Step-by-step guide to starting a business in France
Communication Team
Communication Team

January 18, 2023


Step-by-step guide to starting a business in France

If you’re interested in doing business in France, you’ll know that they’ve been actively working to promote its new business scene over the last few years. The French government is working to champion entrepreneurship and has implemented a number of measures to support and encourage it in the country.

Startups in France get a lot of support from the French government as well as through a number of private organisations and accelerator programmes. The French government offers different kinds of financial support, including equity, to fund and mentor startups. Non-residents in France will also find private organisations and accelerators useful when looking for support to get their businesses off the ground.

The support, encouragement and promotion of new businesses makeFrance an attractive destination particularly for non-resident entrepreneurs and startups. The government's efforts to promote and support new businesses in the country are helping to create a more dynamic and vibrant business scene, which is increasingly open to international entrepreneurs.

It’s also possible and fairly easy to open your business in France online. We’ll tell you more about it in this blog post!

Steps to follow for opening a business account in France

Since you’ll probably be new to the market, it's important that you consider all the steps to set up your business successfully. Here are some pointers for where to start:

Conduct market research and develop a business plan

Do your own research into the market and sector in France that you want to start your business in. This is particularly important as it will be a new to you environment. This research should include an analysis of the potential customer base, competitors, and regulatory infrastructure. Once you have all this figured out, it is time to build a solid business plan. Your plan should include details about your business idea, target market, financial projections, and marketing strategy. The more detailed it is, the more it will help guide your business operations.

Choose a business structure

Different business structures each have their own benefits and drawbacks. It’s important for you to choose one that you feel best and suits all your business needs. France offers several different types of business structures, including a sole proprietorship, a partnership, and a limited liability company (SARL). Do some research online to see what works for you.

Register your business

Once you have your chosen business structure figured out, the next step is to register your company with the French government. This includes filing for business registration with the local Chamber of Commerce, obtaining the necessary licences and permits, and registering for social security and taxes. Here’s a list of documentation you’ll most likely need:

Business registration documents: This includes articles of association, statutes, and any other legal documents required to register your company Your ID - this should be your passport but sometimes a driving licence is accepted

A SIRET number for your company (Système d'identification du répertoire des établissements, which translates to Directory of Establishments Identification System) Proof of address for the company, such as a utility bill or lease agreement VAT registration Specific licences or permits - depending on the type of business structure you choose.

Obtain funding, if needed

Starting a business anywhere in the world often requires a significant amount of capital, even more so when you’re starting your company outside of your country of origin. It might be worth thinking about applying for a business loan from a bank or finding private investors interested in your idea.

Hire employees

Once your business is up and running, you may need to hire employees to help you manage and grow your business. It’s good to get a sense of the labour law in France to make sure you understand all the legal requirements and regulations and are always doing things by the book.

Keep your legal and financial records up-to-date

In order to stay compliant with all French business laws and regulations, it's important to keep accurate records of all your business transactions.Make sure to file all necessary legal and financial documents with the government.

Get a business account

You will need to have your business account with a French bank (or an alternative financial service provider like wamo) to manage all of your company's finances. You’ll use this all the time to keep track of your income and expenses, and also to pay taxes and other necessary fees. It is also worth noting that a local business account can help you save a lot of money that you would otherwise be paying towards international transfer fees, account maintenance and conversion fees.

Remember that starting a business in France can be time-consuming if not done right, so it's important to be patient and persistent. With the right approach and the right support, you can start and grow a successful business in France.

Related: 10 ways sub-accounts can help you manage business finances

Open a business account in France in 10 minutes

Opening a business account in France can typically take days or even weeks, as it usually involves several steps and requires various documents to be submitted. However, it is possible to open a business account in France relatively quickly if you have all the necessary documents and information ready. With wamo, it takes 10 minutes to register and get started. For non-residents who have been struggling to get a business account in France, wamo provides an even better alternative as it’s is an easier, faster and straightforward process - compared to opening a business account with a regular bank in France.

With wamo's business account, you can manage all financial aspects of your business in one place, including:

  • tracking income and expenses
  • paying bills and invoices in multiple currencies
  • sending and receiving international payments
  • managing tax compliance
  • having your own virtual debit card
  • issuing and managing team cards (both virtual and physical)
  • making transactions with sub-accounts, and more.

To get started, download the wamo app from Google Play or App Store or visit our website. You can also contact us via email on or via the chatbox on our website. We’ll always reply to your emails personally and never send you messages via a no-reply email account.

Also read: Open a business account in France for your business

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