The registre du commerce et des sociétés
The Registre du
Commerce et des Sociétés was created in France in 1919 to draw-up a register
of companies and entrepreneurs, date and assure the storage of company
documents. In the beginning, it was
a simple directory of information without a real guarantee or legal value.
Over time, legislation changed and the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés
(RCS) evolved. Today, the register is able to offer the public information
on the legal, financial and economic status of companies and, as such, plays an
essential role as a source of formal publicity of legal acts.
to the Greffier of the Tribunal de Commerce who assures the verification and
distribution of the information it contains, the Registre du Commerce et des
Sociétés is placed under the supervision of a “juge-commis” nominated by
the President of the Tribunal de Commerce.
Because of the rigorous verification of the information and supporting
documents it receives, it constitutes an efficient means of assuring that
businessmen and companies fulfil their legal obligations.
at the Registre du Commerce et des Sociétés has important legal consequences:
it gives legal status to commercial companies and shopkeepers.
of a company’s existence – from its creation, changes in company management
or structure, to its closing-down – must be declared to the Greffe:
shopkeepers, commercial and non-trading companies and economic interest
groupings are obliged to report to the Greffe via their Centre de Formalités
des Entreprises (CFE: centres for administrative formalities).
The Greffe is the CFE for non-trading companies and other non-commercial
registering a company, the Greffier verifies all elements of the
company’s file, in order to assure that it conforms with legal and regulatory
texts, and only then draws-up the “extrait du Registre de Commerce” (extrait
K bis). The K bis justifies the
legal existence of a company and allows the entrepreneur to prove his or her
status as a business person. The K
bis gives the latest recorded status of a company as known by the RCS at the
date of publication.
veritable company “identity card”, the K bis is widely used by a company’s
competitors, partners, creditors, clients, etc. to check on the company’s
company is also obliged to report its annual accounts to the Greffe, they also
are made available to all interested parties.
exactly, can be found in the Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés?
registration number (shown on the K bis) is given to each file based on the
national identification number established by the INSEE.
Greffier sends the BODACC  all registrations, as well as modifications and
closures, for publication. The
Greffier also sends notice of all declarations, acts and annual accounts of
commercial companies to the INPI
which centralises them in a national commercial register.
register of sales representatives
is also the CFE for sales representatives who are authorised agents working
independently. Whether the agents
be a company, a legal entity or an individual businessperson, they are obliged
to register in the “registre des agents commerciaux” held by the Greffe
prior to starting their activity.
authorised depository of information which it certifies to be in accordance with
the law, the Greffier thus has the task of assuring its distribution – which
it accomplishes with the state-of-the-art technology required by the business
world for rapid commercial transactions.
 INSEE: Institut National de la Statistique et des Etudes Economiques
 BODACC: Bulletin Officiel des Annonces Commerciales
 INPI: Insitut National de la Propriété Industrielle