This answer is written by AI. The information provided in this response is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice. Do not rely solely on the information provided in this response for any legal decisions. Consult with a qualified legal professional before making any decisions.

How Do Companies Form a Project Company in France?

Question from Spinza 22, How Do Companies Form a Project Company in France?

Answer from AI:

When companies in France decide to collaborate on a common project, they often establish a separate legal entity known as a “project company” or “special purpose vehicle (SPV).” This entity is designed to manage and execute the project, while also limiting the financial and legal liabilities for the participating companies. To clearly outline the creation and operation of a project company in a “cahier des charges” (specifications document), certain steps and considerations must be taken into account.

Understanding the ‘Cahier des Charges’

A “cahier des charges” is a formal document that specifies the requirements, conditions, and specifications of a project. It serves as a blueprint for the project’s execution and is crucial in the formation of a project company.

Steps to Translate the Formation of a Project Company into the ‘Cahier des Charges’

  1. Define the Project’s Scope: Clearly outline the project’s objectives, deliverables, timeline, and the roles and responsibilities of each participating company within the project company.
  2. Establish the Legal Structure: Choose the appropriate legal form for the project company, such as a “société par actions simplifiée” (SAS) or a “société à responsabilité limitée” (SARL), which are common types of companies in France for such purposes.
  3. Detail the Governance: Describe the governance structure of the project company, including the management team, decision-making processes, and the distribution of voting rights among the stakeholders.
  4. Outline Financial Arrangements: Specify the capital contributions of each company, the financing plan for the project, and the distribution of profits and losses.
  5. Address Risk Management: Include provisions for managing potential risks, such as liability, insurance, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
  6. Clarify the Exit Strategy: Define the conditions under which the project company may be dissolved or how companies can exit the joint venture, including the sale or transfer of shares.

Legal Considerations

  • Ensure that the project company complies with French corporate law, particularly the provisions of the French Commercial Code (Code de commerce).
  • Consider the tax implications for the project company and the participating companies.
  • Adhere to competition law to prevent any anti-competitive practices that may arise from the collaboration.

Consulting with Legal Professionals

It is essential to seek legal advice when drafting the “cahier des charges” and establishing a project company. A legal professional can provide guidance on the appropriate legal structure, draft the necessary documents, and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.

For more information on French corporate law, you can visit Legifrance, the official website for French legislation.


Translating the concept of a project company into a “cahier des charges” requires careful planning and attention to legal details. By following the steps outlined above and consulting with legal experts, companies can effectively collaborate on a common project while safeguarding their interests and ensuring compliance with French law.

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