France

Corporate - Corporate residence

Last reviewed - 16 September 2019

France is defined as metropolitan France (excluding the overseas territories [TOM], but including the continental shelf), Corsica, and the overseas departments (DOM, i.e. French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Reunion, and Mayotte).

As a general rule, a resident company is a company that is incorporated under French commercial laws.

Permanent establishment (PE)

The notion of PE is not defined by the FTC and has been specified by a court case of the French Administrative Supreme Court. The notion of PE refers to an enterprise exploited in France that can be materialised in one of the three following situations:

  • Business activity conducted through an establishment (i.e. a fixed business installation operating with some degree of autonomy [e.g. a branch, sales office]).
  • Business conducted in France by a dependent agent.
  • Existence of a complete commercial cycle in France.

A ruling application can be submitted to the French tax authorities to get confirmation as to whether the presence in France of a foreign corporation is a PE.