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Personal Companies in France

They exist in a form of Public Company (PC), Limited Partnership (LP) and Economic Interest Group (EIG). Other forms are the Silent Partnership (SP) and the Society of Civil Laws (SCL).

S.N.C. (Société en Nom Collectif)

Public Company

At least two partners with unlimited and collective liability; the minimum capital is not prescribed. The memorandum of association must be done in a written form. Further formalities: notification by official letter on company registered office, entry into the Companies' Register, publishing in B.O.D.A.C (Bulletin Officiel des Annonces Commerciales).

PC has one or more executive managers. In case of missing responsible management, each of partners is an authorized executive manager. The highest body is the General assembly, which is necessary to approve the annual balance in the course of 6 months after the fiscal year end.

Besides this, each partner can require the general assembly to be held, calling of which shall be done by the company management. The PC alone is not tax-liable; only the partners are tax-liable, with profit sharing, providing they did not opt for legal entity income tax.

S.C.S. (Société en Commandite Simple)

Limited Partnership

At least one general partner (commandité) with unlimited liability; the liability for other partners (general partners, commanditaires) is limited up to the value of their investment. The formalities for the company foundation are the same as for PC. Providing the responsive agreement is missing, all general partners are the executive managers. The limited partner can not become an executive manager. The highest body is the General assembly, which is required to approve the annual balance. Besides this, each general partner and one quarter of limited partners can require the general meeting to be held, the calling of which shall be done by the company management as well.

G.I.E. (Groupement d'Intérêt Economique)

Economic Interest Group

Within this legal form the companies co-operate with all their legal subjectivity retained. Minimum two members are prescribed (natural of legal persons), who must perform any economic activities. Thus EIG must always have the economic orientation. The association for protection of tenants or the cultural associations can be formed in this way, not as EIG, but only as “Association” according to law from 1901. No minimum capital is prescribed, the name of interest group is arbitrary, its registered office shall be specified in the memorandum. EIG can be founded also for the fixed period.

The registry into the Companies’ Registry and publishing in B.O.D.A.C. (Bulletin Officiel des Annonces Commerciales) are prescribed, however the publishing in the official letter in the company registered office is not prescribed.

One or more administrators (administrateurs) are authorized by EIG management, who have the right to act on behalf the group externally without limitation. The memorandum determines on calling and execution of member’s meeting. All members answer for EIG liabilities in a collective and unlimited way. The fact that no company capital is needed is of great advantage; therefore it is missing even at 75 % of interest groups.

G.E.I.E. (Groupement Européeen d'Intérêt Economique)

European Economic Interest Group (EEIG)

The companies from various European countries can conclude each other the EEIG after July 1st, 1989. EEIG has the legal subjectivity.

Société en Participation (S.P.)

Silent Partnership (SP)

SP is the inland company without legal subjectivity; so it can neither exercise the rights nor answer for its liabilities against third persons. For this reason, it does not perform any registration into the Companies’ Register. The contract is concluded in a verbal or written form, the company management has a free form. In the external relations, the company does not act as a whole, but a partner acts on behalf of it independently.

Société Civile (S.C.)

Society of Civil Laws (SCL)

SCL is not a trading company; it can not serve for any business activity. At least two partners, the written memorandum of association, entry into the association registry or society registry. The natural person of legal entity can become the executive manager. The limitations of representative power in external relations are negligible.

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