A Société Civile immobilière – SCI – is essentially a fully incorporated company with a registered office in France, that is widely used in property – real estate -transactions in France.
SCI Immobiliere – It is a separate legal entity recognised under the French Civil code and has a separate identity to that of the shareholders, who as implied own shares in the company.
The SCI is used by families and also by groups of friends/professionals to minimise the effects of Frances’ draconian inheritance laws, also by groups of people who by pooling their resources can afford a property of choice.
The registered office of the SCI company can be the property itself.
It is very important that the tax consequences of a purchase through a Société Civile immobilière – SCI – be analysed in respect of the potential shareholders tax liabilities having regard to tax treaties between France and the home country before going ahead with any purchase.
The type of SCI which would be used would be a property holding company having as its object the acquisition, management and construction development of buildings and land.
There are several types of SCI
– SCI Construction vente (to build property and and sell)
– SCI with fixed capital
-SCI with variable capitable – more flexible and more generally recommended.
The company is a non-trading entity and does not have limited liability, the members being responsible for all the debts of the company without limit in proportion to their shareholdings.
The company should not carry out any commercial activity. The content of the statuts (memorandum and articles of association) are negotiable on most points and include restrictions on the transfer of the shares.