That’s it: you’re ready to launch your business! But before you can devote yourself fully to it, you must complete a certain number of mandatory formalities, alone or accompanied by your advisor—a quick overview of what awaits you.
Administrative Formalities: Why And How?
Declare And Register Your Business
To create your business, you must register and declare it to various administrative bodies (tax services and social organizations). For what? To give it an actual existence and endow your structure with a moral personality. Before January 1, 2023, the entrepreneur had to, depending on the nature of his activity, identify his CFE (business formalities center) among six possible networks of organizations:
- the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCI);
- the Chambers of Trades and Crafts (CMA);
- commercial court clerks;
- the unions for the recovery of social security contributions and family allowances (URSSAF) or the general social security funds (CGSS);
- the chambers of agriculture;
- The corporate tax services (SIE).
Since January 1, 2023. The CFEs have closed, and the one-stop-shop has become the only way to submit formalities.
The one-stop shop is a dashboard where you must submit all your formalities. It then transmits your request to the competent organizations (INSEE, for example) and so-called “validating” organizations, namely:
- registries for commercial activities and French companies;
- the chambers of trades and crafts for artisanal and inland waterway activities; agricultural social mutual societies of farming activities;
- the General Directorate of Public Finances for foreign companies;
- Unions for recovering social security contributions and family allowances for self-employed liberal activities.
A shuttle “
The one-stop shop “shuttles” between you and the institutions to complete, validate, or reject your creation formality. Attention! When the declared activity falls under a professional monopoly (lawyer, notary, etc.), the file submitted must include a document justifying your registration with a professional order.
Once the process is validated, your activity will be registered:
- in the national business register (RNE);
- where applicable, in an additional register depending on your activity, namely:
- in the trade and company register (RCS) if your activity is commercial or if you create a company;
- in the Extraordinary Register of Business Specialists (RSAC);
- in the register of individual limited liability companies (RSEIRL) in the event of takeover or modification of an EIRL.
A Word About The RNE
From January 1, 2023, all commercial, artisanal, liberal, and agricultural activities must be registered with the RNE. This register centralizes a large amount of information accessible:to the public, free of charge, except for accounting documents covered by a confidentiality declaration; in full, to certain persons authorized by law (INSEE, tax administration, notaries, etc.).
You will get several numbers for your business:
- a SIREN number made up of 3 groups of 3 digits allocated according to the order of registration of the company (this number must appear on your commercial and professional documents);
- a SIRET number which identifies the company’s establishment(s);
- An APE code (main activity carried out) from the vocabulary of French activities (NAF), assigned by INSEE (which depends on the activity carried out by the company);
- a VAT identification number (intra-community VAT number) for companies subject to VAT, which must appear on invoices issued by the company and on VAT declarations.
Obtain An “Identity Card”
Once the formalities have been completed, any natural or legal person who must register with the RCS is issued with an “identity card” called K-Bis. This document proves your registration and includes a certain number of information such as the complete identity of the company (registration number, name, head office address, activity, SIREN number, APE code, identity of managers, etc.), the reference to the authorizations necessary for the exercise of a regulated activity, the mention of secondary establishments located in countries of the European Union, etc.
Also, remember to mention the domain name of your website to the RCS because this has several advantages:
- This mention will be an element of proof allowing you to justify prior use of the domain name in question by giving it a specific date;
- You certify to your business partners that this domain name belongs to you.
How Much Does It Cost?
Apart from the costs and fees you must pay your advisors if you use their services, the obligatory formalities are chargeable without counting additional expenses (such as trademark registration, ancillary services, training, etc.). Costs vary, particularly on your future activity (individual business or company) and its geographical location.
Registration costs, publication costs, and insertion costs in a legal notice newspaper or an online press service authorized to publish legal notices, etc., must be considered. Plan a budget to cover these obligatory expenses (on average between €50 to €70 for an individual commercial business, €180 to €200 for a craft business, and €400 to €450 for a company – prices given for purely indicative purposes ). Free. Note that although the one-stop shop collects payment for formalities, it is accessible.
What Documents Should You Provide?
When declaring your activity at the one-stop shop, you will need to provide the following elements:
- the surname, usual name, and first names of the declarant for individuals; the name or company name for companies;
- the legal form of the company;
- the headquarters of the company, the domicile of the declarant, or the address of the establishment;
- your telephone contact details and, where applicable, your email address;
- the purpose of the formality;
- the general activities of the company or establishment;
- the presence of representatives in the organization or foundation and, where appropriate, their number;
- the effective date of the event subject to the formality;
- the date and place of birth of the individual declarants;
- if applicable, their social security number;
- the existence of an activity carried out simultaneously with the activity subject to the declaration and, where appropriate, the designation of this activity;
- The nature of the management (minority, majority, egalitarian) when the company is a limited liability company (SARL);
- The exercise or not of regular professional activity of the spouse in the company and the status chosen by the latter in this respect, as well as, in the case of frequent activity, their name, usage name, first names, nationality, and residence.
What The One-Stop-Shop Doesn’t Do…
If You Create A Company…
You will need to draw up (or have drawn up) statutes and, where applicable, register them with the tax service (remember to establish a statement of acts carried out in the name of the company being formed), designate the first directors or managers, possibly call on a contributions commissioner if you make contributions in kind, contact the bank to deposit the cash contributions in a blocked account during the registration of the company, etc.
If You Domicile Your Business At Home…
Contact, if necessary, your landlord to obtain authorization (the rental generally concerns premises allocated to housing: check any conditions provided for in the lease to be authorized to give housing, at least in part, for professional use); if your accommodation is located in a collective building, contact the co-ownership to obtain, in the same way and for the same reasons, authorization to domicile the company in your home.
Your First Tax Returns.
Even if the one-stop shop notifies the tax service of the company’s creation (a declaration of existence is usually sent to it), certain formalities will be your responsibility. In particular, you will need to complete a provisional statement of business property tax (no. 1447-C) before December 31 of the year of creation. This declaration will determine the tax bases for this contribution, represented by the rental value of the premises used for the needs of the professional activity.
In any case… Consider:
- Contact the INPI services to ensure that the name of your business or company is available (check that the trademark is not already registered!);
- Register the company with a pension fund for employees (compulsory) and take the opportunity to find out about your own coverage and pension provision as a company manager;
- Open a professional bank account;
- Contact an insurance company to take stock of compulsory and optional insurance, depending on the nature of your activity (consider covering your civil and professional liability!);
- Contact La Poste services for mail delivery (also think about opening telephone and Internet lines).
Read Also: How To Finance A Start-up?