Foreign Enterprise : Hire an employee without having any subsidiary in France

Foreign companies can hire an employee in France without having a corporate establishment in this country. In order to do this, they have to undergo a certain number of procedures imposed by the administration and social welfare agencies.


They must not have a subsidiary, a corporate establishment or keep books / records in France.


They have to carry out their activity in France and be mandatorily affiliated to the French social security system. Their nationality or place of residence wouldn’t pose any problems.
This principle doesn’t apply however in the case of bilateral agreements on Social Security. For more information, you should contact the center for European and International Social Security Liaison (CLEISS).

Employees of European Union based companies or Swiss companies , who are posted on French territory or that of several Member States (France included) or who work on behalf of other employers, need to contact the designated health insurance organization that will determine the applicable legislation for their particular cases.


First of all, the company must approach the French URSSAF – the Organization for the payment of social security and family benefit contributions – in the department of Bas-Rhin. The company is then registered at the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Research or INSEE, which assigns a business identification or SIRET number for the company. They will also be registered at the French Employment Agency (Pôle Emploi), at the French Ministry of Labor (DDTE), at the Regional department of Work, Employment and Vocational Training (DDETEFP), the Supplementary Pension Fund (Caisse de retraites complémentaires) – out of which Humanis (ex Novalis Tatibout) is compulsory, the Sickness Insurance Primary Fund (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie) and the Tax Directorate (Direction Générale des Impôts). The A1 form, a clearance certificate of applicable law for an employee who is not affiliated within his own country, also has to be filled out.


As with every hiring in France, the company must provide a one-time preliminary employment declaration (Déclaration Unique Préalable à l’Embauch or DPAE) to the URSSAF, up to 8 days before the actual starting date, depending on the employee.

Just as all the French companies, a foreign company hiring a French employee must submit its combined social security contribution return (DUCS) and its pension contributions return to the concerned social welfare agencies, monthly or quarterly. Likewise, the employer must establish an annual declaration of social data (DADS), as well as the annual regularization statement for Humanis (Group Novalis Taitbout).


For every employee it hires and pays wages to, a foreign company must contribute to several welfare collecting organisms. In the table below, we put together an overview of these organisms and the associated social fees they gather. For more details, please refer to our example of pay-slip.


URSSAF of the Bas-Rhin department


CCPBRP (construction industry)

Social fees / Contributions / Covered risks

Sickness, Maternity, Invalidity, Old-age, Death, Accidents at work, Occupational illness, General Social Contribution and Social Debt Repayment Contribution (CSG and CRDS), Family, Autonomy, Housing support, Transportation, Salary warranty in case of bankruptcy

Supplementary pension scheme Arrco

Supplementary pension scheme Agirc

Paid leave, Unemployment, Bad weather conditions, Prevention of accidents at work

Contribution base

For each risk, contributions are calculated as a percentage of the gross wage including premiums, bonuses, various benefits, in-kind benefits… A minimum contribution basis is provided by the French social legislation (minimum conventional wage or SMIC). For some risks, the contribution bases are determined according to the Social Security Ceiling or PSS.

Reporting frequency

Quarterly – for companies of up to 9 employees;

Monthly – for companies with 10 employees or more;

Plus an annual summary

Quarterly + an annual summary


Payment methods

Contributions can be paid by wire transfer, check or electronic transfer, provided that the company has opened and account in a bank in France.



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