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Business owner, which matrimonial regime to choose?

The matrimonial regime sets out all the rules which are applied to spouses and their assets . The choice is of extreme importance in the relationship between the two spouses but also in their relations with third parties. It is essential to think about this, namely signing a marriage contract before going before the Mayor.


What is a matrimonial regime for ?

The spouses and their patrimony are subject to a set of legal rules known as the “matrimonial regime”. The matrimonial regime sets the rights and obligations of each of the spouses on property and debts.

In the absence of choice, what matrimonial regime applies?

Today, without a marriage contract, the future spouses are automatically subject to the legal regime of the property community, reduced to acquests (default regime for marriages celebrated since February 1, 1966). Everything that the spouses acquire after marriage belongs to them in common (except the goods collected through inheritance and donation ). With respect to third parties, each one of them not only commits his/her own heritage but also the common goods.

What are the choices for spouses?

The French law gives spouses solutions that are in keeping with all family, financial and age situations. Three key matrimonial regimes coexist: separation of property, legal community, and participation in acquired properties. Each of these plans can be personalized through clauses.


What is the best choice for the entrepreneur?

There is no such thing as a good or bad matrimonial regime , but there can be a good or bad regime suited to one's needs and desires.

For the entrepreneur (trader, craftsman, farmer, liberal professional, independent worker, industrialist), the choice of a matrimonial regime is quite important, given the risks of professional life. In all cases, he must ensure the consequences of his activity on the interests of his family. Is it welcome to expose your family to possible lawsuits from the company's creditors? On the flipside, is it interesting to use your family heritage to inspire confidence in your partners, suppliers or the bank?


Will the entrepreneur need his spouse to make certain decisions?

Yes, in certain matrimonial regimes, the spouse's agreement is required for operations such as purchase on credit, loan, guarantee , sale of property, lease . However, the entrepreneur may wish to preserve his freedom of action if he feels it is necessary for the smooth running of his activity; he shall then be able to decide quickly, which means alone. On the flipside, in other cases, the spouses will want the spouse to be involved in certain decisions so that the chances and risks of the business are shared. All these situations, and many others such as divorce, the occurrence of a death or transmission, must be considered, depending on the personal context of each, during an in-depth examination with the notary.


Is it possible to change the matrimonial regime?

Yes, the law allows the change after two years of marriage . If the couple does not have a minor child, the procedure is easier: however, the intervention of the notary is required. Otherwise, or if an adult child or a creditor has opposed the change of matrimonial regime , legal approval is key. The procedure takes place before the family court judge. This procedure, which takes a few months, is expensive. Moreover, change is at times difficult to achieve when, for example, the company seems to be coming across difficulties.

Drafting an adequate marriage contract from the beginning is preferable. If on your wedding day, you do not have a business creation project, but you feel you have an entrepreneurial spirit, get in touch with your notary. It shall help you make the right choice in terms of the marriage contract as soon as you get married.

Frequently asked questions