Doing Business in France
International companies choose France because of its strategic position at the heart of Europe, the largest market in
the world with 500 million consumers, and because of its membership of the euro zone, which offers the advantages
of a single currency in 19 different countries.
With 65 million inhabitants, France is the third-largest consumer market in Europe after Germany and UK and the
sixth-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of 2,060 billion euros in 2014. More than 84 million tourists visited
the country in 2014.
While this makes France the leading tourist destination in the world, the country was also one of the leading recipient
of foreign direct investment in the world in 2013, according to the UNCTAD, receiving 12.7 billion euros in foreign
investment flows. The balance of international investment in France now reaches 803 billion euros ranking the fourth
most important country in terms of international investment.
In a global economy marked by an overall drop in foreign direct investments, the Invest in France Agency and its
regional partners in 2014 recorded 740 new job-creating foreign investment projects, that is to 8% more than in
2013, in the top three during the 15 past years. The number of jobs created or maintained by these new investments
was more than 26,000.
France is the #1 investment destination in Europe. More than 20,000 foreign companies currently have a base in
France, employing over 2 million people. Foreign companies in France produce 40% of French industries turnover
and perform more than 27% of R&D conducted in France.
With 31 of the 500 biggest companies of the world in 2014, France ranks 4th in the Fortune Global 500 behind the
USA, China and Japan.
This brochure explains the main legal, accounting, payroll and taxation regulations for companies considering to do
business in France. It has been prepared especially for international groups who would like to invest in France, where
more than 20,000 foreign companies are already established, running businesses under many different legal forms.
Mazars is experienced in assisting companies considering to do business in France providing a wide range of audit,
outsourcing, tax, corporate finance and legal services.