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Online direct debit: the rules to know in 2021

According to the French legislation, it is mandatory for any entrepreneur wishing to create his own company, to undergo various formalities. Some of them are more important than others, while having a major impact on the future life of the company to be created. The stage of domiciliation is one of them, an obligatory step for a company, since without it, many parameters concerning its social life will be strongly compromised. Currently, we are in the digital era, a time when all formalities can be carried out online, in a dematerialized way. Let’s find out together in this article everything there is to know about this process in 2021.

I. Brief notion about the domiciliation of companies

  • What does the domiciliation of companies consist of?

First of all, this step is a mandatory and inseparable formality when creating a given company, whatever its legal form. By definition, it consists of assigning an address for the company’s headquarters, by carrying out various procedures inherent to this stage, which is so crucial to its corporate life. This address will be the one with which the company will carry out all the affairs related to the administration. In other words, this is a legal and fiscal address, but also a social one.

In addition, it is important to know that the location of the registered office will be the place where the effective management of the company is located, that is, where all the important and official decisions regarding its organization and operation will be taken. However, the address where the business activity will be carried out can be located at a completely different place.

  • The usefulness of company domiciliation

As mentioned above, this formality is mandatory. This is justified by the fact that the address of the registered office will be necessary to determine various elements that constitute the identity of the company, and essential for its legal existence. Indeed, thanks to it, it will be possible to know the nationality of the company, as well as the law which will be applicable to it. In addition, the competent court in case of a dispute related to the operation of the business activity will also be known.

In addition, a newly formed company must be registered with the RCS or Trade and Companies Register in the case of a commercial activity, and with the RM or Trade Register in the case of a craft activity. In order to benefit from this registration, a certificate of domiciliation will be useful, delivered thanks to a domiciliation contract.

II. The existing solutions in terms of business address

  • 1st solution: a home office

This choice is often made for self-employed or independent companies. This alternative consists in setting up the company’s head office in the home of its legal representative, whether he is a tenant or owner. In order to do so, it is necessary to make sure that no rules prevent it. We are talking in particular about the rules of urbanism or those related to the co-ownership, but also possible clauses in the lease contract. If these different provisions are an obstacle, then the duration of the domiciliation will only be temporary (five years). Furthermore, the authorization of the lessor will always be necessary before proceeding with this solution.

  • 2nd solution: a commercial premises as a registered office

For most entrepreneurs, this type of domiciliation is rarely chosen, especially for those whose financial means are very limited. Indeed, in order to carry out this practice, the entrepreneur must either be the owner of the premises in question or rent it. The latter case is problematic, since it will be necessary to pay a monthly rent, which can be very expensive in the long run. The only major advantage here is that the premises will be perfectly adapted to receive customers. Moreover, the entrepreneur will be able to arrange it as he wishes so that it is in parallel to the expectations of the professional activity.

  • 3rd and last solution: the collective domiciliation

We are mainly talking about domiciliation through “business incubators”, commonly called “pépinières d’entreprises” and commercial domiciliation. For the first type of domiciliation, this is a solution frequently chosen by new companies, start-ups, those whose activity is only in the start-up phase. It is very advantageous, especially in terms of materials (premises with an equipped office, technical support), but also in terms of “networking”.

As for commercial domiciliation, it is without doubt the most used solution nowadays, consisting in going through a domiciliation company to assign a head office address to a given company. The advantages are also very interesting. Let’s discover them below.

III. Commercial domiciliation: the online steps and advantages of this process

As already mentioned above, it is through the commercial domiciliation that the dematerialized approach is most solicited. This solution consists in undertaking a business domiciliation (the domiciled person) through a company expert in domiciliation (the domiciliary). The popularity of this alternative lies in the fact that it brings a multitude of advantages for the domiciled company.

Indeed, the latter can not only benefit from a prestigious address, known by the majority of the public (a major asset for customers, especially in terms of credibility and notoriety), but also from many additional services such astelephone assistance (secretarial service), a complete mail management and the provision of equipped offices such as meeting rooms and office furniture.We also offer a wide range of additional services such as telephone assistance (secretarial service), complete mail management and the provision of equipped offices such as meeting rooms and those suitable for receiving clients, all at a very competitive price. Let’s not forget the accompaniment in terms of legal and administrative formalities.

  • The actual steps

The online procedures are both fast and reliable, making the registration process more fluid. First of all, the entrepreneur must select the domiciliation company he wants to work with. Then, it is enough to go to their website and select an address of head office among the many that are proposed. Then, it will be necessary to fill in a subscription form, mentioning the contact details of the entrepreneur (his identity, his address for mail forwarding… etc.).

The next step will be to choose whether or not to subscribe to the various additional services that the domiciliary will offer by ticking the relevant boxes, and at the same time specifying the duration of the commitment made (three months maximum, but renewable by tacit agreement). Finally, the last step will be to invoice the services by the method of payment by credit card in the majority of the cases. Once all these steps have been completed, a direct debit contract will be automatically generated and signed online. Thanks to this contract, a certificate of domiciliation will be issued, allowing the entrepreneur to concentrate on the next formality, that of registration with the RCS.

  • Some rules to consider

First of all, the domiciliation company must respect the following conditions:

1) It must be approved by the prefecture;

2) Be able to offer premises that ensure the confidentiality sought by clients;

3) Notify the court clerk’s office in the event of a change in the situation of the domiciliation in its premises, and provide a list of its users (identity and address).

In addition, the domiciled company must also comply with certain rules, in particular regarding the exclusive use of the premises. Finally, it must also inform the domiciliary company of any change in its operation and organization.


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