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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the FAQ section of the guichet-entreprises.fr website. Please select a topic in the collapsible menu:

1. Finding information

The guichet-entreprises.fr website is an online service that allows you to complete the administrative formalities to start a business, modify the information about a business or cease a business activity (modifying the information about a business and ceasing a business activity are possible for micro-entrepreneurs only). The use of the website is free-of-charge. However, as far as certain formalities of business creation are concerned, you might need to pay certain fees (for instance, the fees to become registered in the registry of trades amount to €129). The payment service on the website is secure.

The guichet-entreprises.fr website is a free, online public service and is accessible to all users. However, you may be asked to pay subscription, registration or notification fees as part of your application. These fees come from the administrative formalities you completed via the website, but not from the website itself. All the payments are secure on this website.

The guichet-entreprises.fr website allows you to register your activity whatever the legal structure of your future business: [micro-enterprise(creation_entreprise/micro_entrepreneur/le_regime_micro_entrepreneur.md), sole proprietorship, simplified limited company (SAS), limited liability sole proprietorship (EURL), public limited company (SA), limited liability company (SARL), etc.

2. Managing my account

In order to use the online service, please create an account on guichet-entreprises.fr. Your account will allow you to manage your application(s) and your details. If you already have an account on [Impots.gouv.fr], Ameli or the La Poste website , you can use the FranceConnect authentication service to log in to guichet-entreprises.fr thanks to one of these accounts.

The guichet-entreprises.fr website allows you to create an application online, attach the supporting documents and pay the fees that may be required for the procedure. Once your application is complete and validated, it will be sent to the relevant authority for processing.

The service offered by the guichet-entreprises.fr website enables you to create an application from home, and the relevant recipient will process the application you completed online.

If you don't have an account on guichet-entreprises.fr, click here .

You may register using your email or your FranceConnect account if you have one. Registering on guichet-entreprises.fr is free of charge.

After you completed and validated the registration form, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link you will have to click on in order to activate your account and complete your registration. As long as your account has not been activated, you will not be able to use it.

Once you created your account, you can access your dashboard. Your dashboard displays all your applications and enables you start a new one, resume an application you already started or simply download an application you sent to the recipient authority. This dashboard is common to both the guichet-entreprises.fr and guichet-qualifications.fr websites. Thus, if you are compiling applications on one of these websites, you will be able to see them on one single interface.

The online guichet-entreprises.fr service allows you to complete the formalities to start a business, modify the information about a business or cease a business activity, as well as the formalities to access regulated activities .

The online guichet-qualifications.fr service allows you to complete the formalities to get the professional qualifications you acquired in another member state recognised in order to practise a regulated profession in France.

Both these websites form the electronic point of single contact as defined in European Directives 2006/123/CE and 2005/36/CE . Such points of single contact exist in all the European Union . They are federated within the EUGO project with the support of the European Commission.

If you forgot your password, you can renew it by clicking  here .

Enter the email you use on guichet-entreprises.fr and you will receive an email containing a link which will enable you to reset your password. The link is valid for 24 hours after the email was sent.

You use FranceConnect to log in to your account:

The guichet-entreprises.fr website allows you to use the user login you created to log in to the Impots.gouv.fr , LaPoste or Ameli.fr websites via the FranceConnect application. In this context, guichet-entreprises.fr does not manage these passwords. You have to follow the procedure of the website on which you created your user ID and your password.

connexion_franceconnect

In order to access your account, you need to have started completing an administrative procedure on guichet-entreprises.fr.

You will access your account from your dashboard (" My account " link). You will have the possibility to change your surname and first name, your recovery email address, your country, your phone number and the secret question/answer.

modifier_compte

In order to modify your password, please follow the forgotten password procedure .

Modifying the email address used to log in to your account is not possible. To do so, you need to create another account using a different email address. Moving the applications you started completing from your former to your new account is not possible either.

The Guichet Entreprises service of the INPI is unable to provide you with your FranceConnect login details if you lost them. Please contact the FranceConnect service directly. You may also create an account directly on guichet-entreprises.fr .

If you wish to delete your account on guichet-entreprises.fr, please contact the user support .

If you logged in using FranceConnect , you do not have any account on guichet-entreprises.fr. Therefore, you cannot delete it. If you delete your FranceConnect account, please ensure that you do not have any application that is being completed on guichet-entreprises.fr.

If you created an application on guichet-entreprises.fr by using your FranceConnect account which was deleted in the meantime, you still have the possibility to retrieve your application by contacting the user support .

3. Completing my application

In order to start completing an application, you need to create an account on guichet-entreprises.fr. You may postpone the completion of your application at any moment by clicking on "Save and quit" (« Enregistrer et quitter »). You will have the possibility to resume the completion of your procedures without re-entering the information you already provided. The application is sent to the relevant authority for good once you clicked on "Validate and send my application" (« Valider et envoyer mon dossier »).

The application can be modified as long as it has not been validated.

The form from step 2 can be modified as long as the application has not been validated in step 4. If a piece of information was to be modified, all the pages of the dialogue up to the last one should be scrolled, and the « Terminer » button ("Finish") should be clicked in the last page in order for the modifications to be taken into account in the generated CERFA form.

etapes

The different steps of an application on www.guichet-entreprises.fr.

Good to know

The pieces of information provided in step 1, those that are used to initiate the application, cannot be modified. Indeed, the information about the activity, the location of your activity, the legal status and certain additional pieces of information (if you already carried on a self-employed activity or not, for instance, or if the business activity is supposed to start as soon as the business is created) determine the online form you need to complete, as well as the recipients of the application.

If you notice that any information is incorrect after you validated step 1, you will have to initiate a new application.

Modifying information from the dialogue may have consequences on the list of the requested supporting documents and on the amount of fees to be paid.

In accordance with the regulations in force, it is not possible to modify an application on guichet-entreprises.fr if it has been validated (step 4).

etapes

The different steps of an application on www.guichet-entreprises.fr

Please contact the authorities in charge of your application if you need to modify it.

Thus, you will have two possibilities:

  • If your application has not been processed, you will have to check whether you can make modifications without creating a new application online.
  • If your application has been processed, you will have to complete a modification form in order to correct the incorrect piece(s) of information.

Good to know

In the first case, if the modifications entail filling in a new form or determining a new recipient authority, you will have to create a new application. In the second case, you need to receive your SIREN number prior to making any modification, since it is necessary to complete this procedure.

It is possible to delete an application that has not been validated. However, the applications that have been validated and sent to partner authorities can no longer be deleted.

Good to know

The applications that have not been validated after three months will automatically be deleted from the digital platform.

The service offered by the guichet-entreprises.fr website enables you to create an application from home, but it is the relevant recipient authority that will process the application you completed online and answer your questions.

If you need help to develop your project, please contact the relevant centre for business formalities (CFE). The relevant centre for business formalities is determined according to your field of activity and to the location of your business or company.

The guichet-entreprises.fr website is not legally competent to advise you concerning business creation, the modification of the situation of a business or the cessation of a business activity.

A natural person is an individual with a civil identity, while a legal person is a grouping that has a legal existence. Therefore, a sole proprietorship (natural person) cannot be dissociated from the person who created it, while a legal person is a company that is unrelated to its members. Consequently, the senior managers of a company can change.

When you start an artisanal business, your centre for business formalities (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE)) is the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat (CMA)). However, if your business employs more than ten employees, your centre for business formalities is the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie (CCI)), not the Chamber of Trades and Crafts.

One of the possible consequences of a territorial reorganisation is a grouping of certain towns or villages. Since these towns or villages no longer exist administratively, you must therefore indicate the name of the new administrative town or village in the field called « Commune de naissance » (place of birth). If need be, you may also indicate the name of the former town or village in the "Observations" box at the end of the form. The name of the town or village is irrelevant since the code commune does not change. It is the code commune (code of the town or village based on the INSEE's reference system) that matters.

Examples in the Calvados department:

  • If you were born in Aunay-sur-Odon, you must now choose indicate the town of Les Monts d'Aunay.
  • If you were born in Mézidon-Canon, choose Mézidon Vallée d'Auge in the drop-down menu.

The legal forms that are available in the menu are generic. You must therefore choose the broad form of the company you are looking for.

For instance, if you want to start a public limited company with a board of directors (Société Anonyme à Conseil d’Administration (SACA)), you need to choose "public limited company" (« Société Anonyme » (SA)) in the menu. As you complete step 2 of the form, you need to specify that it is a public limited company with a board of directors (SACA).

Specifity of the *EURL: The limited liability sole proprietorship (Entreprise Unipersonnelle à Responsabilité Limitée (EURL)) is considered to be a company. The EURL is a one-man or single-member limited liability business (Société A Responsabilité Limitée (SARL)) whose profits are subject to the income tax on behalf of the partner (although the corporate tax option is possible). This type of company is not available in the menu. In order to make this choice, you need to select "limited liability company" (« Société A Responsabilité Limitée » (SARL)) in the menu, and then, in the form from step 2, select « Société A Responsabilité Limitée » again but you should only declare one senior manager.

Good to know

Likewise, for a single member simplified limited company (Société par Action Simplifiée à associé Unique (SASU)), you must choose « Société par Action Simplifiée » in the menu, and then, in the form from step 2, you must choose « Société par Action Simplifiée » again, but you must declare one senior manager only.

If the Social Security number you provided is not accepeted after several attempts, you should check whether the number you entered corresponds to your birthdate. Indeed, we check whether the birthdate and the Social Security number match. If your number is still not accepted, you can temporarily fill in the box with fifteen zeros. Then, in the last page of the form (« Formalité »), all you need to do is enter your Social Security number in the "Observations" box on the top of the page.

The fees you might have to pay are calculated based on the information you provided in step 1 and 2. If the payment(s) do not seem to concern you, please check the information you provided in the first two steps.

For instance, registering as a micro-entrepreneur carrying a liberal activity is free of charge, except if the limited liability sole proprietor status (EIRL) was chosen. A micro-entrepreneur carrying on a liberal activity who chose the limited liability sole proprietor (EIRL) status must be registered on the RSEIRL (Registre Spécial des Entrepreneurs Individuels à Responsabilité Limitée (Special register of limited liability sole proprietors)) and will have to pay €53.35.

It is different to look for an activity on guichet-entreprises.fr if you want to work as a micro-entrepreneur or not.

If you are a micro-entrepreneur, you must select both your field of activity and your activity in the drop-down menu. If you cannot find your field of activity or your activity, select "I cannot find my field of activity" (« Je ne trouve pas mon domaine ») or "I cannot find my activity" (« Je ne trouve pas mon activité »). You will have the possibility to specify it in a free-text field.

If you are not a micro-entrepreneur, a "search" tab is available in order for you to find your activity. This search is carried out following the nomenclature of French activities (*Nomenclature d'Activités Françaises (NAF)) and a short list of regulated activities.

Please note: If several fields of activity can be selected for one activity, we recommend that you contact a centre for business formalities (CFE) or get further information prior to validating your application (you will not be able to modify it, and it will determine the procedure you need to complete as well as the recipient(s) of your application).

During the initialisation of your application, you are asked to indicate "your location of activity". The point is not to indicate where you will carry on your activity precisely. You just need to indicate the city or town where your business or its head office will be based. Depending on the professions, the activity can be carried on in various places. However, the administrative address of your business remains the same.

For instance, independent teachers or itinerant traders carry on their activity at their clients' home or on markets, but the address of their business is generally their home. In this case, the location of their home is their "location of activity".

Itinerants are entrepreneurs who carry on their activity on the public road (markets, fairs, fast-food trucks, etc.). This way of carrying out their activity is regulated and requires the obtaining of an itinerant trader's card.

The point of this question is to know whether a SIREN number was already issued by the INSEE to the registrant for a former sole proprietorship that was since deregistered. It only concerns the natural persons who already worked under the sole proprietorship form. Former and current senior managers, people who carried or carry out voluntary work activities or who participated in community organisations are not considered to have carried out a self-employed activity.

The consequence of answering "yes" (« oui ») to this question is that, in step 2 (the dialogue), you will be asked the SIREN number issued to you for your former sole proprietorship. Please note that a SIREN number is issued to natural persons for life. Consequently, if the registrant formerly owned a business, the SIREN number of this former business will be the same for the new one.

The single identification number corresponds to the SIREN number. Indeed, the SIREN number is the single number that is assigned to the business. It is made up of nine digits. As for the SIRET number, it is used to identify an establishment. It is made up of the SIREN number and the four-digit NIC code (Numéro Interne de Classement).

Thus, the SIREN number never changes whereas the NIC code, and consequently the SIRET number, is different for each establishment of a business.

If you have any problem entering the SIREN number, make sure that the syntax is correct. For instance, it should not contain any space.

Only businesses and companies are concerned by the notions of main and secondary activity. The point is to determine which activities are carried on and how important they are. The fact that the registrant remains an employee, a pensioner or other simultaneously does not have any consequence at this stage.

For instance, a pensioner can start a sewing micro-enterprise: the business's main activity will be sewing, even though the entrepreneur's main activity is to be retired.

It is not possible to declare two main activities. You must declare one main activity and one secondary activity. The main activity corresponds to the activity that generates the most significant turnover or the activity for which you spend most of your time.

Moreover, it is necessary to make a dinstinction between your business's activity and your activities when you start a business. For instance, a working person who starts a business providing IT services while remaining an employee must indicate the provision of IT services as the main activity of his or her business.

A commercial agent is an agent whose regular occupation is to independently negotiate and, if need be, sign purchase, sales, lease or service contracts on behalf and for other people.

A commercial agent should not be confused with a service provider. This designation applies to any natural or legal person, including public organisations, who provides services (home help, IT or telecommunication services, consulting services, etc.).

Definition

The INSEE (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques or National institute of statistics and economic studies) issues a code to each business and each of its establishments that describes its main activity referring to the French nomenclature of activities ( nomenclature d'activités française (NAF)) when it is registered on the Sirene directory .

The APE code (activité principale exercée or main activity) is essential for business statistics as it forms the basis of the classification of businesses by fields of activity.

How to modify one's APE code

If your activity changed, your modification request must be addressed to your centre for business formalities (CFE) for it to perform the necessary procedures. If you are a micro-entrepreneur , this form can be completed directly via guichet-entreprises.fr.

If your activity did not change and if you think the APE code issued by the INSEE is incorrect, your modification request must be sent via mail to the INSEE's regional directorate responsible for the department in which your head office or establishment is located. A printable APE modification form is availablefor you to complete on the INSEE's website.

The INSEE (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques or National institute of statistics and economic studies) issues a code to each new French business. It consists of five characters: four digits and one letter.

In the second case, you need to receive your SIREN number prior to making any modification, since it is necessary to complete this procedure. You can also find it on the INSEE's website if you accepted your details to be public.

This code is mainly used to compile statistics. The INSEE uses it to classify businesses by fields of activity.

It is important that you comply with the APE code's exact syntax because the code will not be accepted in the event of an error (space, missing letter or digit, etc.).

If, after verification, your code is still not accepted, it means that the activity to which it corresponds is not included in the "services" Directive of December 12 2006. In this case, this activity is not included in the scope of online procedures available on the guichet-entreprises.fr website. Indeed, the guichet-entreprises.fr website is not competent for the procedures to start a business, modify the information about a business or cease a business activity in the public or parapublic sectors.

This is the case for the following activities:

  • pension funds,
  • general public administration,
  • public administration (administrative authority) in the sectors of health, vocation training, culture and social services, except security,
  • public order and security activities,
  • fire and emergency services,
  • general social security activities,
  • management of supplementary pension schemes,
  • social distribution of income,
  • employer organisations' activities, chambers of commerce, industry and trade's activities,
  • communication equipment repair,
  • trade unions' activities,
  • religious organisations' activities,
  • political organisations' activities,
  • other organisations working through voluntary membership,
  • extraterritorial organisations and authorities' activities.

People who must choose an accredited body will become self-employed workers. Therefore, they will necessarily come under the Sécurité sociale – Indépendants . Insurance funds are divided into accredited bodies (organismes conventionnés (OC)). These accredited bodies, which can be called mutual insurances, will be the entrepreneur's point of contact as far as healthcare reimbursement are concerned, instead of the CPAM (Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie) for the general scheme. The point is therefore to choose an accredited body for your health insurance, not for your mutual insurance (complementary health insurance).

Therefore, there is no consequence at this level if the registrant already has a mutual insurance.

These requests appear if you answered "Yes" to the following question in step 1: "Have you ever carried on a self-employed activity?" (« Avez-vous déjà exercé une activité non salariée ? »). As a consequence, you are asked to complete the registration information of your former business.

If you mistakenly clicked on "Yes" to this question, you will have to stop completing the current application and start a new one for the question on the information about a former business not to appear.

For more information, please refer to the answer to the following question: What does "Have you ever carried out a self-employed activity?" mean? .

The Aid to start or take over a business (Aide aux Créateurs et Repreneurs d’Entreprises (ACRE)) consists in a partial exemption from social security contributions known as business start-up exemption, and in support and counselling during the first years of activity. It also enables some beneficiaries to claim other types of aid.

Since 1 January 2020, the ACRE is no longer allocated automatically. It is subject to eligibility criteria anew.

For more information, please refer to the article on the ACRE from the service-public.fr website.

4. Uploading my supporting documents

To prevent a technical error during the forwarding of your application to the recipient authority, we recommend that you comply with certain standards as you upload supporting documents. Firstly, your supporting documents should not exceed 2MB. If they do, an error message informing you that the attachments could not be uploaded to your application will appear on screen. Secondly, your supporting documents must be in JPG or PDF format.

Also, when you upload a supporting document in PDF format, ensure that the PDF file is not protected since it could prevent your document from being attached to the application. Always check your application and the related attachments prior to sending it. If you encounter a problem with an attachment, please contact the user support prior to validating and sending your application.

Downloading the documents you uploaded on guichet-entreprises.fr is currently not possible. As long as you have not validated your application, it is possible to delete the uploaded documents and replace them by others. However, you will not be able to save them on your computer later on. We therefore recommend that you store them.

Indeed, in some cases, you will be asked to provide two ID documents to prove your identity.

In order to prove the identity of the entrepreneur or senior manager, you should provide "a copy of both sides of the national ID card, passport (the pages that correspond to the ID and to the document's validity), residence permit or residence permit receipt (the status on the residence permit must enable its holder to be registered, if need be, in the registry of trade and companies (RCS), the registry of trades (RM) or the special registry of commercial agents (RSAC): resident card, residence permit indicating the authorised commercial, industrial or artisanal activity, "private and family life", "competences and skills" or "any profession within the framework of the legislation in force", this list is not exhaustive) or any other updated and valid official document (list drawn up by decree). This document is systematically required for all applications regardless of the type of procedure.

In order to prove the identity of the person who signed the form, if the entrepreneur or the senior manager did not, you should provide "a copy of both sides of the national ID card, passport of the person who signed the form (the pages that correspond to the ID and to the document's validity), or residence permit or residence permit receipt (the status on the residence permit must enable its holder to be registered, if need be, in the segistry of trade and companies (RCS), the special registry of commercial agents (RSAC), the registry of trades (RM) or the RBA). These documents must be valid. The scanned copy of the ID document must comprise a handwritten statement certifying that the copy is identical to the original, the date and the handwritten signature of the person making the declaration.

The online service determines the supporting documents on the basis of the information you provided in steps 1 and 2. If you think that the requested supporting documents do not concern you, please check the information you provided during these steps.

Please ensure that all the required documents have been uploaded, all the more so if you completed step 3 before step 2.

A file must be attached for each requested document.

Also, ensure that the thumbnail from step 2 turned green. Indeed, the thumbnail from step 3 will turn green only when the dialogue (step 2) is entirely completed, even if all the supporting documents have been joined beforehand. If this is not the case, please click on "Complete your application" (« Compléter votre dossier ») in order to complete/finalise the form from step 2.

If you encounter a technical problem during the payment step in spite of all these verifications, please contact the user support .

Good to know

The requested supporting documents are displayed on the basis of the information you provided in step 2. Thus, if you modify pieces of information in step 2, the requested supporting documents could change.

The list of subscribers is a document that is only requested as part of a procedure of creation or modification of a legal person ( company ), public limited companies (Sociétés anonymes (SA)) and simpified limited companies (Sociétés par Actions Simplifiées (SAS)) more particularly.

The "list of subscribers" comprises the list of the various shareholders, the number of subscribed shares and the sums each of them paid. This list is provided separately from the documents provided by the bank that holds the funds comprising the company's share capital. Ths list must be drawn up on a letterhead of the company that is being set up.

"A proof of address issued within the last three months comprising the family name and the first name of either the business owner or the homeowner" is required. "In the latter case, an accommodation letter must complement the proof of address".

The documents that can be submitted are:

  • bills (electricity, gas, water, landline or mobile phone, residence tax),
  • the home purchase certificate or the residential lease agreement if you moved in recently.

The uploaded document must have been issued within the last three months and must comprise the family name and first name of the business owner.

If the business owner lives at the home of a third person, the document must comprise the family name and the first name of the homeowner and must be complemented by an accommodation letter.

This document is requested when the activity requires a professional qualification and when the entrepreneur did not undertake to hire a qualified employee for the activity in the declaration. Consequently, registrants are asked to prove their own qualification (diploma) or their professional experience by providing:

  • payslips or employment certificates for employees,
  • SIREN registration certificate, KBIS extract for business owners, proof of registration to the Registry of Trades (Registre des Métiers (RM)) for executives.

If you received an additional mail asking you to modify the supporting documents you uploaded, it means your application was approved and sent the relevant authority. At this stage, you can no longer reopen your application. Consequently, all the additional documents and/or information requested by the recipient(s) of the application must be brought to the authority directly, via mail, email or physical submission, according to the recommendations of the authority and with the references it requested.

5. Paying my application fees

When you compile an application online, you have the possibility to pay the fees related to the online procedure. The guichet-entreprises.fr website forwards the payments made on the website directly to the recipient authorities. All complaints related to the payment service should be addressed to the recipient authority in charge of your application.

If the recipient authority in charge of your application asks you to pay administrative fees again, you may send a copy of your payment receipt on guichet-entreprises.fr. The authority will thus be able to identify your payment. If this is not the case, please contact the user support .

If you made a payment related to your administrative procedure on guichet-entreprises.fr, you have the possibility to ask an invoice directly to the authority that collected the fees. You will have to attach the invoice you received via email after you made the payment to your request.

6. Sending my application

The main recipient of your application is indicated on the main page, in the box called "My centre for business formalities" (« Mon centre formalité entreprise »).

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"My center for business formalities" box on the main page

If you are requested to make a payment to be registered on the registry of trade and companies (registre du commerce et des sociétés (RCS)) and/or the registry of trades (répertoire des métiers (RM)), the registrar is the recipient of the fees.

If no payment is required (this is the case for the creation of a sole proprietorship under the micro-entrepreneur status, for instance), the registrar is the chamber of trades and crafts (chambre de métiers et de l'artisanat (CMA)) with territorial competence for artisans, the clerk's office of the commercial court for traders, or both of them for people carrying on two activities that require to be registered in both the RM and the RCS. The clerk's office of the commercial court with territorial competence also keeps the special registry of commercial agents (registre spécial des agents commerciaux (RSAC)) and the special registry of sole proprietors with limited liability (registre spécial des entrepreneurs individuels à responsabilité limitée (RSEIRL)).

Good to know

A second recipient can be identified during the forwarding of your application: The registrar (Teneur De Registre (TDR)) of legal publicity with which the entrepreneur (or company) must register. This recipient is currently not displayed on the dashboard for the procedures of business creation, of modification of the information about a business and of cessation of activity.

Once the application you created on www.guichet-entreprises.fr is complete, it is forwarded to recipient authorities for processing. In order to know if your application was sent, just log in to your account and check that the progress bar of the application in question reaches 100% and turned green.

The applications are forwarded within a period of between 1 to 24 hours.

If you notice that the progress bar of your application did not reach 100% and turn green more than 24 hours after its completion, please contact the user support .

The guichet-entreprises.fr website records and sends your applications to the relevant authorities for processing. Once you completed and validated your application, it is sent to the relevant centre for business formalities (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE)) for processing.

Good to know

If your business creation application just reached step 6, the centre for business formalities (CFE) should receive it in its processing system and be able to process it within 24 to 48 hours.

The guichet-entreprises.fr website enables users to open a business creation application online. Once you completed and validated it, your application is forwarded to the relevant centre for business formalities (Centre de Formalités des Entreprises (CFE)) for processing. The guichet-entreprises.fr website therefore cannot provide you with information about the processing time of your application by the CFE.

Indicatively, there is an average of ten working days between the moment the guichet-entreprises.fr website forwards an application and its processing by the recipient(s), be it for a business creation, a modification of information about a business or a cessation of activity. However, this time frame may vary. Please note that if the authority needs additional documents in order to process your application, it will contact you via mail.

Good to know

If you have any question regarding your application (follow-up, processing, etc.) once you validated and sent it, you must contact the centre for business formalities in charge of your application.

You should receive your business's SIREN and SIRET numbers fifteen working days after your application was sent to the relevant authority by the guichet-entreprises.fr website. If fifteen days went by, we recommend that you contact the centre for business formalities in charge of your application, as it is your main point of contact.

The INSEE (Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques or National institute of statistics and economic studies) issues a code to each new French business.

The K-bis extract (extrait K-bis) is issued to any legal person that must be registered in the registry of trade and companies (registre du commerce et des sociétés (RCS)).

The K extract (extrait K) is issued to natural persons who carry out a commercial activity only, or to those who carry out both an artisanal and a commercial activity.

Also, if the business creation application concerns the registration of a micro-entrepreneur or sole proprietor carrying out a liberal activity, no SIREN or SIRET number will be issued.

If this registration concerns you, the clerk's office of the commercial court with territorial jurisdiction will send you a K or K-bis extract after you completed your application on guichet-entreprises.fr. You should receive it within twelve working days on average.

Good to know

This time frame may vary depending on whether your application is admissible or not, and whether the authority needs additional documents or information.

If, beyond a reasonable length of time, the recipient authority did not acknowledge receipt of the formality, please contact the user support . Do not forget to provide the reference of your application.

The remit of a centre for business formalities (centre de formalités des entreprises (CFE)) depends on the nature of a business's activity, its legal structure and its location:

  • For a commercial activity, the competent CFE is the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie (CCI)).
  • For an artisanal activity, if the business employs less than ten employees (except in Alsace-Moselle) and does not use any industrial process (in Alsace-Moselle), the competent CFE is the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat (CMA)).
  • For an activity of inland waterway transport, the competent CFE is the National Chamber of Independent Inland Waterway Transport (Chambre Nationale de la Batellerie Artisanale (CNBA)).
  • For a liberal activity, the competent CFE is the URSSAF for natural persons (sole proprietorships, micro-entrepreneurs, EIRLs), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for commercial companies and the Clerk's office of the Commercial Court for non-trading companies.
  • For an agricultural activity, the competent CFE is the Chamber of Agriculture (Chambre d’Agriculture (CA)).

Moreover, people who set up a non-trading or a non-commercial company as well as commercial agents are directly in the remit of either the clerks' office of the commercial court or the court of first instance (tribunal de grande instance) hearing commercial cases.

When an entrepreneur starts or takes over a business, the centre for business formalities (CFE) is the project leader's first point of contact. The first procedures of advice and information must be completed with the CFE.

The CFE is the recommended point of contact between new entrepreneurs and the various administrations. The project leader can:

  • directly go to the CFE ( INSEE's directory ) to complete administrative procedures,
  • complete administrative procedures directly on guichet-entreprises.fr, which will then forward the application to the relevant CFE.

The CFE will examine the application and send the registration application's information to the relevant authorities: the business tax service (service des impôts des entreprises (SIE)), the URSSAF , the Sécurité sociale - Indépendants (or Independents' social security scheme (former RSI)), the INSEE or the Regional health insurance fund (caisse régionale d'assurance maladie). If the application is valid, the business creation declaration has several consequences:

  • The business is registered in the SIRENE directory (directory of businesses and establishments).
  • The INSEE provides him with a SIREN identification number and an APE activity code (these numbers are essential when dealing with public administrations).
  • The business tax service (SIE) provides him with an intra-community VAT number, which is essential for commercial operations within the European Union.

Later on, the CFE remains your main point of contact for all the procedures related to your business's lifecycle: modifications of the information about the business, opening of an additional establishment, transfer of the head office, cessation of activity.

The CFE is competent in processing modifications about:

  • the individual operator (change of name or marital status, mentioning of an associate spouse, etc.),
  • the company or legal person (change of corporate name, of legal status, of share capital, new senior managers or partners, etc.),
  • the business's activity (extension, signing of a business lease, business takeover, etc.),
  • an establishment (change of commercial sign, of mode of operation, of activity, etc.).

The business tax service (service des impôts des entreprises (SIE)) is the only point of contact of SMEs, traders, artisans, farmers and liberal professions for tax returns (turnover declaration, VAT return, CFE return (business property tax), CVAE return (contribution on businesses' added value), etc.) and for the payment of the main professional taxes (corporate tax, VAT, payroll tax, etc.).

In September 2017, the government announced a reform of the social protection of independent workers, which entails the abolition of the RSI (Régime Social des Indépendants or Social protection scheme for the self-employed).

The Régime social des indépendants becomes the Sécurité sociale – Indépendants .

This reform, which was provided for in the 2018 social security financing draft law, has been gradually implemented since January 1st 2018. During a two-year transition period, the management of the social security scheme for the self-employed will be gradually integrated into the general scheme — health insurance, pension insurance, URSSAF — in order to ensure the continuity of service.

The registrar is:

  • the Chamber of Trades and Crafts (Chambre de Métiers et de l’Artisanat (CMA)) when registering to the Registry of Trades (Répertoire des Métiers (RM)) or to the Special Registry of Sole Proprietors with Limited Liability (Registre Spécial des Entrepreneurs Individuels à Responsabilité Limitée (RSEIRL)) for artisans,
  • the Clerk's office of the Commercial Court when registering in the Registry of Trade and Companies (Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés (RCS)).

The clerk's office of the commercial courts also keeps the special registry of commercial agents (registre spécial des agents commerciaux (RSAC)).

7. Reporting a technical problem

An internet connection and an internet browser are necessary to use the guichet-entreprises.fr website. Your browser must be set to accept session cookies. For an optimal browsing experience, we recommend the use of the following web browser versions:

  • Firefox version 45 and later,
  • Google Chrome version 48 and later.

Indeed, some browsers are likely not to support certain functionalities of the guichet-entreprises.fr website. The service is optimized for a 1024x768 screen resolution. We recommend that you use your browser's latest version and update it regularly to benefit from security patches and ensure optimum performances.

Firstly, refresh the lists using the small blue circles in which two white arrows are rotating (they can be found on the right of the lists).

If nothing happens, check whether you are still connected to your account. To do so, just click on the tricolor flag in the upper left corner of the website. You will then be redirected to the homepage of the website, in which you should click on "My account" (« Mon espace personnel ») in the blue rectangle in the upper right corner:

  • If you are redirected to the connection interface, then the previous authentication is no longer valid. You should therefore log in again,
  • If you are not redirected to the connection interface, then the connection to your account is still valid.. In this case, if the problem remains, it is possible that the servers are temporarily unstable. In this case, please try again later.

If after a few hours the problem persists as you try again, please contact the user support and provide as much information as you can about your equipment (MAC or PC? Fibre broadband or ADSL? Which browser do you use? Which version?).

We recommend that you clear cookies and open an Incognito window in Google Chrome (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+MAJ+N) or a private browsing window in Mozilla Firefox (keyboard shortcut: CTRL+MAJ+P), for instance.

Good to know

If this does not work, then your account may have been deactivated. In this case, all you need to do is click on "Reset my password" (« Renouveler mon mot de passe ») and follow the procedure to reset your password in order to log in again.

If you did not receive the account confirmation email, check your mailbox's junk mail or create a new account using the same email address . If you still have not received any email after verification, please contact the user support .

If the link in the confirmation email does not work, it probably means that it is no longer valid (one-time link valid for 24 hours). You will therefore have to create a new account using the same email address.

Good to know

This link is a one-time link. If you already activated your account, please log in to access it.

If the link to renew your password does not work, it probably means that it is no longer valid. You will therefore have to make a new request to reset your password .

Maintenance operations are carried on to guarantee the quality of the guichet-entreprises.fr service and may cause errors when you try to log in to your account. If the service is unavailable, a message of information will be displayed immediately on the homepage. Please try to log in later.

If the problem persists, please contact the user support .

Ensure that all the fields are filled in, including the phone number. Moreover, as the website is not compatible with Internet Explorer, you will not be able to create an account using this browser. Please try again using a browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

You cannot upload files that exceed 2MB. You can only use JPEG and PDF file extensions. If, nonetheless, you have problems uploading files, we recommend that you clear your browser's cache or use another web browser.

We recommend the use of the following web browser versions:

  • Firefox version 45 and later
  • Opera version 11 and later
  • Safari version 5.1 for Windows and version 6.0 and later for MacOs
  • Internet Explorer version 9 and later
  • Microsoft Edge version 25 and later
  • Google Chrome version 48 and later

Please try to upload your attachment again and check the size and format of the document. If the problem persists, please contact the user support .

Please note

Modifying extensions manually can cause a technical error when you upload an attachment (for instance, modifying a .doc document into a PDF without converting the file).

If a technical error occurs as you are completing your application, please contact the user support .

If you encounter a technical problem during the payment process, please contact the user support .