Freedom of establishment (FE)

I am a European citizen and I wish to set up business in France

Freedom of establishment guarantees the citizens of member countries, who so wish, the right to move to France to exercise a professional activity on a permanent basis under the same conditions as French citizens.

Freedom of establishment also enables citizens from countries that are members of the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA) to create and manage their business in France. In order to do so, citizens of these countries can create their business via the website, the formalities being identical as those for French citizens.

Regulated activities/professions

The freedom of establishment takes place in two stages:

  1. Have your professional qualification (PQ) officially recognised, if it is a regulated profession in France. Further information is given in the « regulated professions » fact sheets available on;
  2. Apply for authorisation to exercise your activity. Further information on « regulated activities » is set out in the section dedicated to them on this website.

In both cases, you will need to contact the competent authority to have your activity and your profession recognised. Contact details for the competent authorities are provided on the « regulated professions » and « regulated activities » fact sheets.

Useful to know: If neither the profession nor the activity is regulated, freedom of establishment imposes no prior conditions.

How to set up your business

The procedure involved in creating your business is set out clearly, step by step, to make the procedure as simple and quick as possible. The documents requested are the same as for French citizens and are specified as you progress along the creation pathway.

Regulated activities and professions in France

For certain activities, and when setting up a business, particular rules and formalities may have to be respected (declaration, authorisation, etc).

> Check to see if your activity is regulated

A total of 105 activities, grouped into families, are regulated under Directive 2006/123/EC of the European Parliament and Council dated 12 December 2006 and relating to services in the internal market.

Useful to know: Depending on the activity or profession concerned, setting up a permanent business in France may require official recognition of your professional qualification; this can be done on the website.