Obtain information about French companies

Obtain Information about French Companies

Updated on Thursday 07th November 2019

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information_about_french_companies.jpgThe Register of Commerce and Companies in France manages all the important information about commercial companies in France. Entrepreneurs searching for specific information about a company have access to modern search tools and some of the information concerning certain companies can even be accessed online. Our lawyers in France can offer their legal support for local and international entrepreneurs interested in information about French companies. Also, they can assist foreigners in starting a business in this country, concerning the applicable laws.

The French Register of Commerce and Companies

The French Register of Commerce and Companies includes all legal and natural persons that perform commercial activities and other entities, according to the Act of December 19, 2002. The French Register of Commerce and Companies provides online information about more than 3,000,000 French companies. Online users may access basic information about the company and contact details free of charge. For more detailed information and company accounts, users must pay a fee.

Available information about French companies

The online platform of the French Register of Commerce and Companies offers certain information for the general public. Users that wish to search for public information about a certain company need to fill in a number of search criteria (the address of the company, types of business etc.). Public users can find information about:

  1. the Kbis extract;
  2. company debts;
  3. company statutes;
  4. annual accounts;
  5. changes history;
  6. insolvency and specific procedures undertaken in this case;
  7. the full company record: it includes all of the available documents for the requested company.

The complete list of available documents can either be viewed online or received via e-mail. The available documents may depend on the documents currently available for the respective company. In order to request the online version for the company record, the user must complete the necessary fields and search for the company and then choose the desired option (”Full Record”, for example). The prices for the requested documents vary according to the type of document. The price for the full company record will represent the value of all the available documents for that company. The information provided on the online platform has legal value. However, for detailed information and specialized advice, it is advisable to seek legal counseling.

Who can ask for information about companies in France?

Businessmen of any kind and natural persons can ask for information about companies registered in France like the ones referring to profit and losses, activities, and the following:
  1. The financial statements of a company in France.
  2. Information about the stockholders of the company registered in France.
  3. Information about the registered share capital of the firm in France.
  4. Information about litigation or insolvent matters, if any.
Some information might be subject to particular fees imposed by the local authorities. It is important to have the support of a legal advisor before starting this procedure and get in touch with one of our lawyers in France.

What is INPI?

INPI is the National Industrial Property Institute that provides information about companies incorporated with the French Trade Register. The authority mainly offers information about intellectual property rights. Besides that, INPI promotes and protects innovative ideas and projects that can be developed in France.

What is a SIREN number?

SIREN is the French Business Identification Number comprising 9 digits and assigned to all companies registered in France. This is a unique number issued by the Chamber of Commerce in France. Also, a company must have the SIRET number which is formed of the SIREN code and the business location. Therefore, obtaining information about the companies in France can be made with the help of SIREN or SIRET numbers assigned to registered firms in France. One of our French lawyers can offer in-depth support and legal advice for those interested in accessing information about a particular company in France. It is recommended to have the support of an advisor when dealing with such requests and benefit from immediate assistance.

Company information disclosed to the public

Information about companies in France can be displayed to anyone, in exchange for a specific fee. Some might be interested in information about a company’s securities, profit and loss statements, the deeds and the Articles of Association of a firm and documents showing any business change or events. Also, details about judicial or administrative procedures involving a certain company in France are at the disposal of those interested in such information. If you need assistance and support for obtaining information about French companies, feel free to address your inquiries to one of our attorneys in France.

Opening a company in France

The registration of a company in France is made with the Center for Business Formalities, and most of the entrepreneurs choose the limited liability company for their future activities in France, as this is the most flexible business structure available. The Articles of Association with information about the owners, the activities, the general business rules need to be notarized and submitted to the French Trade Register. One must observe the requirements for tax registration and also for social contributions. Once the company seal is obtained, the business is ready and can start the activities in France.

Making investments in France

France has a diverse and large economy and it is a solid business destination for numerous international companies and entrepreneurs who benefit from an appealing climate for their activities. This country is also an important financial center that aligns in terms of business with countries like Luxembourg, Switzerland or USA. It is important to know that France is the 3rd largest economy in the EU, where more than 40 of the largest companies have activities here. The following facts and information highlight the business and the economy direction of France:
  • around USD 37,294 million represented the FDI inward flow for France in 2018;
  • USD 824,9 billion was the total FDI stock for 2018 in France;
  • according to the World Investment Report 2019, France is the 12th largest investment recipient in the world;
  • most of the investments in France come from UK, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg;
  • according to the 2019 Doing Business report, France ranks 32nd out of 190 worldwide economies.
Making investments in France means having complete attention on the important industries and thriving sectors of interest. It is recommended to have the support of a team of lawyers in France by your side and have a proper business start as a foreign investor.

We invite you to get in touch with our law firm in France and solicit complete information about how to obtain information about companies registered in France.