"Business permit" for foreigners

(Carte de commerçant étranger)
Valid for France only

This Consulate will only accept applications from residents of the States of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Bermuda.

No commercial business can be operated in France by a foreigner unless he/she holds a ‘Carte de Commerçant Etranger’ whether or not he/she is living in France.

If you do not intend to live in France and you do not need a visa to enter France (see Do I need a Visa?) you must enquire for the Business Permit for foreigners at the Préfecture that has jurisdiction over the town/city where your business will be.

If you do not intend to live in France but you require a visa to visit France follow instructions for Schengen Visa each time you need to travel to France.

If you wish to live in France, you must apply for a Long Stay Visitor Visa at the same time as applying for the Business Permit at the appropriate Consulate.

When both the Business Permit and the Long Stay Visa have been approved by the French Authorities, Business Permit Visa will be issued by the Consulate. Upon arrival in France, you must obtain your Residency Card and Business permit at the Préfecture that has jurisdiction over the town/city where your business will be.

Nationals of all European Community countries, Andorra, Monaco, Algeria or foreigners already holding a Resident Card for France are exempt from this procedure.


Processing Time - 3 to 4 months

Application Fees




For information on businesses in France, please contact one of the following addresses:

Commercial Services of French Embassy
810 Seventh Avenue - 38th Floor
New York, NY 10019
Tel 212 400-2160
Fax 212 315-1017

Invest in France
(French Industrial development agency)
610 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10023
Tel 212 757-9340
Fax 212 245-1568

Financial Counselor
48 Wall Street - 31st Floor
New York, NY 10005
Tel 212 432-1820
Fax 212 432-1822

Financial Counselor
4101 Reservoir Road
Washington DC 20007
Tel 202 944-6000
Fax 202 944-6392


Dernière modification : 24/12/2012

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