Doing Business in France
The Country Commercial Guide
The Country Commercial Guide is prepared by U.S. Embassy Staff in France once a year and contains information on Doing Business in France.
Country Commercial Guide 2015 France (PDF, 993 kb)
As the world’s fifth largest economy, centrally located within the European Union, there is strong competition for market share in all French industrial and service sectors. American exporters to France generally face more competition from European companies than from Asian ones. Positioned at the heart of the world’s largest market, France offers a favorable economic environment to potential exporters.
Working in France
For information on obtaining a visa to visit France, visit the Embassy of France in Washington, DC website.
Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html for France
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets. The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business. These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.
More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.fcpa.us/
A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the statue. Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA. Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but DOJ publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.
More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here.
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