Business formalities: the one-stop shop is a cause for concern

From January 1, 2023, all procedures for setting up, modifying or cancelling a business must be carried out online, on a platform known as the guichet unique des formalités des entreprises (one-stop shop for business formalities). Created with the aim of simplifying procedures and declarations, the one-stop shop is raising concerns.

The one-stop shop, designed to simplify procedures

Until December 31, 2022, all business-related formalities, from registration to deregistration, were handled by the 6 CFEs (Centres de Formalités des Entreprises) operated by the Chambers of Agriculture, the Chambers of Trades and Crafts, the Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Urssaf, the Registrars of the Commercial Courts and the General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFIP).

With a view to simplification, the 2019 Pacte law introduced the one-stop shop for business formalities, which has replaced the 6 existing CFEs since January 1, 2023. From now on, business start-ups, changes of situation (e.g. change of name, address or activity), cessations of activity or even filings of annual accounts must be carried out online on the one-stop shop website, managed by the Institut national de la propriété industrielle (INPI).


In principle, the project is rather appealing, since it facilitates procedures by grouping them together on a single platform, whatever the company's field of activity or legal form. But in practice, concerns remain 10 days after its launch.

Technical difficulties and longer lead times

First of all, there are those who deplore the over-complexity of the tool, such as François Hurel, president of the Union des auto-entrepreneurs (UAE). Interviewed by the daily Les Echos, he deplored the fact that creating a micro-business requires spending " almost two hours " on the one-stop shop, compared with " twenty minutes on the Urssaf website ". In his view, there is a risk of " discouraging " microentrepreneurs, at a time when three-quarters of new businesses in France are microenterprises.


Communication problems have been observed between the one-stop shop and the various organizations, resulting in longer delays for certain formalities. At the end of November, CFDT Inpi warned of the increased workload for agents, and in a press release denounced the " insufficient increase in the employment ceiling for this new mission ".

The union also pointed to " the problem of processing formalities at CFEs, some of which are already 6 to 8 months behind schedule ".

Certain technical aspects of the one-stop shop also raise concerns, such as the existence of different levels of electronic signature depending on the formality performed.

The European eIDAS standard establishes 4 levels:

  • the simple signature, which is used by the one-stop shop for business start-ups,
  • advanced signature,
  • advanced signature with qualified certificate, required for company modifications or deletions,
  • and qualified signature.

The INPI is reassuring, however, stating that " as with any large-scale IT project [...] suggestions for improvement " will be gradually incorporated.

The Institute also stresses that " more than 100,000 files " have already been processed by the one-stop shop, whose test phase began a year ago, on January 1, 2022.

To help entrepreneurs with their procedures, INPI offers a telephone hotline on 01 56 65 89 98. The service is available Monday to Friday, between 9am and 6pm.