Recruitment in France

Recruitment in France: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the monthly cost of using an Umbrella Company in France? 

€350 to €400

No, not presently.

What is the cost of a Work Permit in France?

Depends on the consulate, nationality of the candidate and whether you use a Migration Agent but it should be less than €500.

How long does it take to get a work permit in France?

Anywhere up to 6 to 9 months.

What is the estimated net retention in France for a contractor earning USD 500 per day?

*update pending

What is the estimated net retention in France for a contractor earning USD 1000 per day?

Around 65%.

Read more about the work permit process.

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Recruitment in France can be a challenge, but you don’t have to drown in time-consuming admin just to place a candidate. You can simplify complications by using an Umbrella Company (or “contractor management company”), as long as you pick the right one.

Skip ahead to find out how we can help you place candidates faster, or simply read on to find out more about the specific issues you’ll face.

Placing a new contractor in France: what are the challenges?


Recruiting in France generally requires a lot of complex admin duties, and contractors might end up paying too much in taxes or failing to comply with France tax law. It’s important to know what kind of concerns you’ll be facing.

  • Double taxation: Contractors can incur a tax liability in both their home country and in France. Many countries have agreements that mitigate this type of issue, but whether or not you can take advantage of them will depend on factors like the length of the contractor’s stay, or the laws of the contractor’s home country. You can learn more about double taxation here (note: this info was written with respect to the UK, but the general concepts will still apply).
  • Withholding tax: If a foreign company is used to provide services overseas, the payments made to that company by the France client could be liable for withholding tax under France tax law. Find out more about withholding tax.
  • Individual taxation and tax residency: A contractor’s tax liability will often be determined by his or her residency status in their home country and in France. Figuring out their tax residency can be difficult and is often tied to the length of their stay in France (or out of their home country). Read more about tax residency and individual tax liability here.
  • Permanent establishment: Most double taxation agreements limit the scope of taxation in the host country by providing that a business is only taxable in another state if it has a permanent establishment in that state. A permanent establishment is a fixed base such as a branch, office, factory, workshop, mine or oil well. To find out how to avoid permanent establishment and unnecessary tax liability, read more about the issue.

Work permits

Contractors will need to find a sponsored work permit, which can be difficult and may seriously slow the placement process. Additionally, they’ll need a new permit for each new contract, spawning even more paperwork.

See our FAQ to find out more about the cost and processing time of France work permits.

Why use a contractor management company?

An efficient way to manage these problems is to outsource them to a contractor management company. They’ll act as the contractor’s “employer,” handling all of their invoicing, fees, and social security. As France tax experts, they also help contractors comply with local tax law while maximising the amount they get to keep.

A quicker, better recruitment process: Working with an Umbrella Company means saving time, effort, and resources. Higher earnings and a smoother transition also make contracting a more attractive opportunity, helping you place candidates more quickly and successfully.

Still, you’ll need to find the right company for you and your candidate.

How to find the right Umbrella Company?

Making sense of the optionsFor free, we match contractors with Umbrella Companies and can help dramatically reduce waiting times. There are numerous Umbrella Companies in France and each has its own specialties, services, and payment structures. Choosing the right one is crucial, but it can be difficult when you’re facing a bunch of unfamiliar options.

We’ve developed an extensive database of these companies. We can guide you through your options and help connect you with the best company for you and the contractor.

Get in touch: If you want straightforward, honest advice on recruitment in France, we’re easy to contact. Call, e-mail, or chat with us online - for free.

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Work Permits & Payroll - Frequently Asked Questions

It's possible, but has become increasingly difficult.

What documentation is required for a France work permit?

Depending on the nationality of the candidate further documentation may be required (see below).

What is the work permit process in France?

A French company needs to apply for a Carte de Sejour for any non-EU national. It should be done if possible whilst the candidate is outside of France at the French Consulate in their country of residence. The candidate will need: copy of their contract of employment, 4 passport photos, a completed application form, proof of funds, degree and diploma certificate, birth certificate (original) and your passport.

Can you transfer from a Business Visa to a Work Permit in France?


Can we organise Business Visas in France?


How long does it take to process a Business Visa in France?

5 to 7 days.

How much does a Work Permit cost in France?

Less than €50.



Can nationals of certain countries enter France without a Business Visa (ex. on an entry visa or visa waiver)?


Yes all first world nationals will have a visa waiver.





What is the monthly cost to run a local payroll in France?


€350 to 400.

How does payroll work in France?


Your employer (the company sponsoring your visa) pays the candidate on a monthly basis. They deduct social security  - which is roughly 35% for employers and 25% for employees. French social security levels are amongst the highest in the world! They also deduct income tax - which varies from 0-41% pendant on salary level. These deductions are made at source and paid to the France tax authorities. Candidates are able to offset their taxable income with relevant business expenses. The World Bank estimates it takes employers in France 80 man days to ensure compliance with payroll and labour taxes each year.



Client comment

"Great advice and excellent service on contracting and immigration solutions in the UK. I would highly recommend Tim and the team to assist you with accurate, clear and concise contracting advice in the UK or any other country for that matter."

Prishen Pillay,Global DBA Operations Lead

Shell International Trading & Shipping