Like several other European countries, France relied on private companies to colonize new territories. In exchange for commercial privileges, these companies assumed certain obligations. In 1627, after several unsuccessful ventures, Armand-Jean Du Plessis, Cardinal Richelieu, founded a royal company, the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France, also known as the Compagnie des Cent-Associés. Holder of seigneurial rights over a vast territory that included the St. Lawrence Valley and Acadia, the company was granted various trade monopolies. In exchange, it was expected to administer the colony and its justice system, under the King's authority, and also to augment the population with 4,000 new settlers over a period of 15 years.

Trading Companies
Edict du Roy pour l'establissement de la Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France [Edict from the King concerning the founding of the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France], printed in Paris by Sebastien Cramoisy, Printer in ordinary to the King and to the Marine, May 1628
FR CAOM COL C11A 1 fol. 91-98vo