(a) The Language of the Contract
The French State provides that the use of the French language is compulsory in any French written agreement (main provision of a French law enacted on December 31, 1975 as modified by a law dated August 4, 1994 (“loi Toubon”). Consequently, all Real Estate sales must be drafted in French.
Moreover, French Courts have decided that the use of a foreign language in French deeds is illegal.
Some Notaires with international practice may nevertheless translate the agreements for their clients, having written translation of all of the contracts they supervise.
(b) The Jurisdiction of the Contracts
Most of the contracts are signed in France by all of the relevant parties to the Real Estate purchase.
Nevertheless, the French binding contracts do not necessarily need to be signed in France. They must be published in France for their legal enforcement, but a Notaire may either send the contract to the United States or to Great Britain to be signed. The Notaire may also choose to travel to the United States or to Great Britain to sign the contract with his clients.