Creating, extending or transfering a commercial activity can be subject to various preliminary administrative authorisations such as those of the Departmental Commission of Commercial (or Cinematographic) equipment. (Commission Départementale d’Equipement Commercial)
When is prior CDEC approval obligatory?
Threshold less than 300m²
- Creation of a store by new construction or transformation
- Extension of an existing store
- Creation or extension of a commercial unit
- Reopening of a store whose buildings have ceased to be exploited over a 2 year period
- Change of sector of activity for a trade when the new store is predominantly food related
- Grouping of neighbouring stores, without increase in sales area, when the new activity concerns predominantly food
- Reuse of a commercial premisis freed up following a transfer of activity for use as a retail business
Threshold less than 1000m²
- Regrouping of neighbouring stores, without increase in sales area, when new activity is not predominantly food related
- Creation or extension of a commercial establishment on public parts of railway stations ?
- Creation or extension of a garage or trading motor vehicles including maintenance and repair workshops
Threshold less than 2000m²
- Change of sector of activity without extension to an existing store if the new store is not food related
Certain establishments have specific thresholds like hotels, cinemas and service stations.
The sectors of activity are based on the circulaire dated January 16, 1997 based on French (NAF) tax codes and the passage from one sector to another is subject to prior approval from the CDEC according to size :
- Sector 1: Food retail businesses including the popular stores
- Sector 2: Trade of motor vehicles, retail businesses for residential products and DIY stores
- Secteur 3 : Sector 3: Retail business for other products and activities artisanal in nature. This category includes in particular such items as perfumery, beauty products, books, newspapers, paper mill, optics, photography, sport and leisures. It also includes department stores insofar as food represents less than 35% of the business.
Relevant information concerning the applicant, the project and the finances of the project must appear in the application. It is also necessary to state any relevant information concerning circulation flow and deliveries. The area of the project is an important point because it can mean requests for additional documents in the application.
The application must be submitted to the Secretariat of the CDEC at the Prefecture of the Department. Within 15 days, the secretariat of the CDEC confirm whether the application is complete. Within 4 months from the notice of receipt, the CDEC should make a decision regarding the application. Failing this, the application is accepted tacitly. The information is passed on to third parties by posting the decision in the local town hall for 2 months.