Creating a Crypto Company in France: Regulations and Requirements

How to create a crypto company in France in 2023 ?


France has established a comprehensive regulatory framework for the cryptocurrency industry, which includes both Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Digital Asset Service Providers (DASPs). Companies looking to start a cryptocurrency venture in France must be aware of the legal requirements and regulations in order to operate within the boundaries of the law.

In this article, we will provide an overview of the legal framework for cryptocurrency in France, including the definition of digital assets, regulations for ICOs and DASPs, and the taxation of digital assets.

We will also discuss the requirements for payment services and anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) compliance.

As cryptocurrency lawyers, we can help you create your crypto company in France.

Definition of digital assets in France


The French regulation defines digital assets in several different categories, including utility tokens, cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and security tokens. Utility tokens represent a right to access a service or technology provided by the issuer.

Cryptocurrencies, or virtual currencies, are digital representations of value that are not issued by a central bank or public authority.

Stablecoins are digital assets that are pegged to a specific value, such as a currency or commodity.

NFTs are unique digital assets that cannot be exchanged for other digital assets. Security tokens represent financial instruments and can be treated as securities under French law.

Initial Coin Offering (ICO) Visa


Public offerings of tokens, also known as ICOs, are regulated in France. Companies looking to launch an ICO can apply for an optional visa from the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) to be included on the AMF’s white list. The visa is subject to certain conditions, including transparency, security, and AML/CFT measures.

DASP Registration and License


The DASP regime applies to companies offering digital asset services in France.

There are four digital asset services that require mandatory registration, including :

  • custody of digital assets ;
  • buying or selling digital assets in legal tender ;
  • exchanging digital assets for other digital assets ;
  • operating a digital assets trading platform.


Foreign DASPs must also register with the AMF before offering these services in France.

Data Protection and Collective Investment Schemes


The French National Commission for Information Technology and Liberty has stated that there are no major obstacles to applying the data protection obligations set by the GDPR for blockchain projects.

The provision of a collective investment scheme on digital assets is subject to regulation applicable to Alternative Investment Funds, which presents regulatory difficulties for the creation of crypto funds in France.

Sale of Digital Assets


French law regulates the sale of digital assets, including promotional communication, to protect investors.

DASPs without an optional license are prohibited from direct solicitation, electronic advertising, and sponsorship operations without authorization from the AMF.

The AMF and the French Professional Advertising Regulatory Authority have created a joint work program to promote clear and accurate communication in the financial services sector, including crypto-assets.

Government Policy


The French government policy towards cryptocurrency is supportive, as long as they are properly regulated.

The AMF and the banking authority (ACPR) have Fintech departments to welcome and assist innovative projects in the cryptocurrency industry.

The French government has introduced a tax regime for digital assets and is one of the few jurisdictions to neutralize the tax effects of exchanges between digital assets.

The Association for the Development of Digital Assets (ADAN) represents digital asset actors and collaborates closely with regulators to support the regulation of the sector.

Derivative Crypto Assets


French law treats the definition of derivatives separately from the underlying asset.

The AMF has stated that a cash-settled derivative with a cryptocurrency as the underlying asset can be regarded as a financial contract, subject to the sale of financial instruments regulations in France.



The taxation of digital assets in France has been defined by the government as of January 1st, 2019.



Capital gains from the sale of digital assets are subject to a flat rate of 30%, which is the same tax rate for securities. The calculation of capital gains is based on a proportion of the total capital gains of an individual’s entire digital asset portfolio, rather than just the sale price minus the purchase price of the digital asset. Capital gains must be declared annually when filing an income tax return, and taxpayers must also declare any accounts they hold with digital asset trading platforms based outside of France.



The accounting and tax treatment of digital assets will depend on the use of these assets by the company. The French Accounting Standards Authority has created a “tokens held” account in the category of cash instruments, and gains on digital assets are only accounted for when the tokens are sold. Exchanges between digital assets are considered a taxable event for corporate tax purposes. Token sales are not taxed in the year of issuance if the issuer makes a commitment to provide a good or service for the tokens.

The tax implications for crypto companies in France are determined by the type of company established. SAS (Société par Actions Simplifiée) and SARL (Société à responsabilité limitée) companies, which are French limited liability companies, are subject to the standard corporate tax rate ranging from 15% to 25%. These companies are also required to pay 20% VAT on their services.

It is crucial to keep in mind that the taxation of crypto assets in France is subject to change, so it is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure compliance with the latest regulations and requirements. Moreover, international tax laws may impact crypto exchanges operating in France, particularly if they have a global presence or clientele.


Value Added Tax (VAT)

The purchase or sale of digital assets as a means of payment has been exempt from VAT since 2015. VAT is not applicable to ICOs if there is a contingency on the existence of the counterparty, and mining operations are outside the scope of VAT. Currently, there are no border restrictions or requirements to declare cryptocurrency holdings when entering France. The “exit tax” system, which allows the French tax authorities to tax unrealized capital gains on securities portfolios, does not yet apply to digital assets portfolios.



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Published on: March 10, 2023

Editor : Elias BOURRAN, Attorney at Law (Paris Bar, France) and PhD in Law.

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