In France, the registered office (as stated in the articles of association) is only relevant insofar as it coincides with the place of effective management and control (POEM). If it does not, French courts will only look at the POEM. In other words, a fictitious seat will not be taken into account to determine the tax residence status of a foreign company.
The expression “place of effective management and control” refers to the place where strategic decisions, necessary to conduct the business of the company (i.e., regarding the management or the commercial policy of the company), are taken. This definition is essentially the same as the one given by the OCDE Tax Affairs Committee at article 4 §3 of the OCDE Model Convention.
Consequently, if a foreign entity has its POEM located in France, it would be considered as having its tax residence in France.