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Yank to Purchase French Business


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Any info on the possibility of an American purchasing an existing business in France would be greatly appreciated.

We are looking into purchasing an existing property management company with an valid SARL. The sellers' notary insists it can be transferred, but since we are not in the EU, it seems to be another matter. We are not searching for our own attorney to confirm this info before we go any further. It seems each person broker, notary ect. has a different opinion. The consulate in San Francisco was little help.


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Most members of this forum as expats in France tend to be retirees and EU nationals, so not really the best place to seek this sort of specialised advice, for which I would have thought a suitably qualified French accountant and lawyer would be absolutely essential.

My guess is that there is nothing stopping an American purchasing this type of existing business in France, but if your intention is to move a non EU employee or yourself  to France to help run the business, as a non EU national you have to carefully investigate if you are able to qualify for a working visa, which could be problematic especially if the business is small and what sort of qualifications the French would expect you to have. Also there could be a minimum number of French employees and turnover requirement attached to visa regulations. 

Otherwise you are restricted to 90 day visits as a tourist and max of 180 days in a year and prohibited from any form of employment.

Also the tax issues need to be carefully considered and structured both from a US and French perspective, to avoid a double taxation exposure.

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  • 1 month later...

[quote user="betty"]It never ceases to amaze me that when someone goes to the trouble to give a well thought out and intelligent reply, the OP does not have the courtesy to say thanks.[/quote]

Check out the time difference, they maybe asleep, they posted at 01.50

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