I want to invest in France
Date of update
Do you want to invest in startups? France is the ideal place.
Find the answers to your questions!
I am looking for general information on the French Tech ecosystem and opportunities
Which websites should I visit?
“La French Tech” is the startup scene here in France. It is also a unique movement bringing together startups, investors, policymakers and community builders. Its mission? To make France one of the greatest places in the world to launch and grow global companies that make sense for the future.
La French tech has put together a huge network of 13 French Tech capitals, 45 French Tech communities in France and 63 French Tech communities based in 100 cities all over the world. Everyday they stimulate their local ecosystem, they are committed to developing it and supporting French Tech goals.
Have a look at La French Tech website
French Tech International Community
STATION F is creating a unique community with the support of La French Tech, bringing together all international talents in Paris and across France.
Join the community to expand your network, meet other foreign talents, share advice on living and working in France, and get access to exclusive content and resources!
Obtaining a visa, living and working in France
I am abroad and want to invest in France. What are the different stages of the process?
Which talent passport meets my requirements?
If you want to invest in France, the “Economic Investment” talent passport is for you.
The conditions you must fulfil to obtain an “Economic Investment” talent passport are as follows:
- Make a direct investment in France or act in a personal capacity through a company in which you hold at least a 30% stake.
- Invest at least €300,000 on French soil.
- Create or safeguard jobs in the years following the investment.
How can I take advantage of the French Tech Visa for Investors procedure?
The French Tech Visa procedure is intended for foreign talents who wish to join the French business ecosystem. It provides them with a “Talent Passport” residence permit that enables them to settle and work in France.
Investors eligible for the Talent Passport for Economic Investors and who are involved in the new-technologies sector can take advantage of the French Tech Visa for Investors procedure.
- Step 1: Your application will be processed individually. Go to the dedicated platform to start the procedure.
- Step 2: Once they have examined your investment profile and history, the French Tech team will send you an official certificate that attests to your eligibility for the French Tech Visa for Investors.
- Step 3: Apply for a long-stay visa and/or a residence permit, enclosing the certificate and any other supporting documents. The procedure differs depending on whether you are in France or abroad.
I will be staying in France for 12 months or less. What is the procedure?
- Step 1: If you wish to be eligible for the French Tech Visa for Investors, request your official admission letter online via the dedicated platform.
- Step 2: Submit your application for a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) to the consulate. To complete your visa application and view the list of documents you must provide, visit the France-visas website.
- Step 3: Collect your VLS-TS from the consulate.
- Step 4: Within 3 months of arriving in France, validate your VLS-TS on the Administration-étrangers website.
I will be staying in France for more than 12 months. What is the procedure?
- Step 1:If you wish to be eligible for the French Tech Visa for Investors, request your official admission letter online via the dedicated platform.
- Step 2: Submit your long-stay visa (VLS) application to the consulate. To complete your visa application and view the list of documents you must provide, visit the France-visas website.
- Step 3: Collect your 3-month long-stay visa from the consulate. This will allow you to travel to France and apply for a residence permit upon arrival France.
- Step 4: Submit your application for a talent passport residence permit online via the Administration-étrangers website within 2 months of arriving in France. The list of supporting documents is accessible on the website.
- Step 5: Collect your talent passport residence permit from the Préfecture.
I am already in France
I am an investor and would like to renew my talent passport. What is the procedure?
If you are already in France and wish to renew your talent passport so that it remains unchanged (the reason for your stay must also remain the same), you can do so without difficulty as long as you fulfil all the conditions.
You must carry out the necessary formalities online via the Administration-étrangers website two months before your VLS-TS (long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit) or your current residence permit expires.
After 5 years in France, you can apply for a 10-year residence card.
My current residence permit is not compatible with my future professional role. How can I change my residence permit?
If you are already in France and wish to apply for a new talent passport to enable you to carry out your plans, you can do so without difficulty as long as you meet all the conditions.
You must carry out the necessary formalities through the Préfecture of your place of residence as soon as your circumstances change and before your current permit expires. If you are applying for another category of talent passport, you can apply online via the Administration-étrangers website.
After 5 years in France, you can apply for a 10-year residence card.
Frequently asked questions
Once in France, can I travel freely?
If you are staying in France for 12 months or less: You have a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit, which allows you to cross borders easily.
If you are staying in France for more than 12 months: Within two months of arriving in France (before your long-stay visa expires), when you submit your residence permit application, the Préfecture will provide you with a temporary residence permit (APS) which will allow you to travel and cross borders easily, whether for professional or personal reasons, while you await your residence permit.
Can I work as an employee under an “Investor” talent passport?
The investor talent passport allows you to conduct business activities related to the investment project for which it was issued.
You cannot work as an employee.
I have a Holiday-Work visa and wish to invest in France.
If you have a valid Holiday-Work Visa and would like to invest in France, you cannot do so directly. Indeed, when you applied for a Holiday-Work Visa, you undertook not to settle in France for an extended period of time. You must therefore return to your country of origin and apply for a long-stay visa that is compatible with your plan to settle.
Can my family accompany me?
What is the procedure?
Your family can apply for a family talent passport, which will simplify the conditions under which they may accompany you: your spouse can work and any children you have with them (in the case of reconstituted families) can accompany you.
What types of profession are permitted?
Your spouse can exercise any profession thanks to the Family Talent Passport.
Healthcare and social security
How do I register for social security?
If you want to invest in a company operating in France, whether it already exists or is being newly set up, you will be in one of two situations.
If you are setting up a company, you must declare the existence of your company to the Business Formalities Centre (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises – CFE) of the company’s place of business and make a registration request to the URSSAF via cfe.urssaf.fr 8 days at the latest after commencing operations.
The CFE will forward all the information required for you to be registered with French social security, including to your local primary health insurance fund (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie – CPAM). Once your company has been registered, your healthcare costs will immediately be covered by France’s mandatory health insurance system.
Once your request has been processed and your company registered with the CFE, the INSEE (French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) will issue you with a unique SIRET identification number as well as an APE code, which indicates your company’s main area of activity
For the time being, you are not working professionally in France, therefore you will only be able to enjoy French social security rights after 3 months of stable and legal residence in the country. You will then have to apply for social security cover by submitting the relevant form to the primary health insurance office (which you can find here), together with the supporting documents specified in the form.
What documents are required?
First of all, you will need to provide documents proving that you are staying in France legally:
- A document proving your identity (passport or identity card).
- Your residence permit, issued for a period of 6 months or more, depending on your circumstances.
- A document proving that you have been a stable resident of France for more than 3 months, if you are not yet working professionally.
- A full birth certificate or one specifying parentage.
- A copy of a document attesting to your professional circumstances, if you are working.
You must also complete the health insurance application form (which you can find here) and submit it to your local CPAM office.
Are my spouse and children covered?
Yes, your spouse, partner or civil partner, as well as any children under the age of 18 that you have together, will be covered when you register with the French social security system. Thus, from the moment you are covered by France’s universal health insurance system, your family members will enjoy the same rights as you.
Do I have to take out private insurance?
Until you have registered your company and if you have been in France for less than 3 months, you will need to take out private insurance.
Furthermore, the mandatory health insurance system covers only part of your healthcare costs. You will need to pay the remainder (known as the ticket modérateur, which is usually equal to 30% of the total cost), in addition to any excess fees charged by healthcare professionals.
Taking out a supplementary health insurance policy with a private supplementary health insurance company will allow you to cover some or all of the healthcare costs that remain payable by you, depending on the terms of the policy taken out.
What is a provisional social security number?
The CPAM or Family Allowance Fund (Caisse d’Allocation Familiale – CAF) will issue you with a temporary number upon presentation of just one of the two documents required for an individual born abroad to be assigned a social security number.
It will be converted into a permanent social security number upon presentation of the second document. The composition of the number will not change when it is converted.
When will I receive the Vitale health insurance card?
It takes an average of 15 days for individuals to receive their Vitale card. It takes 7 days for the CPAM office to process the request, to which one must add the post office’s delivery time.
What is a mutual insurance company (mutuelle)?
Social security reimburses part of your healthcare costs. For all or part of the remainder to be reimbursed, you can take out a supplementary health insurance policy.
Several different types of organisation offer supplementary health insurance policies: mutual insurance companies (in the majority of cases), traditional insurance companies and provident institutions.
How do I get reimbursed?
At the doctor’s
When you see a doctor, presenting your up-to-date Vitale card enables you to be reimbursed more quickly, without having to send a treatment form (feuille de soin) to your local primary health insurance office by post.
If the doctor does not have the equipment required to scan Vitale cards or if you have forgotten your Vitale card, you must send the treatment form provided by the doctor to your local primary health insurance office by post.
If you have provided your local primary health insurance office with details of your supplementary health cover, the CPAM will send the form to your supplementary health insurance provider directly, so that the latter can refund you the remaining amount payable for your consultation.
If you produce your up-to-date Vitale card and your supplementary health insurance card, you will only pay the pharmacist the share of the cost that is not reimbursed either by social security or by your supplementary health insurance provider, if you have one.
If the full amount is reimbursed, you will have nothing to pay to the pharmacy.
What is a treating physician?
Your treating physician can be a general practitioner or a specialist, working either in the community or in a hospital. They play a central role in guiding and monitoring patients throughout the treatment process.
Their knowledge of the patient allows the doctor to play a unique role in informing them about the prevention of ill health, screening, disease monitoring and therapeutic education.
The treating physician coordinates all the treatment their patient receives. They refer them to specialists or hospital wards when required and centralise all their information: test results, diagnoses and treatments. They therefore have a general overview of their patient’s state of health, a real advantage that enables the doctor to provide them with the most appropriate care.
When they have a patient with a long-term illness, the treating physician is responsible for developing a treatment protocol, a tool allowing medical practitioners to liaise and which helps improve the coordination of treatment.
What is the coordinated treatment process?
The coordinated treatment process places the treating physician in charge of coordinating the treatment your medical condition requires.
It ensures better coverage of healthcare costs.
To benefit from this process, an insured individual must choose and declare a treating physician. This requires them to consult their treating physician first if they have any medical issues. If they fail to do so, the sum reimbursed will be lower (except for under-16s).
This does not apply when consulting dental surgeons, midwives, gynaecologists, ophthalmologists, psychiatrists, neuro-psychiatrists and stomatologists.
I have resided in France in the past and already have a social security number. Should I request a new one?
No, a unique social security number is assigned to all insured individuals and is permanent: it remains valid even if it was issued a long time ago.
Insured individuals can only have one social security number and each number can only be assigned to a single individual.
Do I have to complete any procedures before arriving in France?
Before leaving your country of residence, you may have to go through certain administrative processes.
For more information on the procedures required, contact the tax authorities of your country of residence before you move to France.
Is there a way to estimate the amount of income tax that I will have to pay in France?
An income tax calculation simulator is available on-line (in French only).
I am moving to France: how will I be taxed?
How do I determine whether my tax residence is in France?
With regard to your place of tax residence, international conventions concluded between States have set out specific criteria. These criteria prevail over those provided for in the national legislation of the States. France has signed numerous tax treaties.
Pursuant to convention-based criteria (OECD Model Tax Convention), you are considered to be a tax resident in France when:
- your permanent place of residence is in France, i.e. your main place of residence or that of your family (spouse and children);
- in the event of dual permanent residence, your centre of economic and personal interests is located in France: it is the place of your main investments, the seat of your business, the centre of your professional activities, or the place from which you derive the majority of your income;
- if the centre of interest cannot be determined, your main place of stay is located in France (stay in France exceeding 183 days during the same year);
- if none of these criteria is decisive (main place of stay in both States or no main stay either of the States), your tax residence will be in France if you have French nationality;
- otherwise, the tax authorities of the two countries involved may be seized to determine your tax residence.
However, these criteria may differ depending on the conventions; you should therefore refer to the convention applicable to your specific situation.
In the absence of a convention between the two countries concerned, the domestic law of each country shall apply.
Criteria under French law
Subject to international tax treaties, under French law, you are considered to be domiciled in France for tax purposes if you meet at least one of the following criteria:
- your household (spouse or civil partner and children) remains in France. This may be the case if, due to professional needs, you are required to stay in another country temporarily or for most of the year. In the absence of a household, the tax residence is defined by your main place of stay; or
- you are engaged in professional activity in France, whether salaried or otherwise, unless it is ancillary; or
- the centre of your economic interests is in France. It is the place of your main investments, the seat of your business, the centre of your professional activities, or the place from which you derive most of your income.
The situation of the French tax resident is assessed at the level of each member of the household. If you are a couple, you can be considered a French tax resident and your spouse a non-resident.
Find out more information about determining tax residence at impôts.gouv.fr: Determining tax residence
What if I am a non-tax resident in France?
Non-tax residents in France are taxed only on the income they derive from French sources. Remuneration paid in return for work carried out on French soil is therefore taxable in France.
Unless otherwise provided for in a tax treaty, salaries paid to non-residents are subject to tax deducted at source (“withholding tax”).
What if I become a tax resident in France?
By becoming a French tax resident, you will be subject to tax in France on all your income, including remuneration for your activity abroad.
If you derive income from a foreign source, you must refer to the tax treaty concluded between France and the country from which the income received originates in order to determine:
- whether the income is taxable or exempt from tax in France;
- whether the income must be declared in France;
- in the event that the income is taxable in France, whether there is a mechanism to prevent the potential double taxation of this income from foreign sources (when the income is taxed both in the source country and in France).
The treaty provides that the income is exempt from tax in France
If the treaty provides that the income is exempt from tax in France, it also specifies whether this income must be declared in France.
Exempt and declared income will not be taxed but may be taken into account to determine the (actual) rate that will be applied to income from French sources.
The treaty provides that the income is taxable in France
If the agreement provides that the income is taxable in France, it specifies, depending on the nature of the income, the method for neutralising double taxation if this income is also taxable in the State from which the income originates.
Thanks to tax treaties, you will not be taxed twice. Double taxation can be neutralised:
- through the application of a tax credit equal to the tax paid abroad;
- or through the application of a tax credit equal to the French tax on income from foreign sources.
I hold shares abroad: how will they be taxed if I settle in France?
Income from securities received by a French tax resident is subject to a single flat-rate withholding tax (PFU, prélèvement forfaitaire unique) at the overall rate of 30% (12.8% for income tax and 17.2% for social security contributions).
The PFU applies in particular to dividends, interest and capital gains on the sale of transferable securities.
Am I subject to property wealth tax?
Wealth tax now only applies to real estate assets.
You are subject to property wealth tax (IFI) if the net value of your real estate assets exceeds €1.3 million. This includes all real estate and real estate rights held directly or indirectly as at 1 January. Certain types of property are partially or fully exempt.
I am an American citizen or a “person of the United States” within the meaning of US law: how will I be taxed?
If you are an American citizen (or a person of the United States within the meaning of US law) your world-wide income is subject to US income tax, regardless of where you live.
As a French tax resident, you are also taxed on your world-wide income.
To avoid double taxation of income from foreign sources in the United States and France:
- the United States excludes from taxation foreign remuneration up to an inflation-indexed amount ($108,700 for 2021) and certain housing costs;
- the French-American Tax Convention and the provisions of US domestic law applicable to you make it possible to eliminate double taxation.
However, it is not possible to benefit from both the deduction and the double taxation elimination mechanism on the income concerned.
I am French and am returning to France after a period of expatriation in the United States
Steps to be taken
Before leaving the United States, you are required to complete certain administrative processes.
In order to be in good standing with the American tax authorities after your return to France, make sure you renounce your long-term residence, obtain your tax clearance and pay the expatriation tax if applicable.
For more information on the steps to take, visit the IRS website or contact your consulate.
I have kept my long-term resident status or am a French-American citizen
The United States applies the principle of citizen-based taxation. Consequently, all US citizens and “persons of the United States”, within the meaning of US legislation, are subject to income tax in the United States, regardless of their place of residence.
However, in order to avoid double taxation, US residents and citizens can deduct from their US tax debt the amount of the taxes they have paid in France.
For more information and helpful addresses, you can visit the website of US consulates in France as well as the FAQ on the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) on the US Department of State website.
How do I declare my income?
What procedures must I complete if I am a non-resident?
You are required to declare income from French sources taxable in France. To help you in this process, practical fact sheets broken down country by country are available on impots.gouv.fr website (only in French).
People who are not domiciled in France for tax purposes but who have income from French sources must declare this income using Cerfa form 2042. This declaration must be sent to the Service des impôts des particuliers non-résidents (Tax Department for Non-Resident Individuals).
Should you have any questions, the Non-Resident Individual Tax Department can be reached by telephone on +331 57 33 83 00 or by email at the following address: email@example.com.
Direction des Impôts des Non-Résidents
10 rue du Centre
93 465 Noisy-le-Grand CEDEX
I am a French tax resident, how do I file my income tax return?
As a French resident for tax purposes, you must file your tax return with the tax office of your tax domicile.
If you did not have income from a French source taxable in France before you moved to France, in the year following your year of arrival, you must file two returns with the Service des impôts des particuliers of your new place of residence in France:
- a déclaration 2042 Non Résident, [Form 2042 for Non-Residents] as non-resident for the period from 1st January to the date of your move to France the year of your arrival if you received income from a French source taxable in France under the applicable international tax treaty.
- a déclaration de revenus n°2042 [Tax Return Form 2042] reporting the income taxable in France which you have received since your arrival up to 31 December of the year of your establishment in France.
Other supporting forms may need to be completed depending on the various types of income you have received in France during this period (property tax return no. 2044, tax return for income collected abroad no. 2047, etc., downloadable from the website impots.gouv.fr).
France has a vast network of tax treaties that make it possible to avoid situations of double taxation, by providing for mechanisms for eliminating foreign tax when calculating the tax due in France on income taxed abroad.
Check your situation by viewing the applicable tax agreement via the following link: International tax treaties
How do I apply for a tax number?
The French tax authorities automatically assign a unique identifier consisting of 13 digits and always starting with 0, 1, 2 or 3 to any individual with a tax reporting obligation in France.
This tax number identifies each taxpayer and their tax obligations and is the unique identifier for all tax procedures.
If you do not have a tax number, you can request it:
- on-line by filling out the access creation form for a personal space on the official impots.gouv.fr website;
- at the counter of the public finance centre or personal tax department serving your place of residence;
- by post by sending a tax number request form (form 2043-SD, Cerfa no. 15944*02) to the tax authorities.
Non-residents: you must provide the address of a property which you own or occupy in France or, failing that, a mailing address in France (e.g. address of a lawyer, a notary, a family member, etc.). For more information, go to: impots.gouv.fr.
How do I create my personal space on impots.gouv.fr?
Once you have received your tax number, you can create your personal space on impots.gouv.fr, through which various online services are available.
For more details: Create your personal space
This is my first tax return, what should I declare?
Depending on the items set out above and your tax resident or non-tax resident situation in France, the year following your arrival in France, you must declare:
- either all the income of the members of the tax household received during the year elapsed;
- or only your income from French sources.
Your income includes:
- your salary income unless specifically exempted (apprentice, trainee, student, etc.);
- your professional or non-professional income;
- your pensions, including alimony and retirement pensions;
- your income from investments;
- your property income;
- your capital gains on the sale of securities and property;
You may deduct expenses, reductions and tax credits, including alimony payments, donations, childcare costs for children under 6 years of age, employment of home workers, etc.
When do I have to file my tax return?
The first tax return must be filed the year after you arrive between mid-April and early June online, depending on your department of residence. You must therefore have already created your personal space on impots.gouv.fr.
The income tax return must then be filed each year during the same period.
To find out the exact tax return schedule, visit the “Consulter votre calendrier fiscal” [View your tax calendar] section of the impôts.gouv.fr website
You will then receive your tax notice from the tax authorities during the second half of the year.
My spouse is abroad: how can I declare our income?
The determination of tax domicile in France and the status of French resident for tax purposes is determined individually for each member of the household (“1. How do I determine whether my tax residence is in France? ”).
You may be a mixed couple, i.e. in a married or civil partnership, where one filing party resides in France and the other abroad. You may be considered a tax resident of France and your spouse a non-resident, even though you are married or in a civil partnership. For more information: impots.gouv.fr.
As an investor, how should I declare the income connected with my professional activity?
I am starting a business: what is my tax status as its director?
Your tax status differs depending on the legal form you have chosen for your activity.
- If you have chosen to operate as a company subject to corporate tax (IS) and are the director of your entity: your company will be subject to corporate tax (IS) in respect of the company’s profit; As the director, you will be subject to income tax in respect of your remuneration paid as director and on any dividends paid by the company
- If you have chosen to carry out your activity on an individual basis:the professional results of the operator are subject to the income tax scale, like the operator’s other income, and form part of the taxable income of that tax household.
I do not currently pay myself a salary: what is the impact on my tax and filing obligations?
In principle, you are taxable on the income available to you in the year of your arrival in France, i.e. income received during the year of your establishment.
If you engage in your activity as an individual entrepreneur (sole proprietorship or via a company governed by the partnership regime and not by corporate tax), you will be taxed on the company’s profit, regardless of any deductions (or lack of deductions).
Even if you did not receive income in the year of your establishment, you must file an income declaration in the year following your establishment.
As an investor, can I benefit from the expatriate regime?
The expatriate regime applies to people called to work in France by a company established in France as employees or managers, but who were domiciled outside France for tax purposes during the five calendar years preceding the year in which they took up their post.
Therefore, you may benefit from the regime depending on your tax status and if you fulfil all the conditions.
For more details, see the expatriate rax regime fact sheet provided by the French Tax Administration.
What about my other sources of income?
How will my income from abroad be taxed?
If you are domiciled in France for tax purposes and you have received income from a foreign source, you must file a 2047 return and/or a 2042 C return, depending on your situation.
Income collected abroad includes all income, profits and capital gains of any kind received outside mainland France and the overseas departments and regions, regardless of the place of investment of the capital, the situation of the assets or the exercise of the activity from which they originate.
You must declare income received abroad by all members of your tax household when this income is taxable in France under the applicable tax treaty.
For more information, particularly on the mechanisms in place to avoid double taxation, please visit www.impots.gouv.fr.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a tax return?
The tax return is a document that lists the income earned by an individual in the year elapsed. It also lists the person’s family situation and any dependents.
It enables the French tax authorities to calculate the tax due by a person residing in France or receiving income from a French source, also known as a taxpayer.
On the basis of this declaration, notice of tax on income is sent to the filing party by the tax authorities if the said party is subject to tax. The notice states the amount of tax to be paid for a given year.
The tax return also makes it possible to establish the non-taxable status of a person with interests in France. Notice of income tax filing status is then sent by the administration to non-taxable persons.
What is a tax household?
The tax return is filed by tax household, i.e. a single return is sufficient for all members of the same family:
- The taxpayer or spouses (married or civil partners);
- Dependent persons.
Spouses or civil union partners may decide to declare their income using separate tax returns.
What is a progressive tax scale?
In France, the income tax scale is progressive. This means that your taxable income falls within one of several brackets, each of which is subject to a different tax rate, depending on the level of remuneration earned. For more information.
What is the Notice of Income Tax Filing Status (ASDIR)?
The ASDIR allows you to prove your income and expenses in your dealings with third parties (banks, lessors, administrations, etc.). For more information.
Am I required to pay local taxes?
Regardless of your situation, whether resident or non-resident for French tax purposes, your local taxes (council tax, public broadcasting contribution, property tax on built-up and non-built-up properties) are managed by the tax department of the place where your building is located.
This office is authorised to handle all questions relating to calculation, payment, non-receipt of notice, complaints, etc. even if your income tax is the responsibility of the Tax Service for Non-Resident Individuals (SIPNR).
How and when to enroll your children in school?
Registration for the school is possible throughout the year. It is recommended to anticipate the steps as soon as possible.
The place of registration in a school will depend on the age of the children concerned.
- For children between the ages of 3 and 10, who must be enrolled in a kindergarten or elementary school, enrollment must be done at the town hall of the family’s residence.
- For children between the ages of 11 and 14, who are going to middle school; registrations are to be made with the middle school designated according to the geographical area of the family’s residence.
- For children between 15 and 18 years old, going to high school; registrations are made with the head of the school.
> Access the School Calendar
I have questions about my arrival in France, who can I contact?
Our Welcome to la French Tech service answers all your questions about settling in France.
Thanks to “My procedures” you can also generate a personalized itinerary allowing you to visualize the main steps to be taken before and during the year of your installation in France.