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