VAT Registration

“How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?” Charles de Gaulle

Everything about VAT registrations and things to know before you start your activities in France.

VAT registration in France is something every business should think about before doing any kind of business transaction in France. Many companies are not aware that many B to B and B to C transactions require to apply for a VAT registration in France.

Others believe that VAT is not an issue anymore as France is part of the European Union and that all Intracommunity transactions are VAT zero rated. The reality is very different. Applying for a VAT registration in France is still mandatory in many cases. Selling to French private individuals, to Foreign companies that are themselves not registered for VAT or exporting goods from France are few examples as these transactions require a VAT registration in France.

Many businesses are obviously confused about the ever changing European VAT regulations and do not know how to issue their invoices to their French clients. Some other would like to make sure that their French suppliers correctly apply VAT on their invoices so that they will be able to have it refunded

RMB’s mission is to provide companies with practical and independent advice. RMB won’t flood you with theoretical answers and references to law articles. We will clearly explain how your issues or cases have to be managed.

Businesses expect engaging and clear answers especially concerning complicated and risky matters such as VAT and taxes.

If your company is only about to have business operations in France, they will explain how to be fully VAT compliant and what mentions need to be shown on your sales invoices.

We provide you with practical and independent advice

RMB can of course assist your company with VAT registration in France. Our team will take care of all administrative steps until your VAT registration in France is confirmed. RM Boulanger is proud to be one of the very few independent experts in European VAT. Lots of accounting or large legal firms provide general VAT advice but what companies actually need are practical and understandable recommendations.

Businesses expect from RM Boulanger to give clear instructions how correctly issue invoices to their foreign clients and if necessary to register them for VAT in some other EU Member States. Being an independent company also allows us to be very responsive and solve urgent cases.

You would like to know whether your company needs a VAT registration in France ? Give us a call or contact us by mail. We will analyze the operations you have in France and will quickly tell if you need a VAT registration in France.

Once your VAT registration number is granted by the French Tax Authorities, RMB will manage the submission of your monthly VAT returns and inform you about the amount of VAT to be paid to the French Tax Administration.

By partnering with RM Boulanger, you can confidently navigate the complexities of VAT refund in France and French import tax regulations, optimising your business transactions while ensuring compliance and potential VAT refund.

Do you need a VAT number in France?

Your company needs to register for VAT in France if it performs the following business operations.

  • You sell and ship goods from France to companies based within the EU (Intracommunity supplies)
  • You ship goods from France outside the EU (exports),
  • You ship goods to France from outside the EU (imports), subsequently selling these goods on the French market,
  • You sell goods to French private individuals (B to C domestic sales),
  • You provide refurbishment or construction services on the French territory for private clients.

If your company is involved within these business operations, then you need a VAT registration number in France.

VAT rates applicable in France

1. Standard VAT rate

The standard VAT rate in France is 20%.

2. Reduced VAT rate

The reduced VAT rate in France is 5,5% and applies on (list is not exhaustive)

  • Food
  • Products for disabled people
  • Gas and electricity

3. Intermediary VAT rate

The intermediary VAT rate is 10% and applies on (list is not exhaustive)

  • Transport of passengers
  • Take away food
  • Hotel accommodation
  • Games and entertainment

Chosing for the right VAT rate is not easy and any mistake may lead you to face an exposure to penalties of other risks. Please ask RMB’s experts and we will recommend you the best adapted VAT rate according to your operations.

VAT registration process

If you need a VAT registration in France, RMB’s team will inform you about the documents it will need to process with your VAT registration in France. We will prepare and file the information justifying your company to be registered for VAT. The VAT registration process usually takes around 2 to 3 months before the VAT number is granted.

We then strongly recommend to anticipate this period before doing any of business operations requiring a VAT registration number.


Do you have questions about how RMB can help your business? Send us an email and we’ll get 
in touch with you shortly, our VAT experts are always happy to help. You can also contact us by 
phone: +33 3 20 25 70 70.

Book your call with our experts

You can book a call with one of our experts to assess your fiscal situation

We offer a first check up for free, no obligations attached

Book an appointment


Vous avez des questions sur la manière dont RMB peut aider votre entreprise ? 
Envoyez-nous un courriel et nous vous contacterons rapidement. 
Nos experts en TVA sont toujours heureux de vous aider. Vous pouvez également nous contacter par 
téléphone : +33 3 20 25 70 70.

Réservez votre appel avec nos experts

Vous pouvez prendre rendez-vous avec l'un de nos experts pour évaluer votre situation fiscale.

Nous vous proposons un premier bilan gratuit, sans engagement de votre part.

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