Traders who cease their business activities must complete several administrative procedures and formalities with regard to:
- the business permit;
- social security;
- the Trade and Companies Register (Registre de commerce et des sociétés - RCS);
- taxes, etc.
The company must fill the trader's position with a substitute if the trader:
- was a member of a partnership and the company is to continue doing business; or
- personally held the permits or patents and licences required to engage in its activities.
Who is concerned
Any natural person who engages in business activities as a trader in the form of a sole proprietorship or partnership and who ceases their activities must notify the different bodies with which they are affiliated or registered.
Only the deregistration with the RCS is subject to a fee.
These costs are set out in the RCS table of tariffs.
How to proceed
Cancelling the business permit
The Minister of the Economy, responsible for business permits, must be informed within one month of the departure of the manager holding the business permit.
The manager must send the original version of the business permit to the General Directorate for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises at the Ministry of the Economy, together with:
- the cessation form;
- a copy of their identity card or passport;
- the reason for the cessation.
Cancelling affiliation with the social security
Within 8 days of ceasing their activity, the trader must:
- cancel their affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre commun de la sécurité sociale - CCSS) through a declaration of withdrawal for self-employed workers;
- cancel the affiliation of employees, if any, by sending a declaration of end of employment for employees to the CCSS.
All declarations must be duly completed, dated and signed by the trader. They must also include:
- the self-employed person's 13-digit national identification number (matricule) / the employee's and the employer's national identification number;
- the business address;
- the reason for the cessation of activity;
- date of the end of the activity / of the last day of work.
The declarant will receive an acknowledgment of receipt for verification purposes.
Declaration of cessation with the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority
Within 15 days of ceasing their commercial activity, the trader must send a declaration of cessation to the Registration Duties, Estates and VAT Authority.
The declaration must be duly completed, dated and signed by the trader. It must include:
- the VAT number of the business;
- the contact details of the business manager;
- the contact details of the buyer, if any;
- the value of the business broken down according to the VAT rates applicable during the transfer.
Deregistration with The trade and Companies Register (RCS)
Notification of cessation to the Inland Revenue
Unless they move to a foreign country, the trader remains liable for tax as a natural person.
Hence, they do not need to report the cessation of activity to the Inland Revenue (Administration des contributions directes). However, if there is a foreseeable decrease of income they may apply to their tax office for an adjustment of their advance payments.
Depending on their business activity, the business manager must also:
- notify the Chamber of Commerce of the cessation of activity;
- for craftsmen: return the craftsman's card to the Chamber of Skilled Trades and Crafts (Chambre des Métiers), which will then inform the social security institutions;
- in the case of industrial activities: inform the Ministry of the Economy / the Fedil.
- if the business held a "commodo/incommodo" operating permit (for listed establishments), inform the competent authority, etc.