Non-EU businesses must appoint a French fiscal representative when registering for VAT purposes in France. The fiscal representative is jointly and severally liable for the tax liabilities of the company.
EU businesses must register directly for VAT purposes. This means that the legal representative of the company signs the registration form without any local French involvement. Companies registered directly in France can appoint and agent to take care of their VAT obligations. This agent (so called ´mandataire fiscal´) is not jointly and severally liable for the tax liabilities of the business.