What do business registers in France offer?
Local business and companies registers (registres du commerce et des sociétés - RCS) are kept by registrars (greffiers) of the commercial courts (tribunaux de commerce) in mainland France, by the mixed commercial courts (tribunaux mixtes de commerce) in the overseas departments and regions, and by registrars of the combined courts with commercial jurisdiction (tribunaux judiciaires à compétence commerciale) in the departments of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin and Moselle. The registration, amendment and removal declarations made by undertakings in the business and companies registers are checked by the registrars to ensure that the statements comply with the laws and regulations and correspond to the supporting documents and documents attached as annexes. These checks on the substantive and formal requirements are carried out under the supervision of the president or of a judge entrusted with that task who has jurisdiction to settle any disputes between the taxable person and the registrar.
The Kbis, which is an extract from the commercial and companies register, is an undertaking’s ‘ID card’ and contains all the information that the undertaking is required to declare. The objective of the Kbis extract is to ensure legal certainty with regard to commercial transactions by providing any interested party with information on the legal structure of the undertaking, its directors, its activity, the place where the activity is carried out and how the undertaking operates. It also states whether or not collective insolvency proceedings have been brought against it. This official document (acte authentique), issued and signed by the court registrar, is deemed to be authentic unless a plea for forgery is entered.
At national level, a national business and companies register (registre national du commerce et des sociétés - RNCS) is kept by the National Institute for Industrial Property (Institut National de la Propriété Industrielle - INPI). This national register centralises all the information and documents that have been checked and validated by the registrars and entered in the commercial and companies registers kept in each registry. The INPI is responsible for disseminating and making available to the public free of charge the technical, business and financial information contained in the RNCS, for the purpose of further use.
The Infogreffe website is the dissemination platform for all business and companies registers (of mainland France, including Alsace-Moselle, and of the overseas departments and regions). The Infogreffe.nc website provides access to the legal information of undertakings in New Caledonia. The Infogreffe website also enables various formalities (registration, amendment, removal and filing of annual accounts) to be carried out online. The service is provided in French and English.
The INPI website makes it possible to access, via the DATA INPI portal and as open data, the records of registrations, amendments and removals and companies’ annual accounts.
Official Bulletin of Civil and Commercial Announcements (Bulletin officiel des annonces civiles et commerciales - BODACC)
The BODACC is the official bulletin for publication of the documents recorded in the business and companies register, from the establishment of an undertaking to its removal, in particular as regards sales and transfers, collective insolvency proceedings and the filing of accounts. The documents in question are sent to the BODACC without the interested parties having to take any action or initiative. Announcements in the BODACC are made under the responsibility of the registrar who receives the information.
Publication in the BODACC, which ensures the widest possible dissemination of registrations in the business and companies registers, falls within the remit of the Office of Legal and Administrative Information (Direction de l’information légale et administrative - Dila).
Is access to a business register free of charge?
The Infogreffe website provides access to certain information on businesses listed on it free of charge. The extracts from the business and companies register and the documents annexed thereto may be obtained subject to a fee set by the State.
Access to the INPI’s RNCS data via the DATA INPI portal is free of charge. The further use of such data is subject to a licence.
Since 1 July 2015, the BODACC has been distributed solely by electronic means. The content of the website (i.e. the BODACC announcements) has been free of charge since July 2011.
Lastly, a new digital access portal was set up in June 2016, called « Portail de la Publicité Légale des Entreprises» [public portal giving access to companies' legal information]. It enables users to access, via a single interface, legal advertising and information published on the following three websites:
How to search a business register in France?
On the Infogreffe website you can search for a business by:
- its name,
- the name of its directors and administrators,
- the town or administrative département where it is domiciled or has its headquarters or where it has its business units,
- its SIREN number (Business Register Identification System - Système d’Identification du Répertoire des Entreprises),
- its registration number in the business and companies register.
On the DATA INPI website you can search for an undertaking using its SIREN number, company name, brand name, director or the name of the municipality of the undertaking’s head office, or using words contained in the description of the undertaking’s activity.
On the BODACC website you can search for a notice relating to an undertaking using its SIREN number or its company name.
Registre de Commerce européen (European Business Register)
The national language version of this page is maintained by the respective Member State. The translations have been done by the European Commission service. Possible changes introduced in the original by the competent national authority may not be yet reflected in the translations. The European Commission accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to any information or data contained or referred to in this document. Please refer to the legal notice to see copyright rules for the Member State responsible for this page.