In order to be able to be able to exercise its activity, it is necessary for a business centre to hold an “agrément préfectoral”, which is a prefectural police authorisation.
Such approval can be requested from the departmental police service where the head office of the business centre or from the police headquarters if the centre in question has its registered address in Paris. The “agrément préfectoral” must be renewed every 6 years. If the director of the business centre fulfils the honorability terms (i.e. not being in a situation of personal bankruptcy), the approval is generally granted without complications after applying for it to the pertinent prefecture.
The number of the “agrément préfectoral” is important to establish a domiciliation contract between a company and a business centre. Indeed, since 2012, every business centre that offers a domiciliation service must provide a number corresponding to the “agrément préfectoral” so that the domiciliation of the enterprises in the centre is valid. Without this number, any company trying to register their address will be rejected by the Registry of Commerce and Companies (RCS in French).
Documents to provide to request an “agrément préfectoral”
To obtain the “agrément préfectoral”, a dossier including the following information is require:
- A declaration form dully completed. The form can be found online.
- A proof of availability of the premises (cadastral statement, floor plan of the premises or a detailed description with supporting pictures).
- A document certifying that the company owns or leases the premises.
- A certificate of honorability from the director of the centre if he’s the only manager. If there are other members in the direction, shareholders, or associates holding at least 25% of the shares or votes in the company, they will also have to provide a certificate.
- A copy of the ID card or passport of the legal representatives, shareholders and associates.
- A copy of the statutes of company constitution (only in the case of a legal entity).
- The K-bis number of the centre.
Once the application has been validated by the police, a number of “agrément préfectoral” is assigned to the business centre. This number, which is the proof that the company can offer a domiciliation service legally, must appear on every agreement established with companies that wish to use the business centre as their registered address.
It is important to know that offering and exercising a domiciliation service without the “agrément préfectoral” can be sanctioned with a fine of €7,500 or even a jail time for up to six months.
If the business centre obtains the “agrément préfectoral”, the last step to take before carrying out a perfectly legal domiciliation service is to register in the pertinent RCS, like any other type of company in France.