40 Useful French Words about Business and Commerce

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June 9, 2021

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With more and more businesses trading abroad it is increasingly important that you are able to speak and understand most keywords in a foreign language. Here you’ll find some key words and phrases to help you do just that.  

40 Useful French Words about Business and Commerce

1. Department Titles in French

Some of the most useful words and phrases that you will need when trying to contact a business or trade abroad are the department names. Whether you are trying to get through to the correct department or deciding who best to contact, the words below will help to achieve this.

  • "La comptabilité (or compta)" - Accounting
  • "Le conseil d'administration" - Board of Directors
  • "Le service de ressources humaines" - Human Resources
  • "Le service de contentieux" - Legal Department
  • "Le service marketing" - Marketing Department
  • "Les services de vente" - Sales Department

Useful Phrases

S'il vous plaît, puis-je parler avec (insert department)–Please may I speak with (department).

Je voudrais (insert department)–I would like the (department).


2. 8 Job Titles in French

Do you need un acheteur or un commissaire aux comptes? Are you un apprenti or l’associé? You will need to know these key words when talking with others no matter what your business area or the sales that you are carrying out. 

  • "Un comptable" - Accountant
  • "Un apprenti" - Apprentice
  • "Un commissaire aux comptes" - Auditor
  • "Un acheteur" - Buyer
  • "PDG (président-directeur général)" - CEO
  • "Un conseiller" - Consultant
  • "Les stagiaires" - Interns
  • "L’associé" - Partner
  • "Le vendeur" - Seller

Useful Phrases

S'il vous plaît, puis-je parler avec (insert job title)–Please may I speak with (job title).

Je suis un (insert job title)–I am a (job title)


3. French Words Associated with a Business’ Finances

Money is always a major conversation when dealing with business and commerce. How will you be able to confer if you are unable to discuss prices and other financial issues? This is particularly important for sales pitches or discussing issues that your company are facing financially.

  • "Un rachat d'entreprise" - Acquisition
  • "Une avance" - An advance payment
  • "Les biens" - The assets
  • "Le solde" - Balance
  • "Un bilan" - Balance Sheet
  • "Une affaire" - Bargain
  • "Une note or Une facture" - Bill
  • "Un budget" - Budget
  • "Les coûts" -  Costs
  • "La dette" - Debt
  • "Les frais" - Expenses/Fees
  • "L’intérêt" - Interest
  • "Une facture" - Invoice
  • "La liquidation" - Liquidation
  • "La perte" - Loss
  • "Une offer" - Offer
  • "Un règlement par virement bancaire" - Payment via bank transfer
  • "Le benefice" - Profit
  • "La rentabilité" - Profitability
  • "Le reçu" - Receipt
  • "une reduction or une baisse" - Reduction/Discount
  • "Le remboursement" - Refund
  • "L’impôt" - Tax
  • "Faire faillite" - To go bankrupt
  • "Le chiffre d’affaire" - Turnover

Useful Phrases

Combien ça coûte?–How much does it cost?

(company) a fait faillite–(company) has gone bankrupt

Quelle est l’impôt?–What’s the tax?

 

Should you wish to see to see some phrases and expressions which may come in use in collaboration with these words visit https://www.yuqo.com/french-business-expressions/ and should you wish to find more words that aren’t listed in this article or one of the other two on this site please visit https://www.frenchlearner.com/vocabulary/business/

This is the third article on Business vocabulary on this site, if you would like more information on this subject, be sure to check out the Guide to French Business Culture and French Terms Related to Business and Employment.

About the author 

Melanie is Australian. She loves to travel and is a language enthusiast. She has a long-standing love affair with the French language and culture.

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