Residency rights linked to starting a business in France

A residence permit or “titre de séjour” can be issued to individuals who already have residency rights and want to work independently or set up their own business in France.

Verified by FNCIDFF on 30/05/2022

Conditions

You must meet these two conditions:

  • You are self-employed compliant with French legislation, financially viable and generate sufficient income.
  • You must be in one of these situations:
    • You have come to France with a long-stay visa or “visa de long séjour” specifically issued to practice self-employed work, i.e. an entrepreneurial activity.
    • You are living in France with other residency rights and want to change your “titre de séjour”, i.e. request a change of status or “changement de statut” to be now on the basis of your business activity.

Applicable law: Articles L.421–5 and L.421–6 of the “CESEDA”.

You can get an assessment on your new business idea on this website.

Type of “titre de séjour” or residence permit issued

  • You are entitled to a temporary residence card or “carte de séjour temporaire” stating “entrepreneur / profession libérale'' or entrepreneur/ self-employed, valid for one year.

  • Your residence card or “carte de séjour” can be renewed if you still meet the conditions.

    You will then be able to receive a multi-year residence card “carte de séjour pluriannuelle” valid for four years, if you request one. To do this, you must also have signed an immigrant integration contract with the French state known as the “Contrat d’Intégration Républicaine (CIR)” and comply with its commitments.

  • If you have lived in France for at least five years, or three years in certain cases, you can request a “carte de résident” if you meet certain conditions. Learn more

Algerian citizens

The option to obtain a “titre de séjour” on this basis is applicable to Algerian nationals.

In your case:

  • You do not need to have come to France with a long-stay visa or “visa de long séjour” issued specifically to exercise a self-employed activity. Any document called “visa” is accepted.
  • You are not obliged to demonstrate the financial viability of your project and are not subject to means-testing.

Applicable law: Article 5 of the Franco-Algerian Agreement of 27 December 1968 as amended.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • La Cimade” is an organisation that specialises in supporting all immigrant and migrant people, and refugees in France, particularly people facing violence.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you and support you in your administrative procedures related to the right of residence in France, and direct you to other services depending on your personal situation.
    • Languages available: French, English and Spanish.
    • Contact :
      • without an appointment at a centre near you
      • by telephone on 01 40 08 05 34 or 06 77 82 79 09 on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Gisti” is an organisation specialising in legal advice to immigrants and refugees in France.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • They will be able to inform you about your rights relating to your residency rights and explain how to obtain them.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact:
      • By phone on +331 84 60 90 26 from Monday to Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and also from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. The line is sometimes saturated, do not be discouraged. It is sometimes easier to reach them towards the end of the day.
      • By post to “Gisti, 3 villa Marcès 75011 Paris, France”. Print and complete this form and include in your letter with a photocopy of any administrative documents that could be relevant. Be sure to specify your question as clearly as possible, including all elements that could help the “Gisti” advisor to understand your situation.
  • Associations” are organisations that offer various services. Some are specialised in immigration.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can inform you about your rights in France, and sometimes support you with immigration procedures.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact: you can search by region and department in this directory.
  • Authorised associations or “associations habilitées” can offer highly specialised services to asylum seekers.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • They can inform you about your rights, advise you, support you in your administrative procedures and come with you to your meeting with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons or “Office français de la protection des réfugiés et des apatrides (OFPRA)”.
    • Language available: mainly French, interpretation possible.
    • Contact: you can find a “associations habilitées” near you in this directory.

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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