Foreign Employer in France (FEF)

What is a Foreign employer without a registered company in France (or FEF)?

A foreign employer in France status allows you to employ French or foreign employees in France without the need to create a local operating entity.  Your company exists for employment purposes only, and operates from your foreign address.

Your employees are managed in complete compliance with French labour legislation and are treated the same as any other French employee.  You will pay all standard French social contributions but you will not be subject to either corporate tax or other taxes applicable to established companies in France.  In addition, you will not have local accounting obligations in France, as everything is integrated into your foreign company’s accounting.

The French Social Security’s (URSSAF’s) official documentation on the Foreign employer in France status can be dowloaded below.

how does it work ?

Set up of the FEF status:

1. Neteem Solutions will create your FEF status with the CNFE (Centre National des Firmes Etrangères) and then we have to wait around 2-3 weeks for the SIRET registration number to be issued for your FEF status.

2. In the meantime, we will work together on a model bilingual employment contract for your employees, in accordance with French social law, and the specifics of your activity . The employee can start working as soon as the employment contract is signed, and we have declared his hiring to the French authorities.

3. Once the SIRET number is received, we will register the company and employees with the various benefit funds (Social Security, unemployment benefits, supplementary pension, life &disability coverage (prévoyance), supplementary health insurance (mutuelle) and occupational health centre (for the hiring medical examination).

4. We will set up your payroll, and, once we receive the variable elements for the month (absences, holidays, bonuses, etc), we will be able to provide you with the monthly payslips, as well as instructions for payment of the net salary.

5. After the end of each month, we close your payroll, make the declarations and send you the accounting report and instructions for the payment of contributions.  Contribution payments will be made by you either from a SEPA-compliant bank account (via direct debit) or by wire transfer to the appropriate benefit funds.

6. We are available throughout the life of your employees’ employment contract to assist you with any questions you may have.

Advantages of the FEF status:

  • Compliance : your employee is declared and employed in total compliance with French law, and receives the same benefits as any other French employee
  • Corporate image : your employee is directly employed by your company, and can represent it directly (rather than via a PEO structure)
  • Quick setup : you can start employing people tomorrow if necessary, we will just need some basic information to be able to declare your employees the day before their hire
  • Easy to manage : all payroll & declarations are prepared by Neteem Solutions;  you manage just the payments of net salary and the contributions

who can obtain FEF status ?

This status is only possible for foreign companies without a stable or permanent establishment in France:

“A permanent establishment is characterized by a sufficient degree of permanence and an adequate structure, in terms of human and technical resources, to make an independently conducted activity possible. Any center of activity where the company conducts regular taxable transactions should be considered a permanent establishment. The center of activity generally consists of a shop or an office, factory, workshop, construction of experienced customer, managed by a person, employee or not, who has the power to initiate transactions on behalf the company.”

If you have an office or if the employee is creating taxable activities in France, then the FEF status is not compliant and you will need to set up a permanent structure in France.

legal framework

A Foreign Employer in France (FEF) is a company or organization based outside France that wishes to use the services of a worker based in France without setting up an establishment or subsidiary there.

As the place of work is France, the employment contract is subject to French labour regulations.

Since 1 January 2015, a foreign company can register as an employer with the Centre de Firmes Etrangères de l’URSSAF Alsace (CNFE), which manages these accounts.


Article.L.243-1-2 du Code de la Sécurité sociale (modifié par Loi n°2013-1203 du 23 décembre 2013 – art. 27 (V))
Article R.243-8-1 du Code de la Sécurité sociale : (inséré par Décret nº 2004-890 du 26 août 2004 art. 5 JORF du 29 août 2004)
Arrêté du 29 septembre 2004
Instruction Agirc-Arrco 2005-80-DSI du 28/06/2005.
Le règlement CE n° 883/2004, règlement d’application n° 987/2009.


Click here to download French Social Security’s brochure about the FEF status in Englishin French or in German.