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Freedom of establishment

I am a European citizen and I would like to set up a business in France (freedom of establishment)

The freedom of establishment guarantees EU and EEA nationals who wish to start a business in France to carry out an activity on a permanent basis, under the same conditions as French citizens.

The freedom of establishment also enables European Union [1] and European Economic Area [2] nationals to start and run a business in France. Thus, EU and EEA nationals can start a business on by completing the same formalities as French citizens.

Regulated activities and/or professions

The freedom of establishment is a two-step procedure:

  1. Obtaining the recognition of your professional qualifications if your profession or activity is regulated in France. You can read the fact sheets on regulated professions on ,
  2. Applying for an authorisation to practise your profession or carry out your activity. You may read our fact sheets about regulated activities in the Regulated activities section.

In both cases, you need to contact the relevant authority to obtain the recognition of your activity or profession. The contact information of the relevant authority can be found in the fact sheets on regulated professions and regulated activities .

Good to know: If your profession or activity is not regulated, the freedom of establishment can be exercised unconditionally.

User guide to start a business

The different stages of business creation are detailed and provide you with step-by-step, simple and summarised information. The equivalents of the documents that French citizens must provide are listed in the course of the business creation process.

Regulated activities and professions in France

It is necessary to comply with specific rules and formalities (declaration, authorisation, etc.) in order to start a business, as far as certain activities are concerned.

> Read our fact sheets

In France, more than 100 activities sorted by activity categories are regulated under Directive 2006/123/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 on services in the Single Market.

Good to know: In order to practise a profession in France on a permanent basis, you might need to obtain the recognition of your professional qualifications, depending on your profession. You can complete this procedure on .

[1] Member states of the European Union (EU) — [27 countries]: Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Spain, Estonie, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czechia.

[2] Countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) — [30 countries]: it comprises the 27 member states of the European Union (EU), which are listed above, plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

See also: I am a European citizen and I would like to carry out an activity in France on an occasional basis (freedom to provide services)