

You will first need to obtain an agreement from the Ministry of the Economy which validates the validity of your project after examining the file. This can take up to 2 months.

Simultaneously, the application file must be prepared and must include all the documents related to your professional experience, your income but also to the creation of the company: Kbis, domiciliation contract, lease contract,…. The assembly of the file may take a few weeks.

You will also need to prove that the creation of the company includes a minimum investment of € 30,000, and that these funds have been paid into the account of a bank in France. Finding a French bank accepting a customer not living in France must also be anticipated.

Once the file is ready and submitted, the authorities can take several months to give their decision.

The “Holder of an innovative economic project” Talent Passport

If you do not wish to invest 30K in this project, you have the possibility to apply for the Talent Passport for an innovative economic project recognized by a public body.

For this, you will have to prove the innovative nature of your project, its recognition by a French public body and financial resources equivalent to the SMIC ( minimal wage).

You can be supported in this project by a French Tech incubator, as part of the “French Tech Visa for Founders” program.

This Talent Passport is faster to obtain than the Company Creation one, because it requires a little less documents. Nevertheless, documents proving its viability and recognition by a public body require several months of preparation in advance.

The “Entrepreneur/liberal profession” residence permit

If you wish to carry out a commercial, craft or industrial activity in France, this permit is also an option to consider, especially since it does not involve a financial investment as substantial as the Company Creation Talent Passport.

You will need to prove the long-term viability of your project, and explain how your professional skills and experience relate to the project.

The big difference with the talent passports offered previously is the duration of the title obtained (1 year renewable if the conditions are met) and the non-possibility of being accompanied by your family before a certain time.

Other Important Considerations for Starting a Business in France

Starting a business in France can be a rewarding experience, but it also requires careful planning and adherence to legal and bureaucratic requirements. In addition to the immigration and visa options listed above, here are some general considerations:

Legal structure: In France, you have several legal structures to choose from when setting up a business, such as Sole Proprietorship (EI), Limited Liability Company (SARL), Simplified Joint Stock Company (SAS), etc.

Registration: To register your business, you will need to visit the Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE) or Business Formalities Center, where you will need to submit your application and obtain your business registration number.

Business Plan: It is essential to create a business plan that outlines your goals, strategy, financial projections, and other critical aspects of your business.

Taxes: You will need to register for taxes, including value-added tax (VAT), corporate tax, and social security contributions.

Employment: If you plan on hiring employees, you will need to comply with labor laws and regulations, including contracts, insurance, and benefits.

Business Bank Account: It is necessary to open a French bank account in the name of the business to conduct transactions.

Administrative Procedures: French administrative procedures can be complex and time-consuming. You will need to be patient and organized to navigate the various requirements.

Overall, starting a business in France can be challenging, but with the right resources and guidance, you can succeed.

CONTACT US TODAY to discuss your project and explore the different options!

Global Immigration Expert, Virgine Le Baler, has been in the global mobility industry for 13 years. Virginie created Oui Immigration to provide an expert yet human management of immigration, globally.

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