Owned by GMAC, the financial services subsidiary of General Motors, Masterlease France will be based near Paris.
Masterlease Europe managing director Ed Sabisky said: 'We aim to start contacting potential customers in France from late March.
'We are assembling a group of people who already have experience of launching new start-up leasing companies in France.
'It's too early to say how many cars we will have in France but we do aim to grow a substantial business in a reasonable period of time. It will be a very important market for us.'
Sabisky said the launch of the new business is part of Masterlease's ambitious European expansion plans - and that he hoped to have a presence in Holland and Belgium in the near future.
Last year, the company announced its first full service leasing venture in Eastern Europe with the acquisition of leasing company Futura Leasing and Prime Car Management (PCM), both of which are based in Gdansk, Poland.