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Establishment open to the public

Latest update:

1. Defining the activity

a. Definition

A public-receiving facility (ERP) is a building, space or precinct for outsiders. The public is admitted either free of charge or for a fee, in an open or invitational manner.

To go further Article R. 123-2 of the Building and Housing Code.

b. Competent Business Formalities Centre (CFE)

The relevant CFE depends on the nature of the structure in which the activity is carried out. The latter may vary from institution to institution.

Also, for more information, it is necessary to refer to the fact sheet of the activity concerned.

Two degrees. Installation conditions

a. Professional qualifications

To operate a public-receiving institution, no special professional qualifications are required. However, such a requirement may be required depending on the nature of the professional's activity.

However, the operator is required to meet the following obligations:

  • Apply for planning permission, develop or modify an ERP
  • request to open the ERP (see "3 degrees). b. Request for permission to open an ERP");
  • ensure that it respects:- accessibility requirements for people with reduced mobility (PMR) (see infra "2 degrees). d. Requirement for accessibility of the institution to PMRs"),
    • fire and safety standards (see infra "2." d. Implementation of safety and protection against fire and panic risks);
  • when development work is envisaged within the institution, it must issue the town hall with a certificate of completion of the work (see infra "3o. c. If necessary, provide a certificate after the completion of the work").

Request for permission to build, develop or modify an ERP

Once the professional is considering building a new facility, or developing or modifying an existing facility, he must obtain prior authorization issued on behalf of the state.

In order to do so, he must apply for prior authorisation (see infra "3o. a. Request for permission to build, develop or modify an ERP").

b. Professional Qualifications - European Nationals (Free Service Delivery (LPS) or Free Establishment (LE))

There is no specific provision for the national of a Member State of the European Union (EU) or a State party to the European Economic Area (EEA) agreement to operate an ERP on a temporary and casual basis or on a permanent basis in France.

As such, the national is subject to the same requirements as the French national (see above "2." Conditions of installation").

c. Criminal sanctions

The operator of an ERP is fined 1,500 euros if he:

  • Does not meet the safety and accessibility requirements of ERPs;
  • Does not carry out the formalities of checking the layouts and premises;
  • opens its establishment without having an opening permit;
  • does not allow the safety commission to carry out visitation rights during the construction or development of the facility.

Note that

The fine will be applied as many times as days of opening without prior authorization.

To go further Articles R. 152-6 to R. 152-7 of the Building and Housing Code.

d. Some peculiarities of the regulation of the activity

Requirement for accessibility to PMRs

The professional must ensure that his establishment is accessible to THE PMRs under the same conditions as able-bodied persons or, failing that, to present an equivalent quality of use.

For this, during its construction, it must ensure that the premises are arranged outside (parking spaces) as well as inside (elevators, equipment, etc.) so that the PMRs can move independently, access the premises and the equipment, locate and benefit from all the services offered.

All the adjustments to be made to ensure compliance of the building under construction are determined by the Stopped April 20, 2017 on accessibility to people with disabilities in facilities that receive public services during their construction and facilities open to the public during their development.

To go further Articles L. 111-7 and R. 111-19 to R. 111-19-5 of the Building and Housing Code.

When considering work or development in an existing ERP, they must ensure that the development work maintains the existing accessibility conditions.

To go further Articles R. 111-19-7 to R. 111-19-12 of the Building and Housing Code; December 8, 2014 setting out the provisions for the application of Articles R. 111-19-7 to R. 111-19-11 of the Building and Housing Code and Article 14 of Decree No. 2006-555 relating to accessibility to persons with disabilities in the public facilities located in an existing built environment and existing facilities open to the public.

Putting in place safety and protection against fire and panic risks

Professionals who wish to carry out construction or development of an ERP must meet all safety and fire risk protection requirements.

The establishment must include:

  • Accommodation to ensure the evacuation of the occupants of the premises;
  • Firefighting equipment
  • one or more facades bordering open spaces for rapid evacuation of the public;
  • Materials to withstand fire
  • Safe exits and waiting areas for potential risks
  • Electrical safety lighting devices
  • equipment (elevators, lifts, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, etc.) that are secure.

All of these requirements are subject to a safety regulation set out in the June 25, 1980 order approving the general provisions of the Fire and Panic Safety Regulations in the ERPs.

To go further Articles L. 123-1 and R. 123-1 and following of the Building and Housing Code.

Ranking of establishments

ERPs are classified according to the nature of their activity (the type of activity) and their capacity (staff). This classification results in an identification number that will determine safety and fire protection requirements.

Note that

During each construction of a new ERP, the owner proposes a classification that will then be validated or not by the departmental safety commission.

To go further Article R. 123-18 of the Building and Housing Code.

Three degrees. Installation procedures and formalities

a. Request for permission to build, develop or modify an ERP

Competent authority

The operator must submit his application in four copies to the prefect and the mayor.

Supporting documents

Its application must contain the Form Cerfa No. 13824 completed and signed, as well as all the required supporting documents.

In addition, the applicant must attach to his application a file allowing the mayor to verify the compliance of the establishment with the safety rules.

This file should include:

  • A descriptive notice detailing all the materials used within the building (indoors, exteriors, large works, decoration, etc.);
  • one or more plans specifying the width of the passages, exits, clearances, stairs or more broadly all modes of evacuation and circulation of the building;
  • if necessary, the certificate of verification of the implementation of measures to protect a pipeline transporting natural gas, hydrocarbons or chemicals.


The application is investigated within four months of filing the file, either by the building permit department or by the mayor in all other cases. This authority submits the request to verify the project's compliance with the rules on the accessibility of the PMRs to the Departmental Advisory Committee on Safety and Accessibility (or the Departmental Safety Commission in the Departments of Paris, Hauts-de-Seine, Seine-Saint-Denis and Val-de-Marne).


If no response is available within four months, the authorization is deemed to be granted.

To go further Articles R. 111-19-13 to R. 111-19-30 of the Building and Housing Code.

b. Request for permission to open an ERP

Competent authority

The opening authorization is addressed to the mayor.

Supporting documents

The operator must provide, for the purpose of reviewing his application, the certificate of control by an approved technical controller of the compliance of the premises with accessibility standards.


The authority must ensure that the premises and indoor and outdoor facilities are accessible to the public and the PMRs. After receiving a favourable opinion from the supervisory and accessibility authority, the opening authorization is addressed to the operator of the establishment by recommended letter with notice of receipt.

Note that

When the opening authorization is issued by the mayor, he must give a copy to the prefect.

To go further Articles L. 111-7, L. 111-8-3 and R. 111-19-29 of the Building and Housing Code.

c. If necessary, provide a certificate after the completion of the work

Competent authority

Once the work has been completed, the operator must send a declaration of completion and compliance (DAACT) to the town hall, by a recommended fold with notice of receipt.

Supporting documents

This statement must include the Form Cerfa 13408Completed and signed as well as all the required supporting documents.


This statement by an approved technical controller must allow the operator to certify that the work was carried out in accordance with safety and accessibility requirements.

Note that

The operator faces a fine of 1,500 euros or 3,000 euros in the event of a repeat offence if the certificate has not been carried out by an approved controller.

To go further Articles L. 111-7-4 and R. 111-19-27 to R. 111-19-28 of the Building and Housing Code; Article R. 462-1 of the Planning Code.