Guide to creating a SCI in France in 2024: Step-by-step for expats

If you are an expat considering real estate investment in France, establishing a Société Civile Immobilière (SCI) could be a strategic move. This guide will walk you through the process of creating an SCI in 2024, detailing each step to ensure a smooth setup.

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Steps for creating an SCI

Creating an SCI encompasses several crucial steps, each essential to the successful formation of the company:

  1. Drafting the articles of association: This initial step involves outlining the operational framework and structure of the SCI. The articles of association define key aspects such as the company’s form, identity of associates, corporate purpose, share capital and rules governing its operation.
  2. Deposition the share capital: Associates contribute funds, either in cash or assets, to the SCI’s share capital. This capital serves as financial security for the company and may influence its ability to obtain external financing. 
  3. Publishing a legal notice: A mandatory step involves publishing a notice in an approved newspaper to inform third parties of the company’s establishment. 
  4. Completing the online creating formalities: Finalise the registration process by submitting the necessary documents and forms via an online platform or one-stop shop. 

Drafting the SCI's articles of association

Drafting the articles of association for your SCI is a critical step in establishing a solid operational foundation. These documents essentially serve as the constitution for your company, outlining its structure, governance, and purpose. Here’s a closer look at the key elements to include: 

  • Company’s form: Specify the legal form of the SCI, which typically follows the civil code provisions for real estate companies.
  • Identity of associates: Clearly identify all associates involved in the SCI, including their names, addresses, and roles within the company.
  • Corporate purpose: Define the primary activities and objectives of the SCI, focusing on real estate acquisition, administration, and management. Ensure the corporate purpose aligns with legal requirements and reflects the intended scope of operations.
  • Registered office: Designate the official address of the SCI, which can be the physical location of the company’s operations or the manager’s residence if no premises are available.
  • Share capital: Specify the amount of share capital contributed by each associate and outline the rules governing share ownership and transfer.
  • Duration: Determine the maximum duration of the SCI, which typically ranges up to 99 years, unless otherwise specified.
  • Manager appointment: Detail the process for appointing and removing managers, along with their powers, responsibilities, and decision-making authority.
  • Rules of the general meeting: Establish procedures for conducting general meetings, including notice requirements, voting procedures, and decision-making mechanisms.

> You might be interested in this article: Buying with a SCI in France

Depositing the share capital

Depositing the share capital is a crucial step in creating an SCI. This capital, consisting of contributions from associates, serves as a financial guarantee for the company. While there is no minimum requirement for the share capital, it’s essential to consider your investment ambitions when determining the amount. A sufficient capital provides financial security and may facilitate external financing for property acquisitions. Once the capital is deposited into a dedicated bank account, you will receive a certificate of deposit, which is essential for completing the registration process. It’s recommended to open a professional bank account to separate the SCI’s finances from personal assets, although it’s not mandatory. Ultimately, the deposited share capital reinforces the stability and credibility of your SCI as you embark on your property investment journey in France.

Good to know: there is no minimum amount to start an SCI, so you can theoretically create an SCI with 1 € of capital.

Publishing a legal notice

Publishing a legal notice is a vital step in the creation of your SCI, ensuring transparency and informing interested parties of the company’s formation. The notice, published in an approved newspaper, serves to publicise essential details about the SCI, including its name, legal structure, management, registered address, and commencement date. This formal announcement is a legal requirement and helps establish the SCI’s presence in the public domain.

The legal notice of the SCI must include certain mandatory information:

  • the company name (its corporate name)
  • the legal form (SCI, société civile immobilière)
  • the name of the manager(s)
  • the registered office address of the SCI
  • the date of commencement of activities

 

The price of the legal notice in 2024 varies between 185 € and 217 € depending on the publication department.

Completing online creation formalities

Completing the online creation formalities involves submitting necessary documents through a legal platform or one-stop shop. Essential documents include the articles of association, attestation of publication, manager’s identity document, declaration of non-conviction, proof of premises occupation, and declaration of beneficial owners. These documents provide comprehensive information about the SCI’s structure, management, and ownership, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and facilitating the registration process.

Utilising online platforms streamlines the submission process, offering convenience and efficiency for expatriates establishing an SCI in France. Additionally, professional assistance available through legal platforms can provide guidance and support, ensuring accurate completion of the required formalities and adherence to regulatory standards.

The time it takes to create an SCI can vary. If the creation file is incomplete, the registry may request additional information or reject the file. Once you resubmit the completed file, the registry will review it within 24 hours. It’s essential to be vigilant because incomplete files may result in additional fees imposed by the registry. Once the registry validates your file, it will issue the Kbis extract, serving as the identity card for your SCI. This extract allows the civil real estate company to demonstrate its existence and undertake all necessary actions legally.

Summary of documents to create an SCI

To successfully create an SCI, you must assemble a comprehensive set of documents, including:

  • Articles of association: This document outlines the fundamental operating principles and structure of the SCI. It covers crucial details such as the company’s form, identity of associates, corporate purpose, registered office, share capital, duration, manager appointment, and rules of the general meeting.
  • Publication attestation: A confirmation from an approved newspaper verifying the publication of a legal notice announcing the establishment of the SCI. This notice informs third parties about the formation of the company.
  • Manager’s identity document: Proof of identity for the appointed manager of the SCI. This ensures that the manager is legally authorised to act on behalf of the company.
  • Non-conviction declaration: A declaration signed by the manager affirming their lack of criminal convictions relevant to managing a company. It provides assurance of the manager’s suitability for the role.
  • Proof of premises occupation: Documentation demonstrating regular occupation of the premises where the SCI is established. This can include utility bills or lease agreements.
  • Declaration of beneficial owners: A statement identifying individuals who hold more than 25% of the SCI’s share capital. This declaration helps combat money laundering and terrorism financing by enhancing transparency around company ownership.

Final notes

By following these steps, expats can successfully create an SCI in France, providing a solid legal framework for property ownership and investment. Seeking professional guidance ensures compliance and facilitates a seamless setup process.

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