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File : Incorporation on the Trade and Companies Register

Part 2

Formalities for incorporation

Formalities for incorporation

Incorporation is issued insofar as the information completed and supporting documents documented respond to legal and regulatory requirements.

Preparation and filing a request for incorporation

Overview of the content of the application for main incorporation:

  • of a physical person:

- identity and personal residence, date and place of birth, nationality
- where applicable, declaration of immunity from distraint of its rights over the main residence
- where applicable, information pertaining to the Company Support Contract (CAPE),
- name of website domain,
- identity of the civil partner or spouse if participating in commercial activities,
- where applicable, unique identification number if previously a sole trader,
- activities performed,
- address of the office or residence,
- start date of activities,
- where applicable, trade name and brand,
- origin of business (creation, takeover, purchase, licitation),
- in the event of management lease:identity or company name and residence or registered office of the leasing party, start and end date of the contract and terms of renewal.


  • of a legal entity:

- company name followed by an acronym, where applicable,
- legal form indicating whether there is a sole member,
- registered office address,
- total amount of capital and in the event of variable capital, amount below which this cannot be reduced,
- name of website domain,
- main activities,
- term of the legal entity as indicated in the articles of association,
- end date of the financial year in the event of the obligation to publicise annual accounts,
- where applicable, information pertaining to the Company Support Contract (CAPE),
- identity, residence, nationality of members jointly and severally liable for company debts, where applicable (partnerships, limited partnership company, for instance),
- identity, residence, nationality of managers (manager, managing director, deputy managing director, chair of the board of directors or supervisory or management board, members of the management board or supervisory board, members and third parties with the power to commit the company and auditors).

Form of the request
The request for incorporation should be drafted on a CERFA form for which the document title will depend on whether the applicant is a physical person, sole trader, in which case the P0 form will be used; if it concerns incorporation of a legal entity, the form will be the M0 (there are several forms depending on the company legal form).
These forms are available online. Incorporation may be requested by filing these documents either directly with the registry office at the Commercial court, or with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or online.

These forms should bear the signature of the party requesting incorporation or the representative thereof (lawyer for instance) who should justify their identity and provide a power of attorney issued by the applicant.

Good to know: even if filed by a representative, the obligation of having a signed power of attorney by the person in whose name and on whose behalf the formality is undertaken is not applicable where the application for incorporation is signed by the applicant.


Processing the application for incorporation

The Commercial Formality Centre (registry office of the Commercial court or Chamber of Commerce and Industry) only undertakes a formal audit of documents presented; the regular and valid nature of these is incumbent upon the recipient bodies.

Insofar as the application for incorporation is regular, information is sent to the following bodies:
- To the INSEE for allocation of the SIREN number (unique nine figure code attributed to each legal unit), SIRET code (fourteen figure number including the nine figures of the SIREN code) and the NAF code (nomenclature for French activities),
- To the INPI (National Industrial Property Institute).
- To social bodies (general social security regime, social regime for sole traders),
- To the SIE (Company tax office).

The clerk checks that the application is complete, It then checks the regular nature of the application and compliance with laws and regulations for information known as "indications" made therein. It also checks correspondence between these indications and supporting documents and deeds required and presented in support of the application. However, it does not check compliance with laws and regulations for incorporation of the company (notably the legal validity of the articles of association).

Insofar as the application is complete, the clerk shall undertake incorporation within one clear working day following receipt of the application.

If the application is incomplete, the clerk should, within this same period, claim information or documents missing to be provided within fifteen days. Following this period, the clerk has the same period to undertake incorporation. In such instance as the applicant should fail to complete its application within the deadline granted or if the clerk believes that the application does not comply with applicable provisions, the latter may refuse incorporation. In this instance, it should send the party concerned its decision within one clear working day either by service of a recorded delivery letter with acknowledgement of receipt, or by service in person against receipt. The decision should be motivated and indicate the option of appeal before the duty judge responsible for tracking the Trade and Companies Register (RCS).


Publicity of incorporation

Incorporation should be the object of a notice published on the Official Journal of Civil and Commercial Publications (Bodacc) at the diligence of the clerk at the Commercial court.

For a physical person (sole trader), the notice should include the following information:
- SIREN code,
- Surname, typical name, pseudonym and forename of the person incorporated,
- Trading name,
- The activities performed, place of business, start date of trading,

For a legal entity (primarily companies and EIGs):
- SIREN code,
- Trading name or company name, followed by an acronym and trading name, where applicable,
- total amount of capital and in the event of variable capital, amount below which this cannot be reduced,
- registered office address,
- Activities undertaken and start date of activities,
- Full name of members who are jointly and severally liable for company debts, full name of managers, directors, chair of the board of directors, managing director, member of the supervisory board or auditors.
- Full name(s) of other people empowered to commit the company towards third parties,
- In the case of an EIG, primarily the surname, forename(s) of directors, people controlling management and those controlling accounts.

However, publication on the Bodacc is not required for EURL and SASU companies for which the sole member is a physical person and is responsible for management or chairmanship.

Moreover, subject to criminal fines for which provision is made for class four infringement, incorporation, as soon as issued, is also published for all commercial documents issued by physical people or legal entities, primarily on the following media: invoices, orders, prices, advertising documents, letters, website. In addition to the SIREN code of the company, direct additional indications to indicate are: Trade and Companies Register (RCS) incorporation followed by the name of the city where the registry office is located, the address of the company or the place of the registered office.

In the case of a commercial entity having its registered office abroad, the aforementioned information should be completed by a number of incorporation in the State where it has its registered office if this number exists, its name,its legal form.