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Mercans offers complete payroll, PEO and HR services in France

France comprises 13 administrative regions and five overseas departments (Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Mayotte and Reunion). The French tech ecosystem is one of the most dynamic in Europe and it’s focused on attracting international tech talent.


Doing Business in France

Much of the administrative formalities for starting a business in France has been simplified and the procedure is now entirely paperless. The timeframe for setting up a business takes a few days only. Foreign investment is, in principle, free of administrative supervision. However, if you are taking over a business or purchasing a company, this may be subject to authorisation in certain sectors.

Entity Registration & Incorporation Requirements

Setting up a new business or expanding an existing one in France is straightforward. Choose how your company operates from a range of entity types which suit your individual circumstance.


Banks are open from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

Working Week

The standard working week is 39 hours per week usually worked from Monday to Friday

Labor Law

Whatever the length of stay, an individual is typically required to obtain a work permit in order to take up paid employment in France.However, citizens of an European Union or European Economic Area Member State or Switzerland can work in France without a work permit. These work permits can take various forms such as a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS) or a residence permit authorizing the holder to take up paid employment. Alternatively, there are specific work permits that can be requested by the employer before arriving in France, which requires both a visa and a residence permit. There are also a number of employees who are exempt from the requirements of obtaining a work permit

Main Industries

chemicals, aeronautics, machinery manufacturing

GDP Growth


Dates & Numbers


Official State Name

French Republic


67.39 million



Major Languages




Internet Domain


International Dialing Code


Paris, FR
5:29 am, July 13, 2024
temperature icon 13°C
broken clouds
Humidity 91 %
Wind Gust: 0 mph


Payroll is issued by the employer, typically on a monthly basis to coincide with the payment of wages. It is particularly important for global organisations or their international payroll service providers to understand the information that must be mandatorily provided on the payslip.

It’s acceptable to provide employees with online pay slips


Payroll reports must be retained for five years


3.5 weeks / 25 days

Annual Leave

3 weeks paid sick leave

Sick Leave

16 weeks of paid maternity leave and 25 days of paid paternity leave

Maternity & Paternity Leave

on provision of 1 - 3 months notice

Employee Termination

Generally paid at the end of the year

13th Salary

10.48 euro per hour for employees

Minimum Wage

+25% for the 36th to 43rd hour and +50% from the 44th hour onwards


First 10 years : 1/4th of monthly salary. 10 years and above : 1/3rd of monthly salary

Severance Pay


Tax and Social Security

An individual’s tax residency depends on internal regulations or reciprocal agreements and treaties. An individual may be considered a resident in France for tax purposes if certain criteria are met (regardless of nationality).  France has a comprehensive social security system which is available to eligible employees and their families. This includes health, maternity, paternity, disability and death insurance, occupational accident and illness insurance, family allowances, unemployment benefits and more.


Individuals in France who are not tax residents are only taxed on income from French sources. Residents of France are taxed on the entirety of their income earned from any source, French or otherwise.


Corporate Income Tax


Personal Income Tax


Sales Tax



Social Security

This is the public health insurance system that covers all life risks. The social security system is divided into five branches. The first branch covers sickness, maternity, paternity, disability and death. The second covers occupational accidents and diseases; the third covers old age; the fourth covers the family and finally, the fifth branch covers contributions and collection.


Social Security Rate


Social Security Rate for Employers


Social Security Rate for Employees


Employment Law

The contractual relationship between an employee and foreign-based employer will affect the employee’s employment contract. There is also a difference between a secondment (an employer registered outside France entrusts an employee with a temporary assignment that needs to be carried out in France) and expatriation (an employee is transferred to a company in France from a foreign company belonging to the same group). Obtaining a work permit does not exempt foreign nationals from the requirement of applying for a visa to allow entry into France. A residence permit grants the right of residence (for stays of over three months).

Employment Agreement

There are various types of contracts including permanent contracts, fixed-term contracts, temporary employment contracts and more. Another agreement type is the collective agreement which is an agreement between employee representatives and employers in a given business sector. Such an agreement addresses specific employment conditions which must be referred to.

Working condition

There is no general right to flexible working in France. However, arrangements can be set up with the agreement of the employer to provide employees with more flexibility


The law and collective agreements grant additional paid leave for employees who have reached a specific level of seniority and for family-related events. Employees who are absent due to injury or illness must typically obtain a medial certificate that covers the period of sick leave. During the period of illness or injury, the work contract is suspended.

Employment termination

When employees are dismissed for reasons unrelated to their behaviour at work or their performance, the dismissal is deemed as economic. Dismissal must have a genuine and serious economic basis, that is economic difficulties, technological change, company ceasing to operate or corporate reorganization. Dismissal on personal grounds is different because it relates to the employee themselves. The dismissal must be justified by a clear and objective reason including on disciplinary grounds arising from wrongful behaviour or non-disciplinary grounds (such as inadequate performance, incompetence, repeated or prolonged absences).


1-3 months

Minimum notice period for terminating an employee


11 Days

Total number public holidays



Working hours per week


3 Days

Total number of days for Compassionate & Bereavement Leave


France Visa: Your Guide to Requirements and Application

Explore the key details for obtaining a France Visa, your gateway to one of Western Europe’s most influential countries. France, encompassing not only the European Territory but also overseas territories, is a top destination known for its diverse attractions.

Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter France?

Individuals who require a Schengen Visa to enter France encompass passport holders from countries lacking a visa liberalization agreement with Schengen states and those from countries with such an agreement but have faced rejection when attempting to enter France or other Schengen countries. The specifics of this topic are outlined below.

Types of Visas for Short Stays (Up to 90 Days)
  • French Transit Visa: For connecting flights to non-Schengen countries.
  • French Tourist/Visitor Visa: For vacation, sightseeing, visiting friends or family.
  • France Business Visa: For business meetings and activities.

Documents Required for a French Schengen Visa Application
  • Completed French visa application form.
  • Two passport photos meeting specifications.
  • Valid passport with at least three months beyond the planned departure date.
  • Copies of previous visas.

Additional Requirements Based on Employment Status
  • Employed: Employment contract, bank statement, leave permission, Income Tax Return (ITR) form.
  • Self-employed: Business license, company bank statement, Income Tax Return (ITR).
  • Student: Proof of enrollment, no-objection certificate from school or university.

Additional Requirements for Minors
  • Birth certificate of the minor.
  • France application form signed by both parents.
  • Family court order (if applicable).
  • Certified copies of ID/passport of both parents.
  • Notarized parental authorization to travel alone.

Where to Apply for a French Short-Stay Visa
  • French Embassy
  • French consulate
  • Visa Application Center (VAC)
  • Embassy/Consulate of another Schengen country (if outsourced)

Processing Time and Cost
  • Processing time: Up to 15 days (may extend to 30 or 60 days in exceptional cases).
  • Visa fee: €80 for adults, €40 for children under 12 (check exemptions and reductions).

Stay Duration Without a Visa
  • Passport holders of visa-exempt countries: Up to 90 days within a 180-day period.

Extension and Revocation
  • Extension possible in exceptional cases.
  • Revocation if conditions are no longer met or failure to provide entry requirements.

Entering Monaco and Andorra with a France Visa
  • Monaco: Entry allowed with a multiple-entry visa.
  • Andorra: Entry permitted with a France short-stay visa (multiple-entry).



France faces unprecedented migration pressure and as a result, has developed a balanced and controlled migration policy. Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy and has set up an information service for international talents and their families who have moved over for professional reasons.


Residency Permits

There are different visas required depending on whether businesses are posting paid employees and conducting internal transfers, recruiting employees and seasonal workers and whether these are short or long term contracts. Businesses that are developing France’s economic attractiveness, different rules may apply and there are also more favourable provisions in place for young employees.

Work Permit validity

12 months

Required Documents

2 passport sized photos

Passport and copies of previous visas (where applicable). These must be valid for at least three months beyond the return date and your passport must have at least two blank pages.

A copy of your return flight ticket reservation

Travel visa insurance confirmation of minimum 30,000 € coverage within France and the entire Schengen area.

A cover letter stating the purpose of the visit to France and itinerary proposed

Proof of accommodation

Proof of civil status (marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, ration card if applicable)

Means of subsistence – proof of sufficient financial means for the duration of your stay.

Compliant, reliable, error-free and touchless payroll in France

Build the best team and hire top talent compliantly in France. Get in touch with France payroll outsourcing & PEO specialists for a free consultation!

This document was prepared for informational purposes only. As local laws & regulations keeps on changing. Please consult your tax & legal advisors as well.
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