Payroll Services France

Compandben Payroll Partner


We speak your language

Welcome to the Compandben HR Consultancy and Payroll Services in France

Payroll Administration Services France

We set up our clients with outsourced payroll solutions, have a network of payroll providers in over 160 countries, and have fluent French speakers in our management team.

We have 3 Compandben International Payroll Partners for France, one based in Nice, the other two based in the Paris Region: they all have a sound knowledge of French payroll regulations and company set up practices.

All 3 are used to running payrolls for foreign companies just registered as Employers in France.

Contact Compandben

John Tinsley
Compandben HR Consultancy
5 Rue de L’Orangerie
1202 Geneva

+41 79285 9713 CH
+44 79581 73708 UK

Here to help

Our French Speaking Team

John Tinsley

Compandben CEO

HR Payroll Outsourcing Consultant

John is the head of Compandben and is fluent in French, having been an International HR Manager in Paris for 10 years, covering over 140 countries. He then moved to Geneva and founded Compandben in 2001. Prior to his spell in Paris John spent 8 years in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia managing HR in the national airline Saudia.

Anab Tschumi

Compandben Geneva

Francophone Client Service

Anab, fluent in French, is based in Geneva and provides marketing, project management and account management for Francophone clients and potential clients. She comes from the watch industry which is based around Geneva and worked for 5 years for the Helvetic Consulting Group before joining Compandben in Geneva.

Luke Chitty

Compandben SA & International

Global Operations Manager

Luke Chitty is British but studied both French and German to degree level in Leeds University in UK. He is with Compandben for 3 years and his role is that of project manager, and account manager for both clients of Compandben SA in Switzerland and Compandben International In UK. Married with one child, he is based in Scotland in UK.

Angelica de Vrij

Compandben SA & International

Invoicing & Payments

Angelica has worked for Compandben for 5 years after completing a business degree in the Universidad Europea in Madrid. She is Peruvian so her native language is Spanish but has lived in Brussels for several years and so is now fluent in French as well as English. She has also recently obtained a Masters degree from Brussels university.

Compandben has 5 different separate partners in France for HR, Payroll, and Accounting outsourcing services:

2 partner firms for Accounting Services
1 company for HR Support
2 partner firms dealing with Employer of Record services , and

Accounting Services

France has an aggressive fiscal authorities and also has one of the highest mandatory Employer social security charges 46-50% of gross remuneration.

Our service is especially geared to country based branches or subsidiary-for instance we recently made a proposal to a client for…

  • Monthly bookkeeping : 400-500 invoices and bank statement from 2 banks;
  • Preparation of local VAT returns and submission of the request for reimbursement of intra-community VAT ;
  • Preparation of the Intrastat declarations ;
  • Preparation the yearly tax returns and annual financial statements ;
  • Customizing of tax submissions for full legal compliance but also for tax effectiveness
  • Follow up of operating units for timely and correct receipt of documentation, signatures and back up data.

French Employment Law - a singular case

Employment in France is singular for several reasons:

  1. All employees in France are notionally attached to a “Convention Collective” or Collective Agreement for their industry. The agreements are very similar but there are variations between industry in terms of vacation, social charges, and termination indemnities. So, a client wanting a routine payroll administration service will have to define what their business is. As an example, “Telecoms” would not be detailed enough. “Provision and implementation of routers for wide area networks” would be ok.
  2. This comment does not apply though if a client uses our Employer of Record or PEO service. Then the Convention Collective of our local partner firm providing the service applies.
  3. Apart from very senior executives, pension arrangements are normally provided by the French State. Private pensions are rare. However, “401k” type plans, common in USA are found. There are called “Plans d’Epargne Enterprise” and the Employer agrees to match or exceed a saving level agreed to by the employee. The schemes need to be registered to be tax effective.
  4. Payment of salaries is normally monthly. Semi-monthly payments, common in USA are almost unheard of and may pose problems in calculating paysheets.
  5. Total MANDATORY “add on” for Employer social charges is around 46% of gross salary. This includes unemployment insurance, pension, medical insurance, and accident insurance.
  6. Additional Medical coverage insurance with organisations called “Mutuelles” is normally provided in multinationals and is anyway mandatory of the employee is of management of “Cadre” level. Some companies provide this at no charge; some require employees to pay a part of the premium. The private medical coverage complements the state-run service, so if an employee pays a bill of €100 to a doctor or clinic, €30 or so might be reimbursed by the French state and the other €70 by a Mutuelle. The provision of medical coverage is good value and tax effective. If the employer of Record or “PEO” service is used, then this is already available.
  7. For “Cadre” or management employees the Employer has to take out an insurance called “Prevoyance”. This is disability insurance and the applicable Convention Collective sets the minimum levels. It is supposed to be in place when the employee starts work but is frequently done retroactively. It is often combined with the “Mutuelle”. The payroll administrators will normally organise this and if the Employer of Record service is used then this is automatically taken care of.
  8. French payroll administration companies, called Experts Comptables are permitted (since about 2011) to pay clients’ employees, the social security departments, and benefit providers on behalf of clients. Alternatively, they can simply do the calculations of social charges and net pay and produce a paysheet: they send the paysheet to the employer: the employer pays the employee direct or through a payroll consolidator. Every 3 months the payroll provider will send to the employer a summary of social charges payable, together with the account numbers and references and these too can be paid by the French payroll company OR can be paid directly by the client or a Compandben “Consolidator”can do this for you .
  9. There is an alternative whereby the client can open a payroll account and give the local payroll partners authority to authorise salary payment from the account.
  10. The employment contract must be in French. We can provide a draft if you wish.
  11. Social charges payable by the employee and deducted from salary are around 20% of gross pay. The taxable salary is then the Gross minus the Employee Social Charges deducted. When a French employee talks of “net salary” he or she often means net of social charges, but before tax.
  12. As in most countries if a company is carrying on a profit-making business there should be at least a Branch of the company opened in France . When first starting up in a country however many foreign employers prefer to just register for Social Security as a foreign entity , with the employee being responsible for the good conduct of the company in France. There is in fact a special French official form developed for doing just this. If the employee does not have power to conclude business and sign deals, then his work may be represented as being merely market prospecting. Obviously if the company expands then it becomes more necessary to open a Branch to permit normal operations. A Branch will be subject to corporate profits tax – a way to minimize this is to reward the branch on a commission or “cost plus” basis so that the Branch revenue just covers the Branch costs. Again, usually the “Payroll Services Partners” will be happy to give advice on this aspect…

Employer of Record Services

Employer of Record Services France

The Compandben Employer of Record Services in France will employ staff on behalf of clients, so that the client does not need to set up a legal entity there. It is one of Compandben’s most successful countries, helped by the fact that several of Compandben staff at “head office” are fluent in French, If you contact us we will happily provide copies of typical employment contracts and sample salary sheets.

French Employment Contracts

Foreign companies often worry about the security of employment in France- thinking it is difficult to terminate staff. They often therefore elect to have fixed term contracts-eg 6-12 months. The trouble with this approach is that :

  • It is difficult to attract the best talent: employees will not easily trade “secure” employment for effectively temporary employment.
  • Probationary Periods for fixed term employment is limited to 1 month whereas normally probationary periods are of 3 month’s duration.
  • There is a 10% Prime de Precarité -literally a precariousness bonus of 10% of all remuneration over the period of the employment -UNLESS the employment becomes “permanent”.


  • President: Emmanuel Macron (2017)
  • Land area: 210,668 sq. mi (545,630 sq. km); total area: 211,209 sq. mi (547,030 sq. km)
  • Population (2011 est.): 65,630,692 (growth rate: 0.5%); birth rate: 12.72/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.37/1000; life expectancy: 81.46; density per sq. km: 100
  • Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Paris, 9,854,000 (metro. area), 2,110,400 (city proper)
  • Other large cities: Marseille, 820,700; Lyon, 443,900; Toulouse, 411,800; Nice, 332,000; Nantes, 282,300; Strasbourg, 272,600; Bordeaux, 217,000 Monetary unit: Euro (formerly French franc)


France is about 80% the size of Texas. In the Alps near the Italian and Swiss borders is western Europe’s highest point—Mont Blanc (15,781 ft: 4,810 m). The forest-covered Vosges Mountains are in the northeast, and the Pyrenees are along the Spanish border. Except for extreme northern France, the country may be described as four river basins and a plateau.

Three of the streams flow west—the Seine into the English Channel, the Loire into the Atlantic, and the Garonne into the Bay of Biscay. The Rhône flows south into the Mediterranean. For about 100 mi (161 km), the Rhine is France’s eastern border. In the Mediterranean, about 115 mi (185 km) east-southeast of Nice, is the island of Corsica (3,367 sq. mi; 8,721 sq. km).