You’re working on a business project and you're asked for your SIRET or SIREN number, e.g. for quotes, for advertising, for partnerships etc. So what is it?

A SIREN number is your unique French business identification number. This 9 digit number will be requested by all French administration when dealing with you, e.g. URSSAF, RSI, Impot, etc. It is a proof that you are a fully registered French business, listed on the national business directory - répertoire national des entreprises. Your SIREN number will be issued by INSEE (national institute of statistics), when you register your business.

How do I get a SIRET number?

Your SIRET number will be issued once you have registered your business with the Chambre de Commerce (RCS) for trade, Chambre de Metiers for crafts and manual work or with URSSAF for intellectual services such as translator or website designer. You will receive an Extrait KBIS usually within two weeks of your registration with your SIRET number. For auto entrepreneurs, your SIRET number will be on the official letter sent to you by INSEE. So what is the difference between a SIREN number and a SIRET number? A SIRET is a 14 digit number referring to your business location (SIREN + 5 digits).

Example of SIRET number

Your unique SIRET number should look like this if you are a limited company or are in a trading activity (commercant) - RCS PARIS 453 983 245. RCS stands for Registre du Commerce et des Societes, i.e. registration via the Chambre du Commerce et de l’Industrie. For crafts and manual activities (artisans) registering with Chambre de Metiers, your SIRET number will look like this - RC NANTES 234 987 456.

Use a SIRET number to find out more about your competitors

If you want to find out more about your competitors, write down there SIREN number or name, then have a look at www.societe.com. You will find out when they created their business, number of employees, activity code. For limited companies, you will also have access to their financial results, e.g. turnover, profit or loss, etc.

By Martin Pollard

If you are a self employed person / business registered in England and paying tax and NI contributions in England holding an A1 National Insurance certificate. Would you need to register with URSSAF and obtain a Siret while working in France (only for a short period of 4 or 5 months) for a British company that is registered in England and pays tax in England.

By Valérie

I’m afraid you’ll need to ask your questions in the forum.

By Basil Whalley

I had a builder in France build a swimming pool in the Languedoc. The pool is now leaking, it is under 10 years old, but I cannot locate the builder. I have a siret number, how can I get my pool fixed under his insurance?

By Valérie

Sorry, that’s not something I cover.

By james kane

I do some work with an association in france - which has a siret number. I am purchasing a service from a company in Poland and they want our VAT number. On research I came to the conclusion that the VAT number is in fact the siret number with FR in front of it. However, my supplier now tells me this is not a valid VAT number. Could you help me understand this situation ?

By Valérie

A SIRET number is a company registration number… not a company VAT number.

By sean wong

I work for an American company but our French customer is asking for a SIRET number in order to process our invoice. Do we have to register for one?

By Valérie

A SIRET number is a company registration number… in this case your American business registration number.

By Chris Coelho

I’m interesting be self-employed here in France but can’t sign up with URSSAF because ask me for SIRET number. What need to do? I went there and they said need go to apply on the website but I can’t do nothing even call or send email. French language its difficult for me and ask me for SIRET and dont know how can find this.You know how to help me?

By Valérie

I’d be happy to answer your questions and advise you on being self-employed in France, but I’m afraid that you’ll need to ask your questions via my forum. Because of the volume of questions and the time it takes to answer I’m not able to take questions via email.

The advantage of joining the forum is that you get unlimited access for a full year and can ask as many questions as you need in that time. So if something crops up or you’re unsure about anything - you’ve got somewhere to go and get answers.


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Valerie Lemiere

Valerie Lemiere

Valerie Lemiere launched this site in 2009 and has since written over 100 articles and answered over 46,000 of questions in her forum. For her day job (8 years and counting) she works as a conseillère en création d'entreprises for BGE.