Becoming an employer in France without having an establishment

Social Law - Payroll

2023 / OCTOBER 18

If your company is based abroad and wishes to hire in France without establishing a subsidiary or branch, it is entirely feasible. Here’s an overview of the steps and obligations to be met:
  1. Designation of a Fiscal Representative in France:
    First and foremost, the foreign company must designate a fiscal representative in France. This representative will be responsible for the declarative obligations and the payment of social contributions.
  2. Registration with the Urssaf:
    The foreign company must register with the Urssaf of Bas-Rhin, which is competent for companies without an establishment in France. This registration allows the company to obtain a SIRET number necessary for social declarations.
  3. Social Obligations:
    • Social Declarations:
    The foreign employer is subject to the same obligations as any French employer regarding social declarations (notably DSN).
    • Payment of Contributions: Social contributions (health, retirement, unemployment, etc.) are due in France, based on the salaries paid to employees in France. The rate and structure of these contributions can vary according to specific cases.
  4. Labor Law:
    Even if the company does not have an establishment in France, it must abide by French labor law for employees employed in France. This includes working conditions, leave, working hours, minimum wages, etc.
  5. Employment Contract:
    It is advisable to draft an employment contract in compliance with French law to prevent misunderstandings or disputes. It is also possible to have a clause specifying the applicable law to the contract, but certain provisions of French law will remain imperative.
  6. Fiscal Obligations:
    While the company might not have an establishment in France, it could be subject to certain tax obligations, particularly regarding withholding tax on wages.
Conclusion: Becoming an employer in France without an establishment requires a deep understanding of French regulations. It’s therefore recommended to consult with a chartered accountant to ensure compliance with all obligations.

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