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How many shareholders should there be in my company?

There are different regulations regarding the number of shareholders in French companies. Depending on the legal form of your company, you may be required to have a minimum number or maximum number of shareholders.

The SAS's most conspicuous feature is its very flexible organizational mode. As a result, the number of shareholders required to incorporate a SAS can freely be chosen. You can validly incorporate a SAS by being the only shareholder, in this case it will be a SASU. There is no maximum limit in the number of shareholders either.

On the other hand, if you incorporate a SARL, the number of shareholders is more regulated than that of the SAS. There is no minimum in the number of shareholders: you can incorporate a SARL as the sole shareholder, it will then be a EURL. However, there must not be more than a hundred shareholders, since the SARL is a company considered to be founded on an intuitu personae basis. Indeed, a SARL is a legal form of company chosen when the company is founded by shareholders in consideration of the relationships that exist between them. Thus, if the SARL has more than 100 partners, it will be necessary to regularize the situation within one year, or else, you will have to transform the legal form of the company.

The incorporation of a SCI (civil real estate company) is regulated by the French Civil Code. As a result, its constitution can only be valid if it the company has at least two shareholders. The law does not mention a maximum number of shareholders, however.

In any case, while the choice of the number of shareholders remains almost totally yours for the formation of any company, you must keep in mind that all shareholders will be able to be part of the process of decision making for your company, within the framework of General meetings. You have to be able to get the majority of votes in order for your decisions to be valid. As a result, the more shareholders there are, the trickier your decision-making process gets. This can hinder your company's growth at some point.
When forming your company, you should thus try and limit the number of shareholders. With your company's growth, there will always be opportunities to open the share capital to new shareholders.

 

Read more:

The term of a corporate office

The best legal form of company for a startup

What you need to know about General Meetings

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