Introduction: structures used for undertaking real estate investments
The structure of companies used for undertaking real estate investments (other than direct investments) may be extremely simple in nature (such as a property company, a Société Civile Immobilière or SCI), but may on the other hand be complex. In fact its complexity may be limited only by the imagination of investors and their advisers…
In global terms, a distinction may be drawn between:
- so-called “unregulated” structures, which are usually taxed under ordinary law, such as SCI or SAS [Sociétés par Actions Simplifiée], with or without a holding structure;
- so-called “regulated” structures, the main ones being SCPI, OPCI and SIIC (see below for definitions), which are usually subject to tax dispensations. SIIC are not regulated as such, but are listed on the stock market.
This is the distinction we shall adopt here.
Nevertheless, with the coming of the new AIFM directive, it is becoming increasingly common for structures operating under ordinary law to deem as regulated for the purposes of the French Monetary and Financial Code [MFC], even though no dispensatory taxation arrangements are applicable.