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France

Selling on

Updated 07/2009

Legal requirements

France's commercial code governs business transfers.

Types of business transfer

Business transfers may involve either gifts or sales:

  • free transfers   (e.g. gift between spouses, simple gift, settlements gift and gift to employees);                
  • paid transfers   (e.g. business sale, transfer of shares, transfers of lease rights, lease management).

Business transfers: a step-by-step guide

Parties must negotiate and draw up a memorandum of understanding formalising arrangements between seller and purchaser. A transfer deed is also produced to establish the terms of the sale.

Support

             Support   in France for business sales includes:

  • business tax exemption;    
  • exemption from change-of-ownership levies if gifting a business to employees;     
  • tutelage agreement between the seller wishing to retire and the new owner;    
  • business transfer allowance for signatories of a tutelage agreement;    
  • allowances for gift and settlement duties.    

Taking over an existing company is a worthwhile alternative to setting up a new business.

Administrative procedures

Business transfer procedures

Steps to follow when transferring a business:

  • removal from the trade and company register or the trade directory within 15 days of the transfer;
  • cancellation of subscriptions, insurance, etc.;        
  • publication of a legal notice in the event of a sale.

Businesses also have tax            obligations:

Resources

The business transfer portal database lists opportunities for business takeovers and methods for evaluating your business.

Help & advice

Help & advice

E-mail a business organisation near you

The EU runs a network (Enterprise Europe Network) of local business organisations in most European countries that may be able to help you.

Choose your country and town and enter your enquiry below.

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