The French «Société Par Actions Simplifiée - SAS», All Purpose Vehicle!

  • Laurent Grosclaude Associate professor, Centre for Business Law, University of Toulouse Capitole; French Comparative Law Society
Keywords: French company law, company law reform, flexibility of company forms, simplified joint stock company, comparative advantages of the simplified joint stock company

Abstract

The Société à Responsabilité Limitée or the limited liability company (SARL) and the Société Anonyme or the public limited company (SA) were perceived as relatively rigid or inadequate company types. Besides the reform of these traditional types of company forms, in 1994, a new company type was created as a flexible vehicle for businesses: the Société par Actions Simplifiée – the SAS (simplified joint stock company). Further changes in 1999 and 2008 made businesses even more adaptable. In 2019, more than 65% of newly created legal entities were established as a SAS; SARL around 30%, and SA less than 2%. SAS has a single member variant, the SASU (U for unipersonnel – one person). The French experience showed that the simplified joint stock company responded to a real economic and organisational need. The new company form based on limited liability has become widely accepted and useful. The simplified joint stock company was introduced by Poland as a new company form in 2019. Other states may also consider the French experience based on the comparative advantages of this peculiar business organisation.

Published
2020-12-09
Section
Articles