How to Find English-Speaking Accountants, Notaires, Tax & Legal Advisors in France


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How to Find English-Speaking Accountants, Notaires, Tax & Legal Advisors in France

Whether you’re purchasing a French property, setting up a business, or managing your finances, pensions, and taxes, there are many situations in which you’ll need to seek professional advice or use a legal professional. Here’s how to go about finding English-speaking accountants, notaires, and legal advisors in France.

Do I need an accountant, legal advisor or notaire?

The first thing to consider is the kind of professional that you need to consult. Just as in other countries, there are different experts who specifically deal in different areas. Sometimes these experts are legally required to be part of the process, such as using a notaire when purchasing a French property. Other times, you may choose to employ an individual only when required, such as opting for a tax accountant to complete your tax return on your behalf. Either way, it’s essential that you find the right person for the job.

Here are some of the most commonly required legal professionals:


A notaire is a public officer who acts on behalf of the State and is appointed by the Minister of Justice to assist with legal procedures and draw up legal contracts. Notaires are required by law to provide impartial legal advice and ensure that all legal requirements are met during legal procedures. You will need to consult a notaire when buying or selling a French property, when making a French Will, when getting PACSed, married or divorced, for inheritance claims, and many other legal procedures – read more about the different roles of a notaire here.

Notaires can be an excellent source of information, helping you to understand your rights and legal responsibilities, but they won’t offer advice on your situation beyond that.


For legal advice and representation beyond the scope of a notaire, you’ll need an avocat, a lawyer. Avocats can help you to deal with any criminal justice issues or claims, defend your rights in court, and offer legal advice for individuals or businesses.


Accountants or comptables in France are divided into two principal types. Expert comptables are general accountants that can advise you on your individual financial and tax situation, and file a tax return on your behalf. An expert comptable is essential for many business owners, as they are the only ones able to advise you on your tax liabilities, deductions, and credits. For larger businesses, however, you may need to consult a fiscaliste or avocat fiscaliste, a specialist tax advisor or tax lawyer, especially in the case of tax litigations or controls. Many businesses end up using a combination of the two.

Should I use a French professional or an international advisor?

The second question to consider is whether or not you should use a local France-based expert or an international advisor that deals with cross-border affairs. For complex situations that require knowledge of both French and international law or taxes, using a company that is experienced in this can be essential. A French tax accountant will not be able to advise you on British tax law, for example, or vice versa, nor will they be able to point out differences in the French legal or tax system compared to that of another country.

However, it’s important to understand that there are situations in which you will be required by law to go through a French legal professional – for example, only a French notaire can handle a property sale in France, so while you could hire a cross-border legal advisor to help manage your property purchase, you will still be required by law to use a French notaire and pay the applicable notaire’s fees.

In such cases, this doesn’t mean that you can’t also appoint an international advisor to help and advise your decisions alongside the French professional. But unless you need specific advice that is outside their knowledge, you may find that simply finding an English-speaking professional within France is the most cost-effective solution.

How can I find English-speaking accountants, notaires, and tax advisors in France?

Finding English-speaking professionals in France isn’t always easy, but there are several routes to try. Our FrenchEntrée directory is a good first port-of-call, where you’ll find listings for cross-border lawyers, accountants, and tax advisors, as well as translators.

For notaires, you can search directly on the Notaire of France website for English speakers. For avocats, the British embassy, American embassy, and Australian embassy all publish lists of English-speaking lawyers in France.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth – chatting with other expats or asking in expats groups on Facebook or similar can be a good way to find English speakers, and you’ll often get a more honest review of their language skills. The Facebook groups Strictly Legal France and Strictly Fiscal France are also good places to ask for advice, with members all around France. Just remember to do your own research and check the credentials of any professional before hiring them.

Need advice on French law & inheritance?

Whether you own French property, live in France, or have assets and investments in France—FrenchEntrée is here to help with all your legal, inheritance, and estate planning questions. Our Essential Reading articles will talk you through all the basics, from French succession law and gift tax to writing a French Will, understanding your legal rights in France, and signing legally binding contracts. Both French and international law can be complicated, so if in doubt, we always advise discussing your personal situation with one of our recommended legal advisors.

Disclaimer: This guide is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice regarding any aspect of your estate planning, tax liabilities or legal matters in France. FrenchEntrée cannot be held responsible for the consequences of decisions or actions you may choose to take in connection with French tax declarations or legal liabilities.

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