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Tax Representation / mandate: When does a foreign company have to register for VAT in France?

When a company does not have a permanent establishment in France and it carries out transactions there, it is necessary to know if it needs VAT registration in France.

The various operations mentioned below require VAT registration in France for your company.

Transactions affected by VAT registration in France

Registration for operations requiring a subscription of VAT declarations:

Carrying out the following operations from France requires the subscription of VAT declarations (“CA3”):

  • Transactions invoices subject to VAT in France to individuals, entities or companies not identified for VAT in France. ;
  • Intra-community delivery from France;
  • Export from France;
  • Distance selling of goods from another State and sold to individuals in France;
  • Reverse charge of VAT on imports;
  • Reverse charge of VAT on purchases of goods or services made from a taxable person not established in France, when the company is already registered for VAT in France for customs purposes;
  • Reverse charge of VAT on subcontracting, in a context of building and public works services;
  • Rental of bare building for commercial use (subject to French VAT on option).

Registration exclusively for customs purposes

In this case, a French VAT number is necessary in order to carry out customs operations (use of the VAT number and so-called “instrastat” declarations). These transactions do not require the filing of VAT returns (Form CA3):

  • Intra-community acquisitions made in France;
  • Assimilated intra-Community deliveries constituting stock transfers. In this case, the foreign company remains the owner of the goods sent from France to another Member State of the European Union.

How to proceed if your company is not located in France?

1) For non-EU companies:

Appointment of a tax representative in France

When a company is located in a country outside the European Union and except in the specific case set out below, the company must call on a recognized and accredited tax representative in France such as Eurotax. The tax representative is then in charge of representing a foreign company with French administration. Its role is to register the foreign company for VAT and file its VAT returns for it.

2) Companies established in the EU and some countries located outside the EU:

Appointment of a tax agent in France

For companies established in another Member State of the European Union, or in one of the third countries (*) with which France has a legal instrument relating to mutual assistance with a scope similar to that provided by the directive 2010/24/EU of the Council of March 16, 2010 and Council Regulation No. 904/2010 of October 7, 2010, there is no obligation to appoint a tax representative in France, but the company may use a tax agent. This appointment is then optional, however beyond the language, the habits and means of communication with different administrations require resources and special attention, the cost of which is often higher than the provision of several local experts, at your service, in your language: obtaining a VAT number, filing VAT declarations, filing refund requests, etc….

Our tax representation / mandate services:

If you are a foreign company carrying out taxable transactions in France. cf. the paragraph on the ‘operations requiring a VAT identification in France’, or if you are a French company carrying out operations for which VAT is due in another EU country, Eurotax offers you services of agent and tax representative.

You can visit our dedicated page for more information about our services, or you can contact us directly here.

(*): South Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Australia, Aruba, South Africa, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cape Verde, Curaçao, Dominica, Ecuador, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Greenland, Cook Islands , Faroe Islands, India, Iceland, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Nauru, Niue, Norway, New Zealand, Pakistan, French Polynesia, Republic of Korea, United Kingdom of Great -Brittany and Northern Ireland, Saint Barthelemy, Saint-Martin, Sint Maarten, Tunisia, Ukraine, Vanuatu.

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