It is illegal in France to issue a cheque if you do not have sufficient funds in your account to cover it and you could be banned from writing cheques in the future or even added to a central register called the ‘Fichier Central de Chèque’ for the prevention and punishment of cheque-related offences.
Most banks however will not enforce this except in extreme circumstances, and some banks will actually allow you to overdraw – but watch out for the charges!
It is also technically illegal to post or pre-date a cheque, so whilst a company may ask you to pay for a large amount with several cheques, to be banked over several months, there is no guarantee that they will not be presented before those dates.
Oh!, and watch out! It is also illegal to cancel a cheque unless you can prove that it’s been lost, stolen or fraudulent.