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Choice of legal status of the company being created

Verified 06 août 2019 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The entrepreneur must choose a legal status for his company, individual company or company, which will be decisive for the formalities of declaration, for his personal legal status, as well as in fiscal, administrative or social matters. Creating a corporation is the creation of a new person legally distinct from the founding partners, known as « legal person »..

The choice of the status of the company depends on the type of professional activity that will be carried out there, as well as other factors to be taken into account:

  • will the company be individual or created in association with partners?
  • what are the funding needs of the new structure?
  • does the creator intend to separate his personal assets from the company's assets?

Legal status

Features

Who can use it?

Individual company

Company in own or personal name. The identity of the company corresponds to that of the manager, who is responsible for his own property.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession

Limited Liability Individual Contractor (LPIA)

Individual enterprise in which the entrepreneur can assign a patrimony to his professional activity, separated from his personal patrimony.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession

Limited Liability Single Personal Enterprise (EURL)

A company with a single partner, which in fact resembles an individual company, but which obeys the rules of a LLC.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions, except pharmacists)

General partnership (SNC)

Company in which the partners (minimum 2) have the status of traders and are jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company. No minimum capital.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions, except pharmacists)

Limited Partnership (SSC)

A company that includes partners (traders) and sponsors (non-traders).

The general partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company, while the general partners are liable only within the limits of their contributions.

No minimum capital.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions, except pharmacists)

Limited Partnership (CBA)

Company that must have at least 4 partners: 1 general partner (merchants) and 3 sponsors.

The general partners are jointly and severally liable for the debts of the company, while the general partners are liable only within the limits of their contributions.

Minimum social capital is €37,000 or €225,000 as appropriate.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions, except pharmacists)

Société anonyme (SA)

Capital company, whose shareholding (at least 2, or 7 for a listed company) is based on the capital they have invested in the company. It can be headed by a board of directors with a CEO or by a supervisory board with a board of directors.

Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Company in which each of the partners (between 2 and 100) is in principle responsible for the debts of the company only to the extent of his personal contributions. No minimum capital.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions, except pharmacists)

Liberal fiscal corporation (LEC): Liberal limited liability holding company (SELARL), for example

A company that provides a regulated professional practice in the form of a LLC

Regulated liberal profession

Professional civil society (SCP)

A company that allows several members of a regulated professional to carry on their business in common, even if each member remains personally taxed on his share of profits

Regulated liberal profession (excl. speech therapists, orthoptists, podologists, pharmacists, midwives, general insurance agents, accountants, dieticians, psychologists)

Simplified Share Company (SAS)

Company in which each of the partners (at least 2, without maximum) is responsible for the debts of the company only to the extent of his personal contributions. Without minimum capital.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions)

Single-person simplified share company (UAS)

A single-partner company with the characters of a SAS. Without minimum capital.

Artisan, trader, industrialist, liberal profession (but not legal, judicial or health professions)

The establishment of a business requires:

  • give it name (name or business name);
  • the domiciliary in a suitable place (registered office);
  • to provide him with a minimum of money and/or property which will constitute his share capital;
  • designate one or more persons responsible for administering it and representing it vis-à-vis third parties;
  • record in a contract all the rules that will govern its operation (the "statutes").