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E-library Corporate Law Company directors who are not French residents

Company directors who are not French residents

20 Feb 2013

A non-French resident may serve as a director of a French company, provided however that he/she files a prior declaration to this effect with the competent préfet.

According to article L. 122-1 of the French Commercial Code (“Code de commerce”) “a foreigner who, without residing in France, exercises on the territory of France a commercial, industrial or craft profession, under conditions which require that he/she be registered or mentioned on the registry of companies and commerce or that of crafting activities, must make a prior declaration to the préfet of the department in which he/she contemplates to exercise his/her activity for the first time, pursuant to conditions defined by a Decree”.

Pursuant to articles D. 122-2 and seq. of the French Commercial code (decree n°2007-1141 of 26 July 2007), the declaration must be made by registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt and it must be accompanied by:

  • a copy of the passport of the director
  • a copy of the criminal record of the director or any other similar document delivered by the competent authorities of the country in which he/she resides
  • a copy of the bylaws of the company
  • a copy of the decision of the shareholder(s) of the company appointing the director as such subject to the delivery, by the prefecture, of a récépissé following the filing of the declaration.

The préfécture delivers the récépissé within a period of 15 days following the receipt of the declaration and the accompanying documents. The récépissé is required by the competent commercial court to register the director as such.

The above provisions do not apply to EU residents.

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