How to check if a French Business is Legit

If you’re living or maintaining a home in France, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to employ someone to do some sort of work for you, whether that’s build or update a website, plaster your living room, fix the roof, or help you with your paperwork. Often we find the people we need through word of mouth or online recommendation, but in order to protect yourself and ensure that the person you hire is legally registered, you need to know their SIRET number. If they don’t have one, they’re not registered, which means they don’t have any insurance and also that their work is not guaranteed; it’s standard that any building work is guaranteed for 10 years but this is only if they are a properly registered business. Even if they do give you a SIRET it’s worth checking that the number they gave you is actually their number, because it’s not uncommon for an unscrupulous trader to give out a bogus number.

Luckily, there’s a really easy way to do this online. Simply visit the Info Greffe website and type the number you’ve been given into the search box.

A search box entitled Recherche with a magnifying glass button

The Search Box on the Info Greffe Site

It’s really that simple. You can also search on the business name, name, postcode, and SIREN. Useful stuff which could help you in the long run, especially with building projects where the “good price” you’re quoted may come at a cost, especially with “seasonal traders” who come for a few weeks or months a year, which seems to be a thing here. Getting your money back should anything go wrong could be a major headache so do your homework beforehand and be prepared to pay more for the real deal. You can’t know in advance that they’ll actually be any good but at least, if they’re registered, if you’re not happy you will have legal recourse to repairs and refunds.


Image copyright iStock/tumsasedgars

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